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Personalised Hospitality: Kyomachiya Hotel Shiki Juraku, Kyoto


Kyoto has always been up there as one of my favourite cities, and I’ve been fortunate enough to return a couple of times recently for client projects. This time around I was able to check out a hotel that comes highly regarded by many.

Located in a quiet residential area west of Kyoto Imperial Palace and walking distance from Nijo Castle, Kyomachiya Hotel Shiki Juraku is the result of the renovation of ten 100 year old machiya (町屋) townhouses. In ancient Japan, ‘Raku’ refers to a special space that guarantees people their freedom. ‘Ju-raku’, (meaning ten), offers ten spaces designed to help guests escape from the stresses of daily life. Creative director Shigeo Goto has closely overseen the hotel’s evolution since its opening in 2016, considering every detail from staff uniforms and interior finishes and even to the hotel’s own brand drip coffee.

Each of the ten unique rooms has been inspired by one of Shiki Juraku’s ten brand pillars of taste, beauty, design, space, graphics, flowers, garden, body, equipment and reading – individually imagined by one of ten creative minds carefully selected by Shiki Juraku to bring the concept to life. The result is a personalised and intimate experience that differs from the traditional luxury you might expect from ryokan-style hospitality. All guest rooms include a mezzanine level, creating double height spaces influenced by traditional Japan, alongside contemporary design elements such as mid-century furniture and abstract artworks.

The rich Kyoto aesthetic continues into the bathrooms, where bespoke fittings seem to effortlessly blend in with greenery and natural materials both inside and out. All rooms are connected via the central courtyard and link up to the cosy restaurant fitted with a minimal Japanese garden. Here Shiki Juraku serves up its own roasted coffee, set menus and the best Japanese whiskey around.

Find out more via shikijuraku.com
Photography by Ben Richards

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