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Kyo-machiya Hotel Shiki Juraku

A 100-year Old Traditional Japanese Machiya Townhouse-Turned Contemporary Design Stay

Shiki Juraku entrance with front gate designed by Tsuyoshi Tane. Photo: Yuna Yagi

Japan’s old capital Kyoto is rich with tradition and history. Walking through their central streets find machiya (traditional Japanese wooden townhouse) perfectly preserved, with many now converted into contemporary residences or overnight stays.

Such is the new Kyo-machiya Shiki Juraku, as a 100-year-old traditional machiya townhouse-turned contemporary overnight stay. Working with 10 curated creatives to transform the space, Ju-no-raku meaning Ten Delights.

Shiki Juraku alleyway, Kyoto. Photo: Yuna Yagi
Shiki Juraku's Room 10 tatami entrance, Kyoto. Photo: Yuna Yagi

Working from an original renovation design by Uoya Shigenori Architecture Company, the space was transformed by Shiki Juraku’s 10 creatives as a new approach to contemporary and conscious luxury. Here, it’s all about the details from washi paper sliding doors and exceptionally curated books (helmed by Mitsumura Suiko-Shoin) on display which all add to the extraordinary atmosphere. Here, find Shigemori Mirei’s Aristic Garden Design published by Mitsumura Suiko-Shoin, to Bamboo Masterworks (selected by Shiki Juraku).

In Shiki Juraku find the ikebana displays and seasonal wildflowers provided by Hayato Nishiyama (of Mitate flower store), alongside photographer Taisuke Koyama’s colour photographs in each room (selected by Shiki Juraku’s creative director and renowned photo gallerist Shigeo Goto of G/P Gallery). With a spectacular front gate and Juraku salon dining area, both designed by architect Tsuyoshi Tane, the grand sense of nature was coordinated through “plant hunter” Seijun Nishihata.

Room 1, Shiki Juraku, Kyoto. Photo: Yuna Yagi
Room 4, Shiki Juraku, Kyoto. Photo: Yuna Yagi

Each of the 10 rooms available in Shiki Juraku have their own identity and characteristics. In Room 5 find dark wooden beams across the interiors structure against white walls with modern and exotic furniture, from african stools to a large moquette rug. Here, the room also featured a large, a Shigaraki Yaki Pottery Bathtub completely transporting you to another world. Room 10 holds a large cypress wooden bath, whereas in Room 1, the bedroom is extraordinarily completely covered in washi (traditional Japanese handmade paper) wallpaper.

Room 5 bathroom, Shiki Juraku, Kyoto. Photo: Yuna Yagi

The breakfast is held in the dining space, where plates come out in due course reflecting the four seasons and seasonal vegetables as curated by Kimiko Hiyamizu. Starting with a Kochi Good Foods orange juice and a petite pumpkin soup, soon accompanied by a plate of Celery and Pear Salad, Herbed Quinoa, Mushrooom Omelette, carrot purée, grilled sweet potato, additive free ham made by Keisuke Yamauchi, Yoshida Factory’s bread and seasonal jam such as peach and pear. ShikiJuraku also has their own coffee blend, especially created by Circus Coffee.

Shiki Juraku breakfast, Kyoto. Photo: Yuna Yagi

From every corner of Shiki Juraku, light seems to stream in from all angles through the latticed window openings to the traditional architecture angled entrances, reminiscent of a scene from Junichiro Tanizaki’s In Praise of Shadows. Here, the hotel is a perfect example of a modern and considered Kyoto, always remaining close to it’s heritage and tradition, yet connecting with the excellence of contemporary Japanese designers for the future. A subtle powerhouse idea and overnight stay from the 10 curated creatives.

Room 5, Shiki Juraku, Kyoto. Photo: Yuna Yagi
Room 5, Shiki Juraku, Kyoto. Photo: Yuna Yagi
Room 5 bedroom, Shiki Juraku, Kyoto. Photo: Yuna Yagi

Kyo-machiya Hotel Shiki Juraku
165 Konoecho, Kamigyo-ku,
Aburanokoji-dori Shimodachiuri-agaru,
Kyoto, Japan, 602-8046

Shiki Juraku bar, Kyoto. Photo: Yuna Yagi
Shiki Juraku, Kyoto. Photo: Yuna Yagi
October, 2017