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  2. Hotel and temple in one?! A calming, new style of accommodation. Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Kawaramachi Jokyoji grand opening on Monday, September 28, 2020

Hotel and temple in one?! A calming, new style of accommodation. Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Kawaramachi Jokyoji grand opening on Monday, September 28, 2020

Hotel and temple in one?! A calming, new style of accommodation. Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Kawaramachi Jokyoji grand opening on Monday, September 28, 2020

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DIGISTYLE KYOTO is an online magazine Kyoto-lover writers deliver exciting information on Kyoto, with a twist!

Content Partner

DIGISTYLE KYOTO is an online magazine Kyoto-lover writers deliver exciting information on Kyoto, with a twist!

Hello, Miyamaguchi here. I love the smell of temple incense and have long been visiting temples when I need a bit of peace and quiet.
 
Today, I’m going to introduce something that was a first for me too! A hotel and temple in one.
Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Kawaramachi Jokyoji will open its doors for business on Monday, September 28th. 
Tamonzan Torodo Jokyo-ji Temple just down from Shijo Teramachi was dismantled and rebuilt, integrated with a hotel in a first-ever collaboration!

It’s just like an art gallery! Visually striking from the moment you enter the lobby!

As soon as you step inside, you are met with the smell of incense.
This alone already creates a sense of peace.
And in the lobby, you are greeted by stunning adornments.

And look, they’ve used decorations that were from the old main temple hall.
 
Wooden beam carving
Lion tile
There are lots of other decorations to admire, so be sure to check them out.

Guest rooms with that “temple tranquility”

The guest rooms are spacious and would be the perfect place to relax after a long journey. 

Moderate Twin

The basin in the foreground was designed to remind one of the hand-washing fountain in a temple. 
The room number signs are inspired by the temple’s lanterns, which are an emblem of Jokyo-ji Temple. 
Throughout the building there are vestiges of the temple.

Moderate Queen

The Moderate Queen rooms are available in Japanese style as well as Western style.
This is the perfect option for those who want the full tatami mat experience since they’re in Kyoto.

Truly relax in the large public bath with full measures in place to avoid the three Cs

I love a good soak, so the bath at my destination is very important to me.
Where possible, I stay somewhere with a large public bath to unwind in at the end of the day.
 
And this hotel has one too! 
It’s open from 6 am so guests can enjoy a morning bath.

Only a few of the lockers can be used.
This is to avoid the three Cs of closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings, in order to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, by allowing only a maximum of nine people in the bath at any one time.

A special detection system is activated when a locker is used, indicating how many bathers there are in real time, so guests only have to check their room TV or smartphone to see if they can use the bath!
 
Certainly a welcomed service in these times.


No, that’s not Mt. Fuji adorning the bath, but a Suiboku-style ink painting! 
You could definitely enjoy a nice, relaxing soak here. 

Breakfast in the restaurant run by Sangaono-Isshuan, the famous Fukuoka establishment

Apart from the room and bath, one thing everyone looks forward to on a trip is the food.

This restaurant, Sangaono Kyoto Jokyoji, will be the second venue of Sangaono-Isshuan, a famous Fukuoka gourmet restaurant and inn listed in the MICHELIN Guide.
 
Breakfast is served plate-style with diners offered a choice of four mains: Sanga Chirashi (sushi rice with an array of colorful vegetables toppings), Unagi no Tamagotoji (Japanese-style scrambled eggs with eel), Unagi no Kaburamushi (steamed grated turnip with eel), or Tempura to Taichazuke (tempura and sea bream rice in Japanese soup).
With a breakfast like that, waking up would be a joy.

Diners are also treated to green tea made with water boiled in the restaurant’s large cauldron.
Such wonderful service to start the day.

And you don’t have to be a hotel guest to enjoy this exquisite breakfast!

Plus morning sutra chanting in the main temple hall

On the eastern side of the lobby is a small window.
When you go up to it . . . 
You’ll see the resplendent main temple hall!

When the temple was dismantled, all the Buddhist altar fittings were carefully cleaned, thus creating not just a brand-new building, but also a brand-new temple.

The lanterns I mentioned earlier have also been beautifully restored.

Every morning, you can come to the lobby at 6:40 to join the morning sutra chanting (reservation and extra fees required).
It’s truly amazing that you can have this experience while staying in a hotel instead of a temple lodging!
 

Even so, it makes you wonder just how such an incredible project, the fusion of a hotel and a temple, came about.

So I asked chief priest Koki Mitsuyama. 

“I was actually born and raised in Tokyo and until a few years ago, I worked in a bank.”

What! No way!
 

“The topic of taking over my grandparents’ temple came up, so I became the chief priest, but when I thought about how to deal with its deterioration and upkeep, I thought of the idea of an integrated hotel and temple. So, through the bank, I spoke to Mitsui Fudosan (Mitsui Real Estate) and that led to it becoming a reality.”

 
A surprising idea for a banker used to getting the bang for his buck.
It was a plan combining his temple blood passed down for generations and his businessman know-how.

“All the temple parishioners were understanding and encouraging.”

 

Wow.
Well, this certainly is a prime location for a hotel.
It’s convenient for getting around and is expected to be an up-and-coming area.
With so many temples in Kyoto facing the same issue, I think we may be seeing more initiatives like this.
 
Name:  Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Kawaramachi Jokyoji
Address: 620 Teianmaeno-cho, Teramachi-dori Shijo-sagaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, 600-8031
Telephone: +81-75-354-1131
Access
Approx. 1 minute on foot from Exit 10 of the underground throughway from Shijo Station on the Karasuma Subway Line.
Approx. 1 minute on foot from Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu-Kyoto Line (about 80 meters from Exit 10)
Approx. 7 minutes on foot from Gion-Shijo Station on the Keihan Main Line (about 550 meters from Exit 3)
No parking available
 

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DIGISTYLE KYOTO is an online magazine Kyoto-lover writers deliver exciting information on Kyoto, with a twist!

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