Editors' Picks

Four Seasons Kyoto

Sleek, serene, luxurious

445 3 Myohoin Maekawa Cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0932

81 75 541 8288

See Website

At a Glance

Located a short drive from downtown Kyoto, the Four Seasons is a luxurious property that balances modern comforts with a distinctly Japanese aesthetic.

Indagare Loves

  • The views from the guest rooms of the 800-year-old Shakusuien Pond Garden, with its Japanese maples and tea house.
  • Breakfast on the terrace overlooking the water.
  • The stunning and peaceful indoor pool, lined with lounge chairs and cabanas.
  • The boutique ambiance with snap-to-it service and excellent amenities.


Removed from the center of Kyoto and located in the temple district at the foot of the Higashiyama Mountains, the Four Seasons Kyoto was constructed around the lovely 800-year-old Shakusuien Pond Garden. In the morning, guests can sit out on the terrace overlooking the calm water reflecting Japanese maples and, in the afternoon, they can enjoy a buzzy atmosphere and cocktails along with a late lunch. An arched bridge leads to a path along the shore to a tea house, and the trees are lit up in the evenings. The result is a harmonious enclave of beauty and serenity in the midst of the city.

The restaurants and grand public spaces were designed to make the most of these natural surroundings. Thirty-foot windows grace the Brasserie, where guests can enjoy such elevated comfort foods as duck confit or bouillabaisse. Upstairs is the more formal Sushi Wakon, helmed by Michelin-starred chef Rei Masuda. There is also a lovely tea house, Shakusui-Tei, where guests can sample delicious Japanese sweets and matcha tea. Other amenities include a 65-foot pool, spa with a whirlpool and sauna and a 24-hour fitness center.

The 110 guest rooms and 13 suites are done in a neutral palette with hardwood accents, washi-paper lamps, leather headboards and such pops of brightness as a purple rug, a color chosen for its imperial connotations. Even the lowest category room is quite spacious and feels more like a junior suite, with a comfortable seating area. Deep soaking tubs, rainfall showers and double sinks grace the bright marble bathrooms. The garden-view rooms are some of the best, as they have floor-to-ceiling plate glass windows that overlook the pond. Throughout the hotel are beautiful finishes, such as hammered pewter and textured glass, wood carved with intricate symmetrical designs and abundant natural light.

Who Should Stay

Couples, families and groups of friends alike will find themselves at home in this oasis-like property with beautiful facilities and top-notch service. Be aware that the Four Seasons is a 20-minute walk from the center of Kyoto.

Written by Eliza Harris

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