Kyoto Hatoya Hotel is an upscale Japanese style five storey hotel, conveniently located just five minutes walk from Kyoto Station’s north central exit.
This is a modern, comfortable hotel, but don’t let that modern exterior fool you, because the interior style is pure traditional elegance. Throughout, the building is tastefully decorated with art by distinguished local artists. These include paintings of traditional Japanese motifs and other artworks in traditional washi paper. On your arrival you will immediately notice a beautiful washi paper tapestry over the reception counter by the artist Eriko Horiki. Sites and attractions close by the hotel include Kyoto Tower, Higashi Honganji Temple and Umekoji Koen Park.
Kyoto Hatoya Hotel has 102 guest rooms, half of which are Japanese style. These guest rooms come in a range of sizes and layouts. All rooms come with a private toilet and bath, but you can choose between rooms with an en suite western style bathroom or a Japanese hot spring style bathroom.
Every room is also supplied with a refrigerator, a hairdryer, an electric kettle, an LCD TV, a full set of towels and toiletries, and yukata or light cotton kimonos for night wear. High speed internet can be accessed in all rooms by LAN or by WiFi. You can also access the internet from the computer in the hotel lobby.
You can reserve various plans for your stay that include breakfast, breakfast and dinner, or no meals at all if you prefer to eat out. The hotel serves only Japanese cuisine, and while they try to accommodate special dietary needs you should consult with them in advance to see if they can prepare a menu suitable for you.
Hotel facilities include a traditional Japanese tea room, a café, a bar, a restaurant, a hot spring spa, a self-service laundry room and a gift shop selling various local souvenirs. Some hotel staff can speak English, and so should be able to help you with any enquiries. Let’s take a closer look at some of those facilities.
The Hot Spring Spa
On the eighth floor of the hotel are shared hot spring baths which are separated by gender. This is a special feature of this hotel. Water for the baths is drawn up from a private natural spring deep beneath the hotel. Minerals in this water are said to be good for stiff or painful joints and muscles, digestive problems and recovery from fatigue. The baths are decorated with graceful wall paintings by local artist Hideki Kimura. While soaking in these mineral waters you can enjoy both these artworks and a fantastic panoramic view over the city and the mountains that encircle it. The baths are open from 6:30 – 9:30 and 15:00 – 24:00. Massages are also available from 16:00 to 1:00 am.
The Hotel Restaurant
Restaurant Eijyuan specializes in various types of traditional Japanese cuisine but the menu is especially influenced by Kyoto’s three most famous styles of cuisine: kaiseki ryori, shojin ryori and obanzai. Kaiseki ryori is Kyoto’s highest grade cuisine: delicately prepared and artistically presented exquisite dishes that are as beautiful to the eye as they are good to taste. Shojin ryori is originally a Zen Buddhist style of cooking that creatively utilizes vegetables, mushrooms and tofu in mouth-watering and nutritious combinations. Obanzai are typical Kyoto home style seasonal side dishes. The chefs at Restaurant Eijyuan blend the very best aspects of these three styles of cooking, to give you a true taste of Kyoto! The restaurant is popular and seating is limited so booking in advance is recommended. The restaurant will try to meet with special dietary requirements if consulted in advance. Please be advised that the restaurant is completely non-smoking.
The Hotel Bar
The Annie Hall Bar is a recent and welcome addition to the hotel’s facilities. This is a good spot to unwind after a day’s explorations. It is open from 10:00 am till midnight.
The Rooftop Terrace Garden
There is a rooftop garden from which you can view the mountainous landscape that surrounds Kyoto city. This is a supreme vantage point if you are in town on August 16th when dramatic bonfires are lit on five mountains around Kyoto. Finding a spot to view all the bonfires is usually quite difficult, but from this hotel’s rooftop you can clearly see all five mountains!
Services for Wheelchair Users
The hotel has two rooms which are suitable for wheelchair users, with wide entrances, interior handrails and sliding doors for the bathrooms. The restaurant, café and gift shop are also fully wheelchair accessible as are the restrooms on the 1st and 2nd floors. A limited number of wheelchairs are available for guests to use, but should be requested in advance of your stay.
Banquet halls and multi-purpose rooms are also available for parties, business meetings and presentations, or karaoke get-togethers.
All rooms and the hotel restaurant are non-smoking, but there are designated smoking areas in the 1st floor lounge, and on the 2nd, 4th and 7th floors.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.