• Walking from the hotel to the atmospheric geisha district along a canal lined with little bars and restaurants
  • Amazing service, from being addressed by name by the doormen to receiving the best tips and advice on Kyoto and Osaka
  • The attention to detail in the room design, the fusion of up-to-date gadgets and traditional paper screens, bonsai trees and the Japanese fabrics. The bathrooms are also wonderfully spacious and luxurious

In Japan, service is paramount. And, at the Ritz Carlton, the staff address you by name, the rooms are immaculately presented and the dining is among the city’s finest. It’s all wrapped up in Kyoto’s well-heeled Nakagyo Ward where the city’s nobility have gravitated towards since the 1600s. Although Kyoto’s first international hotel, the Ritz Carlton does little to disturb its tranquil setting. Rice paper screens, latticed lacquerwork and colourful fabrics site it among the city’ ancient-capital heritage. Indeed, located on Kamagawa River, it enjoys easy access to the expansive gardens of the Imperial Palace and some of the city’s finest UNESCO-listed sights. There’s everything from Zen garden squares to grand temple complexes.

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In more detail

The Ritz Carlton mixes in plenty of modern luxuries too. There are 600-thread-count sheets on the beds, en suite marble bathrooms and plenty of designer chic throughout. The suites are particularly impressive, hosting private gardens and mountain views. Further innovations can be found in the hotel’s four restaurants, ranging between intimate sushi counters and kaiseki banquets – a dining style invented in Kyoto itself where the finest local ingredients are showcased in successive degustation courses. Additional indulgence can be found in the teppinyaki dining room where wagyu steaks are prepared at your very table. For more familiar tastes, La Locanda serves up traditional Italian cuisine in a wood-panelled townhouse.

And, to match the range of dining options, there’s a full spread of facilities available. Return from days spent wandering Kyoto’s bamboo groves and World Heritage temples to spa treatments, pool soaks and a delightful candle-lit bar. Something of a Kyoto institution, it’s the ideal place to enjoy a cocktail nightcap.


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Suggested itineraries

Sensoji Temple, Tokyo in Japan

Imperial Palaces & the Japanese Alps

16 days from £14,730 pp incl. flights

A more in-depth insight into Japan: ryokan inns, be led by a geisha around Kyoto, and ride the bullet train to learn about Hiroshima. From samurai cities to scenic farmhouse villages, this holiday showcases Japan's finest sights

Get in touch and let a personal travel consultant help book your bespoke holiday


Get in touch and let a personal travel consultant help book your bespoke holiday