Kyoto Calling

by Anton D. Javier
05 Jun 2023

Kyoto, despite its popularity, is typically a touch-and-go destination in Japan. With the recent opening of Hilton Garden Inn Kyoto Shijo Karasuma, you’re definitely going to want to stay a little longer.

Two to three – the average number of days the average tourist spends in Kyoto, which is perhaps enough time to hit popular tourist attractions the former Japanese capital has to offer, like the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine, the gleaming Kinkaku-ji temple, the mystical yet often crowded Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, and the famed Gion District, which geikos and maikos call home.

But should one decide to stay in Kyoto a little longer to understand the city beyond the surface, checking into the perfect accommodation makes all the difference. Those who want to immerse themselves in local culture might opt for a refurbished machiya, while those looking to soak in the zen atmosphere can look to the many luxury resorts tucked away in quieter areas.

But for those who want to be closer to the action and central enough to be able to explore the many alleys and side streets that house small, local establishments, then the new Hilton Garden Inn Kyoto Shijo Karasuma (HGI) makes for the perfect base.

Hilton Garden Inn Kyoto Shijo Karasuma's spacious check-in area features a muted yet contemporary color scheme

In a statement, Jenny Milos, Vice President, Focused Service and All Suites Brands, Asia Pacific, Hilton, says, “We are thrilled to celebrate HGI’s brand debut in one of the most popular destinations in Japan. Hilton Garden Inn Kyoto Shijo Karasuma represents a stunning addition to our rapidly growing portfolio… Our team members strive to create an elevated yet approachable atmosphere where guests can feel both relaxed and confident thanks to the brand’s signature positive and upbeat service. We are confident that this new hotel will meet the diverse needs of both leisure and business travelers here in Kyoto.”

For starters, the hotel is in central Kyoto and is a mere three minutes from Kyoto Station by subway. It is also a five-minute walk to either the Shijo or Gojo subway stations, making it easy for guests to venture out into various parts of the city. Exploring on foot is easy too, with Nishiki Market, famous for all things food-related, a mere 10-minute walk away, while the bustling Pontocho stretch, which comes alive at night, can be reached in about 15 to 20 minutes.

On days where you want to take it easy, you don’t even have to go far because surrounding the hotel is the Shijo area, which is made up of quaint streets that an assortment of boutiques, cafes, craft shops, and restaurants call home. There is also an abundance of convenience stores around HGI, which makes for fun evening konbini runs.

Deluxe Family Room
Standard guest room

In addition to its excellent location, HGI boasts 250 rooms spread over nine-storeys, ensuring there is something for everyone. Starting from 20 to 23-square meter layouts perfect for two people to 57-square meter premium family rooms, the hotel is more spacious compared to your standard Japanese city hotel. When it comes to décor, less is definitely more here. A mixture of textures, such as wood, fabric, and metal harmoniously come together, resulting in a modern Japanese aesthetic, further complemented by strategic lighting, calming color schemes, and even handmade ceramic mugs that you can enjoy your tea and coffee in.

Together & Co dining area

At the lobby area, make a beeline for The Shop, which is a unique 24-hour retail concept that sells local craft beer, ice cream, instant noodles, light bites, and handmade products. The hotel’s all-day dining restaurant, Together & Co, is where guests can enjoy both western and Japanese cuisines that highlight seasonal ingredients from breakfast to dinner – think traditional Japanese breakfasts with miso soup and an assortment of pickles, chicken karaage, rice burgers, and unique pasta creations. It’s also a great spot for an early evening tipple, where you can pull up a seat next to the window, order a Japanese-inspired cocktail, and enjoy the golden hour, which seems to be extra magical in Kyoto.

A well-equipped fitness center

Other notable amenities of HGI include the spacious and well-equipped fitness center, as well as a self-service laundry facility that cleverly informs users of the washing machine’s availability through the TV in their room. Excellent Wi-Fi connectivity is available throughout the property, while the Hilton Honors mobile app allows members to check-in at their convenience, choose their room, and access it with a Digital Key.

Summing it all up, Alan Roberts, Brand Leader, Hilton Garden Inn, shares, “The milestone Hilton Garden Inn Kyoto Shijo Karasuma hotel provides a familiar environment for travelers with warm glowing service and thoughtful touches – the perfect homebase to explore all that Japan’s ancient capital city has to offer.”


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