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Four Seasons Kyoto: The Ultimate New Luxury Hotel in Japan

A hotel review of the Four Seasons Kyoto. With design blending modern and traditional Japanese, it's earned our vote for the best new luxury hotel in Japan!

A luxurious sanctuary imbued with the essence of the 800-year-old pond garden at its heart, the Four Seasons Kyoto harmonizes a traditional Japanese past with a cutting edge modern design. Transporting us into a world of grandeur and tranquility with its hypnotizing garden, upscale dining options, immaculate indoor pool and spa facilities, and delicate yet majestic design, our stay at the brand new Four Seasons Kyoto hotel provided a unique escape into a natural and modern serenity that makes it the ultimate new luxury hotel in Japan.

Check out our experience at the Four Seasons Kyoto hotel in the video below!

Four Seasons Kyoto: The Ultimate New Luxury Hotel in Japan

Set in the historic capital of Kyoto in the Higashiyama District, the Four Seasons Kyoto reflects the natural and cultural glory of its surroundings in a space of refined elegance. Light-filled rooms and lofty windows engage with the beauty of its 12th-century Shakusuien pond garden. Sleek designs and Japanese motifs hail to the historic tranquility of the ancient Japanese city. A rejuvenating spa and indoor pool matched with exquisite hospitality welcome guests to an exclusive retreat. And while the recent Four Seasons Kyoto opening date of October 2016 ensures state-of-the-art design, its location in the cultural epicenter of Kyoto helps to marry modernity with Japanese tradition. During our stay, we were even lucky enough to catch the Maiko performance in the Four Seasons lobby. In fact, each detail of this new luxury hotel in Japan converses to create a sleek and sophisticated oasis.


Maiko Performance (Geisha Dance) at the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto Lobby


These photographs were all taken on our Canon 80D. Make sure to check out our essential cameras for every traveler guide for more info.


Spacious Luxury Hotel Kyoto Rooms

The soft glow of the morning sun filters in from the garden, the gentle ripples from its pond hinting at the forty five koi fish swimming beneath its surface. From a cloud of plush Four Seasons Japan pillows we emerge, slipping out from beneath the soft comforter to start our day with a press of the espresso machine provided in our Four Seasons Kyoto Premier Garden View Room. The thick terry bathrobes of the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto make the perfect wardrobe for lounging on our personal sofa sipping espresso or green tea while Ben’s hands glide over his laptop keyboard on the marble-topped desk. Lounging freely in our spacious Four Seasons Kyoto room, we are perched in the ultimate lap of luxury.

Four Seasons Kyoto Hotel is our favorite luxury hotel in Japan

The room of this top luxury hotel in Japan mimics the ancient city, with a hall that represents the Kyoto streets framed by shoji panels and local artisan-made fusuma screens. The Hosoo-woven silk brocade of our Four Seasons Kyoto guestroom cushions boasts the same elaborate artistry Hosoo uses for its Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Dior textiles, their elegant plum color popping majestically against the room’s soft natural tones. A customized iPad reads my name, resting within arm’s reach from where I sleep should I need anything from the front desk at any time. A butler’s closet graces us upon walking into the room, where anything we request will be left for us to come home to, such as laundry, newspaper, or shoeshine. Of all the Kyoto luxury hotels, the Four Seasons Kyoto reaches closest to divinity, as beautiful as it is conceptual, as comfortable as it is transportive.

Find more information about the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto guestrooms at this luxury hotel in Japan.


Lounging at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto Japan

Embodying the Essence of Nature

The Four Seasons Kyoto speaks to the heart of Japanese values. The bewildering beauty of Japan’s nature awaits visitors immediately upon entering the Kyoto Four Seasons Hotel lobby—large windows with bamboo patterns exalt the verdant setting, illuminating the space with the essence of the magical koi fish pond garden. There’s no doubt this pond garden forms the main reason this Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto tops our list of the best Kyoto hotels. In fact, it was this legendary ikeniwa garden that most inspired the Singaporian designer for the Four Seasons Kyoto when conceptualizing this luxury hotel in Japan.


View of the Ikeniwa Pond Garden at our Four Seasons Kyoto Premier Garden View Room in Japan

Click on the photo above for the cheapest Four Seasons Kyoto rooms


The Magic of the Shakusuien Pond Garden

This is no ordinary pond. Legend has it that the 800-year-old ikeniwa now central to the Kyoto Four Seasons Hotel once existed in the villa of Lord Komatsu, the eldest son of a famous 12th-century samurai. Known by the name of Shakusuien, this pond garden in the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto has inspired epic poets, and has even been compared to the “Island of Immortals” in Japanese mythology.

Shakusuien Pond Garden at Four Seasons Kyoto

Indeed, the magic of the Shakusuien pond garden exists beyond legend. In fact, this historic pond is one of the very few remaining gardens leftover from the fall of Imperial Japan. This very pond, once inspiring poets and myth retellers, now inspires guests every day with its grandeur and natural extravagance, putting the Four Seasons Kyoto at the top of the list of the best hotels in Kyoto, if not the best hotels in Japan.

Four Seasons Kyoto Premier Room with Garden View

Modern Meets Traditional

What concept for the Four Seasons Kyoto makes it the best new luxury hotel in Japan? Modern design with Japanese essence. It is this design concept that the Hirsch Bedner Associates Singapore design company artfully interpreted into the Four Seasons Kyoto, blending refined, modern aesthetics with the creations of Japanese artisans. Sleek wooden floors, in-mirror bathroom TVs, remote-controlled drapes, angular light fixtures, and bathtub and shower combos deigned to be made into your own personal steam room speak to washi-paper lamps, fusuma screens, silk brocade, Kaikado tea canisters and urushi lacquerware in a beautiful conversation in which modern meets traditional Japan. It is both deluxe and sophisticated, embodying the elements of traditional Japan and the historic city around it in a modern frame.


The Secret to Cheap Flights


We’re not the only ones who think the exquisite design of the Kyoto Four Seasons Hotel makes it one of the best Kyoto luxury hotels—Hospitality Design Magazine recently awarded the Four Seasons Kyoto two prestigious awards for their immaculate upscale guestrooms, and their stunning spa.
Indoor Pool and Four Seasons Spa at the best Luxury Hotel in Japan


Four Seasons Spa, Pool, and Fitness Center

The immaculately-designed guestrooms aren’t the only place of solace to be found at the Four Seasons Kyoto hotel. The HBA-designed Four Seasons Spa also reflects the essence of the Shakusuien pond garden, a marriage of mind and body inspired by the Enso Circle motion.


Lounging at the pool cabanas at the Four Seasons Kyoto Hotel, one of the best luxury hotels in Kyoto

The indoor pool, partnered with twin whirlpool jacuzzis, brings in the natural elements with stone details and soft wood in-pool loungers. Cushioned cabanas frame the swimming area, designed to emulate Japanese tea house pavilions. We take a dip in the pool while sipping on the provided juices, teas, and fruit detox water, making our way to the sauna or relaxation room for the ultimate taste of tranquility.

Indoor Pool and whirpool jacuzzi at the Four Seasons Kyoto Hotel, the best new luxury hotel in Japan

In addition to the Four Seasons spa and indoor pool, the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto also provides a 24-hour fitness center with state-of-the-art exercise equipment.

Learn more about the Four Seasons spa, indoor pool, and fitness center at this luxury hotel in Japan.

Indoor Pool Cabanas at the Four Seasons Kyoto Hotel, the best luxury hotel in Japan travel


Dining Options at Four Seasons Kyoto

The four dining venues of the Four Seasons Kyoto offer epicurian delights ranging from modern cuisine to traditional offerings. Across the glass bridge and nestled in the manicured pond garden is the traditional Shakusui-tei teahouse, serving Japanese teas during the day, fine sake and top-notch Champagne by moonlight. The Four Seasons Kyoto teahouse also offers tea ceremony lessons. The Lounge serves up silky coffee drinks, teas, and baked goods with a glorious garden view. To satisfy your tastebuds further, the Four Seasons Kyoto offers the modern Brasserie indoors or on the outdoor terrace, or the exclusive Ed0-style Sushi Wakon, helping to firmly establish itself as a top luxury hotel in Japan.

Find more information about the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto dining options.

Green Tea at Kyoto Four Seasons Hotel

Learn how to rent kimono in Kyoto, Japan!

Set in Temple District

Its location further distinguishes the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto among the best Kyoto luxury hotels. Set in the Higashiyama District, one of Kyoto’s best-preserved historic areas, this top luxury hotel in Japan immerses guests in centuries of traditional Kyoto while still easily accessible to the downtown area. The temple district within which Four Seasons Kyoto exists evokes  the purest feeling of the imperial capital, with such attractions as Kiyomizudera and Yasaka Shrine just steps away from the hotel. The Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto is also located near the Myoho-In Temple, Sanjusangendo Temple, Kyoto National Museum, Sannen-zaka District, Gion Geisha District, Ginkaku-ji Temple, and Philosopher’s Walk, making for a perfect starting point for exploring this Japanese cultural mecca.

Loving the Hotel Four Seasons Kyoto Lobby Design by HBA


Customized Kyoto Travel Itineraries

Within a city so perfectly preserved, boasting an array of palaces, over a thousand Buddhist temples, hundreds of shrines, an astonishing seventeen World Heritage Site, and impeccable gardens, this Four Seasons Kyoto places you within reach to a world of Japanese culture. To take full advantage of this city’s glory, the Kyoto Four Seasons Hotel’s hospitality reaches above and beyond, offering guests uniquely customized services to explore Kyoto in their own special way.


Arrange a Japanese Geisha Makeover in Kyoto, Japan!


Guests are able to access an expert Experience Manager at the Four Seasons Kyoto hotel who can personally customize itineraries and activities to suit each unique personality. These Kyoto travel activities can include anything from tea ceremonies, monko ceremonies, Japanese garden tours, pottery classes sake tastings, antique shopping, or zen meditation. If you’re looking for something more immersive, the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto can also arrange maiko and geiko ozashiki asobi experiences, jinrikisha (rickshaw) city tours, Hozu-gawa river boat tours, or even Japanese cultural classes. However you wish to craft your itinerary, the expert minds at the Four Seasons Kyoto will help guide you with absolute flair and finesse.

Staying at the Four Seasons Japan

To make your own Four Seasons reservations, we recommend checking on for the best Four Seasons Kyoto hotel deals. Insider Tip: be sure to also check the Four Seasons special offer section to find some wonderful Japan hotel deals!

The Four Seasons Kyoto website also offers helpful directions and maps to find this Four Seasons Japan location.

Four Seasons Kyoto Hotel, our pick for the best new luxury hotel in Japan

Disclosure: This post is a collaboration with the Four Seasons Kyoto, but as always, all opinions are very much our own!


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A hotel review of the Four Seasons Kyoto. With design blending modern and traditional Japanese, it's earned our vote for the best new luxury hotel in Japan! A hotel review of the Four Seasons Kyoto. With design blending modern and traditional Japanese, it's earned our vote for the best new luxury hotel in Japan!


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  • Reply
    Sheree Whatley
    August 6, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    Looks fabulous and I’ve made a note for my next trip to Japan.

  • Reply
    Television of Nomads
    January 4, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    […] Four Seasons Kyoto: The Ultimate New Luxury Hotel in Japan […]

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