Aman Kyoto, the group’s third address in Japan, offers a contemplative stay blending centuries-old traditions with Western modernism. Known for its unique aesthetics, precision, and attention to detail, it stands out as one of the most exceptional hotels in Kyoto, providing a truly distinctive experience.
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Natural and Traditional Beauty
The hotel is both a gateway to the imperial city and a world in itself. We are in the heart of a 32-hectare hilly forest which was once the hunting territory of the Emperors. The famous Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion Temple) is a few steps away, the city center is around twenty minutes by car. This forest helped create a major artistic movement in the 17th century, the Rinpa School. One of the greatest collectors of obis, the fabric belts that adorn kimonos, began to build, in the middle of the 20th century, a museum to house its collection. In the middle of gigantic trees, wildflowers, sculptural slabs, and narrow paths winding between moss and ferns, the Aman Kyoto is a timeless reinterpretation of traditional ryokans, accustomed to celebrating the beauty of nature. The exterior and interior, surprisingly minimalist, were designed by Australian architect Kerry Hill, author of the previous Aman Tokyo, one of the finest hotels in Tokyo, and Amanemu. It is a setting for travelers who love Japanese aesthetics and contemporary design. We are invited to suspend ordinary life, at tatami height like in Ozu’s films.
What is the hotel like?
Stone steps guide you to a three-hectare “secret garden,” an exclusive landscape known only to Japan and Aman Kyoto. The heart of the hotel is the Living Pavilion—a central space for the lobby, restaurant, bar, and cultural gatherings. Adorned with handmade panels, ceramic tiles, and a soothing neutral color palette, it creates a serene atmosphere.
The dimensions are impressive, and nature’s views are breathtaking. Amid lush greenery, six pavilions adorned with dark wooden slats exude simplicity and precise angles. Surprisingly minimalist, they seem embraced by foliage. The welcome is a historical journey—smiles, bows, and a Japanese tradition’s formal touch.
What about the rooms?
The 24 Suites and 2 2-bedroom pavilions offer lush solitude, absolute privacy from every viewing angle, and reverential silence. The exteriors echo the machiyas, blackened wooden townhouses of old Kyoto; the interior of the ryokans is spacious and bright. The floor, covered with fine tatami, reinforces the link with nature which is displayed through large bay windows. Everything is hidden behind sliding partitions, washi paper screens, and large shōji—a harmony of greiges, beiges, grays, blacks, and yellows.
Glazed raku tiles, an antique jar adorned with ikebana, and Wabi-Sabi-inspired ceramics grace Aman Kyoto. A tokonoma displays artifacts, and cypress wood Ofuro bathtubs, taking half an hour to fill, emit a divine fragrance. The Aman aesthetic shines, seamlessly blending traditional Japanese elements with modern comforts.
Which room to book?
For isolation as close as possible to nature, the Washigamine pavilion. Designed like a real apartment, it is the most isolated flagship of Aman Kyoto: 240 m², with 2 bedrooms and views extending to Mount Hiei in the distance. It occupies the highest part of the property.
What makes the difference?
Aman Kyoto celebrates, in a contemporary version, the beauty of unspoiled nature, the sense of welcome, and the ancestral know-how of the ancient Japanese capital. Respecting the topography of the place and the original plans of a museum, the pavilions are set in a park of cedars, cherry trees, and maples, crisscrossed by streams and mossy stone paths.
How to get there?
Aman Kyoto is a two-hour drive or 90 minutes by express train from Kansai International Airport. Aman Kyoto is about a 30-minute drive from Kyoto Station.
What you need to know
Aman Kyoto embodies the essence of Japanese living—a masterpiece in a northern forest, where luxury soothes the mind. It encapsulates the art of sophistication, well-being, and inner peace.
5 things to love about Aman Kyoto
- Onsens, these thermal water baths are drawn from deep within. Once the preserve of Shinto monks, diving there is a contemplative experience. We purify our body at the same time as our mind. Aman Kyoto has its onsen (indoor and outdoor), fed by a natural hot spring that irrigates the property. A contemporary version adds a range of treatments based on green tea, black beans, sake, camellia oil…
- To complete the experience, Aman Kyoto has two restaurants that rival the best Omakase in Kyoto, the stronghold of Japanese gastronomy. Taka-An gives pride of place to the tradition of kaiseki ryôri. The dishes follow one another, like a kabuki play. Everyone celebrates the surrounding products. The Living Pavilion focuses on obanzai cuisine, a Kyoto specialty: vegetables, seafood, and game prepared simply. Breakfast is another journey: miso soup, rice, and marinated vegetables, grilled fish, nattō (fermented soybeans), served with hojicha, green and roasted tea.
- Sweetness of shimizu, richness of kawane, steamed fukamushi… The first harvest tea, shincha, is infused drip by drop, and the matcha is whipped. The tea ceremony is not a simple preparation, it is about reaching, on a tatami, the sphere of spirituality.
- For an even more complete experience, the Aman Kyoto offers à la carte experiences: try the bike ride to a temple dating from the 16th century totally privatized for the hotel. What follows is an exceptional visit with the owner who reveals all the secrets of the original animal paintings on the paper partitions. The excursion ends on the tatami with a tea ceremony overlooking the Zen gardens, in the purest local tradition. Unique and exclusive.
- Set off to new heights on an electric bike (provided by the hotel) with a dedicated guide: visit some of the city’s 140 historic temples, watch Kyoto residents go about their daily lives, taste some grilled moshi , spend the afternoon with a geiko or maiko (apprentice geiko). Kyoto was home to Japan’s emperors for over ten centuries and here the magnificence of yesteryear is still palpable.
24 Suites and 2 2-bedroom Pavilions.
From €3,500 per night in a room for 2 people.
〒603-8481 Kyoto, Kita Ward, Okitayamawashiminecho, １ 1 Okitayama Washimine-Cho １