Hoshinoya Kyoto 星のや京都

Arashiyama (嵐山) is one of my favorite places in Kyoto.  And along the riverside stands the amazing Hoshinoya Kyoto (星のや京都).  I was so spoiled that I got to celebrate my birthday there in 2015.

The check-in experience was quite unique.  We were met at the dock by a concierge who then summoned a boat to take us up the Hozu-gawa to our retreat.  Upon our arrival we were welcomed by live zen music.


Exquisite Kyoto delicacies were awaiting us at the guest room.  The guest rooms are located in a renovated ryokan inn that was built 100 years ago on the former premises of Kyoto business tycoon Suminokura Ryoi’s private residence. It was modernized just enough to ensure a pleasant stay without sacrificing the heart of traditional Japanese architecture.

This is exactly what I love about Kyoto, the perfect mix of old and new Japan.  And Hoshinoya made the best interpretation.


Enjoying sakura tea in front of sakura tree.  Bliss.


I cherished the quiet and serene moments fostered by shakyo (写経)


Day perfecting his tree pose at the Zen rock garden.


Kaiseki (懐石) dinner was like an art show.


Every dish was so beautifully presented.


Enjoying a sip of tea, looking up at the star-smeared sky, and getting lost in the midst of time~

What’s better than ending the day with an in-room shiatsu massage?  Sorry I didn’t manage to take a picture of it 😉


The in-room breakfast was a feast on its own.  Only the freshest and seasonal ingredients were used to prepare the 若竹と桜鯛の香春鍋.  

It was such a wonderful experience at Hoshinoya Kyoto.  We would definitely be back, during the momiji season!

In fact, we are planning to goto Hoshinoya Karuizawa 星のや軽井沢 in Fall 2017.  Stay tuned.



Why sakura . momiji?

Why name my blog “sakura . momiji”?  These are the 2 things that captured my heart.

I love how Kyoto offers a clear change in season, thus vibrant colors. You will know what I mean if you also live in Los Angeles, where the change in season varies from warm, hot, scorching hot and deadly heat wave.

In Kyoto, I am spoiled with picture perfect spots just around every corner.  I have to warn you though, during the sakura and momiji season, Kyoto is flooded with tourists from all over the world. It is quite a challenge to capture a nice picture without having them in it 😉


Sakura = cherry blossoms = 桜


Momiji = maple/ autumn leaves = 紅葉