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A restored ‘ryokan’ in one of Japan’s most alluring destinations, Sowaka Kyoto elegantly fuses the ancient traditions of a Japanese guesthouse with the modern world. After exploring Kyoto’s unique attractions, the hotel’s serene spaces and Michelin starred La Bombance Gion restaurant let you relax in true Japanese style.

Bedrooms and suites at Sowaka Kyoto are discreetly arranged among green courtyards, with long corridors designed to evoke Kyoto’s alleyways. Traditional ryokan elements such as paper sliding doors are interwoven with modern comforts. Think handmade cedar wood speakers, and cushioned, cashmere mattresses. Every considered detail showcases local customs. Bath amenities are made with Japanese camelia oil, and the hotel’s water is drawn from its own underground spring. The intimate bar is the perfect setting to sample a curated selection of the finest Japanese whisky, sake and shochu.

At Sowaka Kyoto, the ancient capital is on your doorstep, with private tours available to escape the crowds. Take a morning stroll among cherry blossom in the spring, and sample a tea ceremony in Kodaiji Temple. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kiyomizudera Temple for the unforgettable sight of the sun rising over the city’s rooftops. And keep your eyes open for a glimpse of the legendary maiko (geisha in training) as you wander the beautiful streets of Kobu or Shirakawi-dori.

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