Hotel SOWAKA

Enjoy a luxury stay in Gion

By Japan Travel    - 3 min read

Enjoy a luxury getaway at Hotel SOWAKA, tucked away in Kyoto's Gion district just moments away from Yasaka Shrine.

This hotel is converted from a 100-year old ryotei establishment (traditional Japanese restaurant) originally built with the "sukiya" style, based on tea house aesthetics with a modern Japanese style annex.

Entrance to SOWAKA (Photo: Tom Roseveare)
Entrance to SOWAKA (Photo: Tom Roseveare)

Unwind in ultimate luxury

Hotel SOWAKA infuses this 'suki' aesthetic, or 'refined taste', across all 23 rooms in the main building and new annex to provide the ultimate luxury in hospitality.

The main building evokes classic Japanese design, with gorgeous, warm interiors wrapped around an inner courtyard and Japanese garden. Each room offers a uniquely detailed but subtly different space that also showcases Kyoto's local craftsmanship.

108 Garden View Suite (Photo: SOWAKA)
108 Garden View Suite (Photo: SOWAKA)

Meanwhile, the New Annex, officially opened in March 2019, blends elements of modern Japanese design with minimalist touches — it's an exciting proposition that delivers the same luxury ryokan experience complete with picturesque Kyoto views.

Moody lighting in 107 Naguri Wall (Photo: Tom Roseveare)
Moody lighting in 107 Naguri Wall (Photo: Tom Roseveare)

Expect a tranquil, rewarding stay no matter which style appeals to you – each room is immaculately designed to offer supreme comfort to help you fully unwind.

Private onsen bath with Kyoto street views (Photo: Tom Roseveare)
Private onsen bath with Kyoto street views (Photo: Tom Roseveare)

La Bombance Gion

SOWAKA's La Bombance restaurant offers creative, impeccable cuisine enfusing traditional Japanese touches, across lunch, dinner and breakfast.

Western-style breakfast at La Bombance Gion (Photo: Tom Roseveare)
Western-style breakfast at La Bombance Gion (Photo: Tom Roseveare)

This Gion branch follows in the footsteps as a successor to the flagship location in Tokyo's Nishi-Azabu which has been Michelin-starred for ten consecutive years since 2008.

La Bombance Gion (Photo: SOWAKA)
La Bombance Gion (Photo: SOWAKA)

Exploring the area

Hotel SOWAKA's proximity to Yasaka Shrine makes a great destination to explore both day and night. The traditional quarter of Gion is just minutes away – popular with visitors looking to catch a glimpse of Kyoto's authentic geiko/geisha culture, as they hustle along Hanami-koji street between teahouses (ochaya), plying their trade.

The hotel is practically next door to Ishibekoji Alley, with Kodaiji Temple just a 6-minute walk away and Kiyomizudera Temple reachable in 15 minutes.

Yasaka Shrine at night (Photo: Tom Roseveare)
Yasaka Shrine at night (Photo: Tom Roseveare)

Proximity to many of Kyoto's key sites, as well as the authentic stay experience on offer here, makes Hotel SOWAKA an attractive choice to travelers looking to enjoy Kyoto to their hearts' content.

Getting there

SOWAKA can be reached within 20 minutes by train, bus (206) or taxi from Kyoto station. If going by train, board from Shijo Station (Karasuma line) and change at Karasuma Station (Hankyu-Kyoto line) bound for Kawaramachi station. It's a 12-minute walk east to the hotel.

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Elena Lisina 4 months ago
I bet it's quite expensive, but worth it!
Bonson Lam 4 months ago
So atmospheric!
Kim B 4 months ago
Love the traditional + modern design elements!