In a country as profoundly filled with juxtaposition of opposites as Japan, it can be most difficult in choosing accommodations. In Kyoto, Japan’s former capital, the choice is made definitively easy by the proprietors of Hiragiya Ryokan, a two centuries old luxury guest house. When visiting such ancient cultures, one would not savor the true essence of native life without immersing in local traditions. Hiragiya Ryokan brings guests a most unforgettable experience that harmonizes ancient character with modern amenities.
Guest suites are traditionally Japanese, with tatami mats, sliding doors, wooden tubs and lush gardens. Though keeping with the minimalist interiors we’ve come to expect and love from Japanese design, Hiragiya is by far anything but run of the mill or casual. Luxury comes in fine details of soft silks, fresh flower buds, exquisite and traditional Kaiseki meals served in lacquered Japanese ceramics, (breakfast and dinner are included in the nightly room price), calligraphy paintings on the walls and freshly brewed green tea like you’ve never tasted before.
Service is impeccable but you would expect nothing less from a staff whose members have worked at the Ryokan for several decades. They are attentive to your every like and dislike, passionate about their inn and city and graciously charming. Hiragiya certainly achieves its goal of making guests feel very much at home, but in a most gracious, humble manner. It’s hard to say whether the subtly outstanding cuisine, the genuine warmth of the staff, the gentle swaying of leaves against the backdrop of trickling water or the overall experience of Hiragiya and Kyoto will bring you back. But make no mistake about it, you will be back.