Out of respect for the history of Muromachi-dori, Hiramatsu asked renowned Kyoto architects Nakamura Sotoji Komuten to supervise the transformation of the former machiya. The house was once a drapers’ premises, and the façade preserves and restores the appearance of the omoteya, the shop part of the building, with window lattices in the traditional itoya-goshi (draper’s lattices) style of the Edo period. Now reborn as a hotel, the house blends in perfectly with the townscape of Muromachi-dori.
Through the entrance is the omoteya, which looks onto the Pine Tree Garden. This was where the drapers used to conduct their business. The ridge beam of the ceiling is inscribed “Meiji Year 32” – the date the house was built. Beyond the omoteya is the hashiriniwa, a passageway characteristic of machiya architecture, leading all the way to the back garden. It was once used as a kitchen, but is now the way to the elevator to the guest rooms and the kura storehouse.
The spacious 28-seat dining room offers a choice of table and sofa places. The high ceiling still features the original exposed beams of the machiya, and the ambiance that comes from traditional craftsmanship and 120 years of history blends perfectly with the contemporary style of chairs by Danish designer J.L. Mollers and artworks by Shiro Tsujimura. The garden through the big window is a little piece of Kyoto’s natural surroundings. Relax and enjoy beautiful moments in this very special space.
The Bamboo Garden is based on the theme of “Light” and features keiseki landscape stones and a well-head made of Shirakawaishi stone that were found on site. The hotel’s staff water the garden every day, caring for the beautiful moss. In recreating the life and aesthetics of a Kyoto machiya townhouse, we felt it was important to incorporate gardens that would bring the soothing effects of nature into the house. The kura storehouse, which is thought to be older than the omoteya and the main building was dismantled and rebuilt for strength. The original doors and metal fittings, and some of the original roof tiles were preserved.