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Banyan Tree debuts into Japan with its first property in Kyoto

Banyan Tree

nyan Tree Higashiyama Kyoto to open in Q3 2024, featuring 52 rooms, a Noh stage, hot spring, and sustainable practices. Located in Kyoto’s Higashiyama district near Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

Banyan Group announces the opening of Banyan Tree Higashiyama Kyoto in the third quarter of 2024, which marks the debut of the Banyan Tree brand in Japan. Located in the historic Higashiyama Ward of Kyoto City, Banyan Tree Higashiyama Kyoto will feature 52 guestrooms, the signature Banyan Tree Spa and two distinctive dining experiences.

Location and Heritage

Banyan Tree Higashiyama Kyoto stands on the former site of the esteemed Hotel Ryozen, nestled in Kyoto’s renowned Higashiyama district, home to attractions such as Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Kodai-ji Temple. The site boasts the rare Higashiyama Onsen hot spring, making it a cherished retreat for many. Redeveloping this property aligns with Banyan Tree Group’s commitment to preserving cultural heritage and sustainability for future generations.

The Only Hotel with a Noh Stage in Kyoto

The sacred Ryozen area within Higashiyama mountain has long served as a boundary between the town and the mountains of Kyoto, with Otani Sobyo Mausoleum to the north and the area called Toribeno to the south. This area symbolises the transition between the world and the afterlife. Nohgaku, a traditional Japanese performing art featuring supernatural themes such as ghosts and gods, has been performed continuously for around 650 years since the Muromachi period and was designated a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2008. The Noh stage, comprising the “main stage” and “Kagami no Ma,” represents two worlds, with the “Hashigakari” acting as a bridge between them.

Banyan Tree Higashiyama Kyoto has constructed a unique Noh stage on its premises to reflect this boundary nature. Designed by renowned architect Kengo Kuma, this is the only Noh stage in a Kyoto hotel. The design of the rafters creates a Noh stage that embodies both presence and ephemerality, blending seamlessly with the natural surroundings of Higashiyama. The elegant stage serves as a venue for traditional Nohgaku, contemporary art performances, and musical events, offering guests an unforgettable cultural experience.

Sanctuary for the Senses

Designed by Yukio Hashimoto, the hotel’s 52 guestrooms draw inspiration from the concept of “yūgen” (mysterious, quiet beauty) and the famous phrase “Hisureba Hana” from the Noh theory bible “Fushikaden.” This phrase, which translates to “hidden beauty revealed,” captures the surprise and excitement guests will feel upon entering their rooms, as they are moved by elements that surpass their imagination. Each room features traditional Japanese materials, including large cypress wood bathtubs, tatami mats, natural wood elements, and gold leaf accents, engaging all five senses and providing a serene sanctuary.

Commitment to Sustainability

Banyan Tree Higashiyama Kyoto harmonises with its natural surroundings through three distinctive gardens and a bamboo grove, offering a unique landscape experience. The hotel’s sustainable practices include preserving and reinforcing the historic stone walls from Hotel Ryozen, cultivating moss for the stone walls during construction, and maintaining existing symbolic trees and the bamboo grove.

The award-winning Banyan Tree Spa will also be crafting a unique Kyoto-specific treatments that promises guests distinctive ways to unwind and explore. Additionally, guests can look forward to two unique dining experiences that highlight the rich culinary heritage of Kyoto. Special ‘Opening Offer’ is available for stay starting from 26 July 2024.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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