What kind of hotel is Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel Kyoto?
In mid-September, when the hot summer was coming to an end and signs of autumn could be felt day by day, my husband and I decided to visit Arashiyama in Kyoto for two days and one night on a weekday, as we both happened to have a paid day off. I have never been a fan of Kyoto in the summer because it is hotter than Tokyo, but since it was off-season, Kyoto was quieter than we expected, with fewer tourists than usual.
To get straight to the point, it is the perfect place for people like us who do not want to do too much sightseeing, but want to enjoy the atmosphere of Kyoto and onsens. The hotel was a wonderful blend of history and tradition with modern facilities, combining both the flavor and comfort of Japanese architecture. We especially loved the private outdoor hot spring attached to our room.
As usual, we bought lunch boxes and wine to eat on the Shinkansen at Tokyo Station, boarded the Shinkansen around 12:30 p.m., and arrived at Kyoto Station around 3:00 p.m. Kyoto Station is always crowded, but on this day it was unusually uncrowded and we smoothly transferred to the JR Sanin Honsen Line and arrived at Saga-Arashiyama Station in about 20 minutes. As we passed through the ticket gate, we could see the wonderful blue sky and the mountains of Arashiyama. As we went down the stairs and out the south exit, a rickshaw driver was waiting for us. The rickshaw driver had a plate saying “Suiran”.
The view of the Arashiyama townscape from the rickshaw was impressive and powerful, different from the view on foot. The sun was shining and the temperature was rising, but the breeze was very comfortable as we sat in the rickshaw. After driving through Arashiyama for a while, Hozu River came into view. Turning right at the corner of a coffee shop and continuing along the river, we saw the hotel, where we would be staying for the night. It takes about 15 minutes to get from the station. You can take a free cab from Kyoto Station to the hotel, but we still would recommend taking a rickshaw ride when you visit Kyoto.
After getting off the rickshaw and entering through a massive, magnificent tiled-roof gate, we found a beautiful and wonderful traditional Japanese garden. The solemn atmosphere, the sound of the gracefully flowing the river, and the beautiful green moss and trees in the Japanese garden made us feel as if we were visiting an old nobleman’s mansion.
Then, near the entrance, there was a traditional teahouse. Now it was used as a cafe. After a short distance, we saw another gate with a tiled roof. Passing through the gate, listening to the chirping of cicadas, we saw artistically pruned pine trees on our right, and further down a cobblestone pathway, we came to a beautiful lattice door entrance. Once inside, we found a smaller lobby than expected, with modern decor, paintings, and furniture. A staff member dressed in an elegant kimono guided us to a sofa by the window, which was draped with bamboo screens. The courtyard garden from here was also very well maintained. We were then served matcha kuzumochi and powdered green tea while we completed check-in formalities and were escorted to our room.
This time we stayed in a deluxe twin room with a private hot spring outdoor bath on the second floor. There are a total of 39 rooms, 17 of which have private hot spring outdoor baths. From the lobby, we walked along a corridor in the sukiya style with a view of a beautiful moss box garden, pulled a lattice door at the entrance of the room, and went inside to find a bedroom with twin beds, a brightly colored vermilion table and two chairs by the window, on a tatami mat. On the table were welcome fruits of a pear and a mango. Outside the window, a traditional box garden had been created. We loved the small but quaint setting of the garden. There were maple and nanten trees planted in the box garden, and a traditional mortar was placed under them. The garden was covered with a bamboo fence, but if you looked up for a moment, you could see Mt. Arashiyama and hear the chirping of birds. It was a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Then, on the right side of the room, there was a bathroom, which had the fragrance of handmade yuzu soap. The bathroom did not have an indoor bath, but there was a shower room. Next to the shower room was an outdoor private onsen with a bamboo screen. A nanten tree looked like a painting through the window.
For a while, we sat in the chairs in our room, enjoying the Japanese sweets and tea prepared for us and looking out the window at the box garden. If we listened carefully, we could hear the cicadas chirping again. In the summer season, the sound of cicadas in Tokyo seems to increase the heat, but for some reason, the sound of cicadas in Arashiyama, Kyoto, gave us a feeling of serenity.
Then, since it was already past 5:00 p.m., we decided to go to the teahouse built along the river in the Japanese garden. Here, champagne, white wine, red wine, sake, non-alcoholic beer, juice, dried fruits, black beans, and rice crackers were served free of charge from 17:00 to 19:00.
When we pulled the lattice door and entered the building, we found a wonderful sukiya-style building that had been beautifully renovated, especially the bamboo and Japanese paper lamps built into the ceiling and the elegant alcove called tokonoma. After 5:00 p.m., it was getting cooler, so we decided to sit on a terrace. We have been to the Arashiyama area many times, but the view of Arashiyama and Hozu River from here was very different from anything we have seen before. We were also impressed by the breathtaking view of the beautiful jade green Hozu River and Arashiyama in perfect harmony. We were deeply moved to think that for more than 1,000 years, people in Kyoto, just like us today, have been watching the scenery from this spot and feeling the changing of the seasons.
Then since we had dinner at 6:00 p.m., we went to a restaurant called Kyo-Suiran, located next to the lobby. Once inside the restaurant, which was also in a wonderful sukiya-style architecture, it was as if we had been invited to the residence of an upper class samurai. Large windows overlooked a Japanese garden with artfully pruned red pine and maple trees. After 6:30 p.m., the area began to darken and the Japanese garden was lit up, creating a majestic ambiance that was different from that of the daytime. For dinner, we were served a fusion of French and Kaiseki cuisine. The creative presentation and refined taste of the dishes were all delicious. We were especially impressed with twagyu beef steak dipped in miso paste.
After dinner, we went to see cormorants floating on a bonfire, a summer tradition in Kyoto. Cormorant fishing is a traditional fishing method that has been practiced for more than 1,000 years. Now it is for sightseeing, but tame birds called cormorants are used to catch fish. A staff member guided us to a pier on Hozu River. It was just a few minutes’ walk from the hotel. As we boarded a houseboat called yakatabune, which was decorated with a number of traditional lanterns, a boatman was steering the yakatabune with a single bamboo pole. The cool breeze was very comfortable. It was the first time for us to see a cormorant fishing event so close to the boat, so we were excited. It took about an hour, but it felt like no time at all.
Then, back at the hotel, I decided to enjoy the private outdoor hot spring bath. While soaking in the private onsen, I heard the sounds of bell bugs and korogis. Then I looked up and saw a starry sky. After a while, a cool breeze blew. Autumn may already be around the corner. In summer in Kyoto, it is too hot at night to feel like taking a hot spring bath, but in September, the days are hot, but the nights are relatively cool in Arashiyama. Also, when you check in, you can tell the staff temperature of onsen you want and they will adjust it for you.
The next morning, we woke up around 6:30 a.m. and decided to go for a walk. Arashiyama during the daytime is full of tourists, but we love to take a walk in the early morning because Arashiyama is so quiet and picturesque. We left the hotel and walked along the riverside path in front of the parking lot to Arashiyama Park Observation Deck. It was a beautiful sunny day and the view from the observatory was truly spectacular, with a panoramic view of Hozu River and Arashiyama. Then we walked down from here to Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. This is a famous tourist spot, so it is crowded during the daytime, but there were still few people in the morning. Walking through the beautiful bamboo forest, listening to the chirping of cicadas, I felt as if I had wandered into the world of an old tale. The occasional gentle breeze made the bamboo trees sway, and the rustling of leaves was a pleasant sensation.
After our walk, we had breakfast at the same restaurant where we had dinner yesterday. We were shown to a window-side table. It was a special breakfast with a view of the wonderful Japanese garden. We had a choice of Japanese or Western main dish. We opted for Western-style. Omelets with Kyoto eggs, tomatoes, and avocado, beef stroganoff, lobster soup, freshly baked croissants, etc. were served.
After breakfast, we returned to our room and enjoyed our private outdoor hot spring bath again, checked out before 12:00 pm, had lunch in Arashiyama, returned to Kyoto Station at about 2:00 pm, bought some souvenirs at Isetan in Kyoto Station, boarded the Shinkansen at about 3:00 pm, and arrived at Tokyo Station in the evening.
The only drawback is that it is located in the Arashiyama area, which is about 30 minutes from Kyoto Station by train or car. This location is suitable for people like us who want to enjoy the Arashiyama area and onsens without doing much sightseeing, but not for people who want to visit as many tourist attractions as possible when visiting Kyoto.
Check availability and pricing for the property on Agoda or Trip.com
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Is the location easy to access?
A free one-way shuttle service to the hotel is available. For cabs, please use “MK Taxi Kyōto Sta. Hachijōguchi” located at Hachijo-guchi exit of Kyoto Station. If you have a lot of luggage, a cab may be more convenient.
Alternatively, rickshaws are available from JR Saga Arashiyama station, Arashiyama station on the Randen Line, or Arashiyama station on the Hankyu Line.
To request any of the above, call the hotel at least three days prior to check-in (TEL 075-872-0101) or send an email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Where is the best accommodation for anniversaries in Kyoto?
If you are looking for a good place for a special occasion, the property is one of the best. The staff arranges flowers and cakes to celebrate an anniversary at additional charges if you request in advance.
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Rooms I would recommend?
If you are going to stay here, I would recommend a room with a private onsen. The spring quality was wonderful more than I expected.
How about toiletries & in-room amenities?
All of the amenities are taken care of including enough toiletries, pajamas, bathrobes, yukatas, bottled water, a coffee machine with capsules and a Japanese tea set, etc. There are Plusui skincare products and BYREDOC bath amenities in the bathroom. complimentary coffee is available in the lobby. Room service is available for 24H. Turn-down service is available. Free Wifi reception was good on the property. There is a convenience store nearby.
Then this is child-friendly. Staff provides baby cribs, amenities, and yukatas for small children if you request in advance. Also, there were several activities available for children. The treasure hunt game called Suiran Hunter, which was free of charge, seemed to be especially popular. There was also a souvenir at the end of the game if you participated.
Then, the traditional teahouse called café HASSUI offers “Champagne Delight” between 17:00 and 19:00. *The time of the event may change depending on the season and weather. Complimentary champagne, wine, Japanese sake, dry fruits, Hors d’oeuvres, cakesalé, etc., were available. In particular, from the terrace seats, you can fully enjoy the spectacular view of Hozu River, Arashiyama, and Togetsu Bridge. In the evening, watching the sun gradually set while sipping champagne was the most luxurious time of the day. I would not recommend sitting on the terrace only during the winter season because it is so cold, but you can relax on the terrace during the rest of the year. If possible, you may want to book a table on the terrace when you check in. It seems to be crowded, especially on weekends.
How about In-house Facilities?
There are two private family hot spring baths. They cost 3,500JPY for 45min. Reservations are required at check-in if you wish to use them. They are open from 6:00-12:00, 15:00-24:00, on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no communal bath, club lounge, swimming pool, sauna, etc. There is only a small gym on 2F.
Then there is a spa treatment shop on 3F. It’s open between 15:00 and 22:00. You need to make an appointment in advance if you want to have a treatment service.
Then the hotel is universal design and wheelchairs are available for borrowing. If you bring someone with weak legs, you may want to inform the staff in advance as they can arrange a room near the reception.
Have a nice trip! Welcome to receive any questions about Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel Kyoto from the below space. Check availability and pricing for the property on Agoda or Trip.com
Info about Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel Kyoto
|Style||5-Star Luxury Hotel|
|Check-in and out times
|Estimated Price||80,000 JPY for 2 adults per room|
|Internet Connection||Free Wifi in the hotel|
|Facility Information||Wheelchairs are available
Pets are not allowed
The parking lot is available at 2,000JPY per day
|Location||Suiran, a luxury collection hotel Kyoto’s MAP|
|Access||Refer to the above
|Address and TEL|| 〒616-8385 KyotoUkyō-Ku, Sagatenryūji
Susukinobabachō, 12 Susukinobaba-cho
Tel +81 75-872-0101
|Official Homepage||Suiran, a luxury collection hotel Kyoto’s HP|
*All information above is as of the date that I posted on my blog.
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