Aman has announced its third resort in Japan with the launch of Aman Kyoto, scheduled to open on 1 November 2019. Set in a hidden garden in close proximity to Kinkaku-Ji Temple, the 24-key property – with 2 additional 2-bedroom villas – draws on the country’s traditional ryokan and onsen concepts, seeking to create an authentic, contemporary hotel.
Set at the foot of the Hidari Daimonji mountain to Kyoto’s north, the resort has been built within the forested grounds of the Takahamine district, with the 80-acre site comprising 72-acres of permanent forest and 8 of landscaped gardens tended by the former owner.
The garden unfolds as a series of platforms within a valley enclosed by a small stream and wooded hill. Originally intended as platforms for the former owner’s planned museum of textiles, they now provide the foundations of the resort. Moss-covered stone pathways, some edged with cut-stone borders, traverse the site, whilst garden stairways and paths lead guests to the upper levels bordered with colourful yama momiji maples and Japanese cedar planted in avenues. The garden has also been cleverly designed to self-irrigate.
The resort itself has been envisioned by Kerry Hill Architects – the studio behind both Aman Tokyo and Amanemu, as well as the AHEAD Award-winning Amanyangyun in China – and consists of a series of standalone pavilions with distinct functions, and separate structures for arrival, living, dining, spa and accommodation. The two villas, meanwhile, sit deeper within the forest.
Each of the 24 guestrooms feature a contemporary reimagining of the traditional ryokan by way of minimalist aesthetics, floor-to-ceiling windows, tatami mats and the presence of tokonoma – or alcoves for artistic items. Neutral palettes complement the work of local artisans with the spaces incorporating handmade raku tile panels and custom-made ceramics. The ofuro bathtubs in each bathroom are constructed from hinoki Cyprus wood native to central Japan, whilst all furniture has been designed bespoke and sit alongside artefacts selected individually for each space.
A signature restaurant in the Dining Pavilion will showcase Japanese haute cuisine making use of local produce, whilst the Living Pavilion will feature a central fireplace and glass doors opening to a zen garden. Elsewhere, an Aman Spa will make use of the natural spring water flowing nearby.
Vladislav Doronin, Chairman and CEO of Aman, comments: “Following on from the success of Aman Tokyo and Amanemu, Aman Kyoto will add another distinctive facet to our continued journey – and commitment – to Japan. Aman Kyoto will embody the true spirit of Aman, blending our profound respect for nature with adherence to simple, yet striking, principles of aesthetics and structure, masterfully brought to life by the late Kerry Hill and his team. We look forward to unveiling the many dimensions of Kyoto through the eyes of Aman and sharing the secrets of our enchanting garden.”