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Hotel Kanra, Kyoto

Hotel Kanra, whose name aptly translates to ‘experience Kyoto’, sits in a tranquil neighbourhood close to attractions like the Higashihongan-ji Temple and geisha district of Gion.

The attention to detail in the hotel’s minimalist design is stunning, from the Japanese artwork and subtle motifs to the lighting that changes according to the season and time of day. Guestrooms are a modern take on the ‘Machiya’, traditional wooden townhouses that are particularly prevalent in Kyoto. Authentic features like tatami flooring and sliding doors are complemented by cypress wood bath tubs and modern touches like flat screen TVs. Soft lighting and muted, neutral colours make each room the perfect haven to retreat to after a day’s exploring.

But you could also choose to unwind at the spa, where treatments are inspired by traditional Japanese healing methods. Meals are served in two restaurants, Hanaroku and The Kitchen Kanra, where you can dine on authentic Japanese dishes as well as Italian cuisine prepared using seasonal ingredients. From the hotel, you can make the short walk to Gojo or Kyoto train station, from where you can access all of the major sights of this historic city.  

Hotel Kanra, at a glance

  • Contemporary boutique hotel inspired by authentic Japanese design
  • Centrally located
  • Spacious guestrooms inspired by Machiya, traditional townhouses that utilise timber, stone and iron in their construction
  • Features include wood flooring, deep soaking cypress tubs, tatami mats, futons and traditional Japanese arts and crafts
  • Some rooms also benefit from a small private terrace or courtyard garden
  • Two restaurants, Hanaroku and The Kitchen Kanra, making the most of locally sourced ingredients
  • Charming cafe lounge

For leisure and pleasure

  • 30 minute walk from the famous geisha district of Gion
  • Visit the 17th century Nijo Castle
  • Kanra Spa with four treatment rooms
  • Browse authentic arts and crafts in the hotel’s shop adjoining the cafe
  • Close to both Gojo and Kyoto train stations

  • Gemma took on board all I asked for and arranged a fantastic itinerary. She was always prompt and professional both in planning the holiday and during the very circumstances of Covid. We would not hesitate to come back to The Ultimate Travel Company.

    TS, August 2020