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  • Writer's pictureFaye Bradley

Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto – Review


A hotel review of Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto. All images courtesy of CSP Times.

Nestled in Kyoto, Japan's former imperial capital, the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto offers prime proximity to historic attractions and temples. With impeccable service and luxurious accommodations, it's the perfect retreat after a day of exploration. Here's what you need to know ahead of your stay:


Nestled in the heart of Kyoto’s historic Higashiyama district, the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto effortlessly blends the allure of centuries-old charm with the opulence of contemporary luxury. It's located within a Shakusui-en pond garden, an 800-year-old marvel once owned by a samurai family.

Its enviable location places guests within a leisurely stroll of cultural gems like the UNESCO-designated Kiyomizu-dera Temple and the bustling Kawaramachi district, offering a perfect retreat for travellers eager to steep themselves in Kyoto’s many cultural offerings. With a seamless 90-minute drive from Kansai International Airport – or a 60-minute train ride from Osaka's Kansai International Airport – accessibility is matched only by the hotel’s commitment to preserving Kyoto’s serene ambiance, ensuring an unforgettable escape into Japan’s ancient capital.


Boasting a total of 180 meticulously curated rooms and suites, including 48 interconnecting options tailored for families, each space offers breathtaking vistas of either the storied Shakusui-en garden or the picturesque Higashiyama mountains. Our Premier Room was spacious, featuring exquisite details such as washi-paper lamps and traditional fusuma screens. Whether overlooking the garden, courtyard, or cityscape, every room and suite is thoughtfully appointed with locally inspired artworks and bespoke furnishings, creating an ambiance that effortlessly bridges past and present.

Ideal for both business and leisure travellers, the accommodations boast zen-like marble bathrooms and, in the case of the residential suites, private kitchens that enhance the feeling of a luxurious home away from home. This harmonious blend of modern comforts and traditional elegance ensures a stay that is not only indulgent but also deeply rooted in the cultural essence of Kyoto.


The hotel’s crown jewel, the Shakusui-en pond garden, serves as both a scenic backdrop and a cultural touchstone, offering guests a serene environment to unwind amidst Kyoto’s bustling energy. For those seeking rejuvenation, the hotel’s spa, inspired by Shakusui-en, offers a sanctuary of relaxation with treatments using locally sourced ingredients like Kyoto green tea and sake. The comprehensive wellness offerings extend to a state-of-the-art fitness center, a 20-metre indoor pool, and bespoke wellness activities such as private yoga sessions and forest bathing. There is also a wedding chapel for couples looking to tie the knot.


EMBA KYOTO CHOPHOUSE, helmed by acclaimed Chef Sebastian Barcudes, showcases a menu inspired by premium cuts of steak and fresh seafood, complemented by an elegant ambiance designed by Kokai Studios. For a more casual experience, The Lounge & Bar offers a selection of specialty coffees, afternoon teas, and seasonal cocktails, perfect for both relaxing afternoons and intimate gatherings.

Fuju, the Tea House Lounge, sits beside the pond garden, where guests can savour traditional Japanese teas and sake under the soft glow of lanterns.

Things to Do

At the hotel, guests can partake in traditional tea ceremonies at the Shakusui-tei Pavilion, witness mesmerising Maiko dance performances, or indulge in Zen meditation sessions. For culinary enthusiasts, Japanese cooking classes and sake tastings provide immersive glimpses into Kyoto’s gastronomic heritage. Families are not forgotten, with activities such as Koi fish feeding and DIY Pizza Feasts ensuring that younger guests are equally enthralled by their Kyoto experience.


The Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto offers a cultural gateway to Japan’s ancient capital. Its blend of contemporary sophistication and reverence for tradition is evident in every detail, from its serene setting around the Shakusui-en pond garden to its meticulously curated dining experiences and wellness offerings. Whether seeking moments of quiet contemplation amidst historic temples or vibrant encounters with Kyoto’s living traditions, Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto promises an unforgettable sojourn that embodies the essence of Japanese hospitality.

Location: 445-3 Myohoin Maekawacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0932, Japan | Phone: +81 75-541-8288 | Instagram: @fskyoto | Facebook: Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto


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