An 800-year-old “ikeniwa” pond garden adds serenity to your Kyoto stay
Set amid ancient temples and shrines to the east of the center of the city, the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto wraps around an 800-year-old “ikeniwa” pond garden that incorporates carefully sited rocks, pools, stands of bamboo and lanterns. It is a riot of color in the spring but is arguably best experienced in the fall, as the foliage takes on hues of deep red and orange, framing the teahouse built partly over the tranquil pond. The hotel has just 110 rooms and 13 suites, heightening the sense of individuality. Rooms are spacious and bright and embody traditional, minimalist Japanese design, with clean lines and no clutter. For a real connection with the peace and serenity of the location, choose a room overlooking the garden—and spend hours mesmerized by its pure beauty. The property has a popular spa, with the traditional Zen Mind and Spirit treatment designed to lighten the burdens of modern-day stresses with full-body, therapeutic shoulder, neck and head massages. Follow that with a soothing sake bath.
The Four Seasons has three impressive restaurants—ingredients for the meals at Sushi Wakon are flown in daily from Tokyo’s largest fish market and are served on a 200-year-old counter of hinoki wood—while the Shakusui-Tei tea house serves traditional Japanese sweets and matcha tea.