Cleanliness and purity are two prized aspects of Japanese culture. The word kiyora, originally meaning "unsullied beauty and refinement," has evolved over hundreds of years to encompass the concept of "purity and freshness" and now expresses the "epitome of pure beauty" in Japanese culture and design. Resting one's eyes on simple and beautiful patterns that blend harmoniously with the natural surroundings is profoundly relaxing.
Architect Kiyoshi Sey Takeyama has embraced this concept with enthusiasm, creating simple, almost austere interiors that, paradoxically, exude an unmistakable sense of timeless luxury. He has incorporated this concept into his designs for three of Ryokan Collection's members - Beniya Mukayu, Gora Kadan and L'Hotel du Lac.
Beniya Mukayu's simple beauty derives from copious use of the horizontal lines of bamboo flooring, as well as simple wooden pillars to create peacefully harmonic patterns. Guests can discover simple but profound pleasures at this ryokan, by experiencing traditional tea ceremony in the tea pavilion in the garden, or by practicing yoga in the studio.
Set amid the natural splendor of Hakone National Park near Tokyo, Gora Kadan, a former royal estate, makes full use of the kiyora concept in its design. Long wooden hallways draw the eye to breathtaking views of the valley below. With its sophisticated modern design that incorporates essential elements of timeless Japanese culture, this ryokan presents a perfect union of past and present.
L'Hotel du Lac, by the shores of Lake Biwa near Kyoto, expresses the serene ambience of kiyora in its freestanding villas and elegant main building.
Spare and minimalist, the hotel's interior design stresses lines that provide a restful austerity, as well as leading the eye toward the enormous windows and beautiful views of the lake and the islands that seem to float in the distance.
These Ryokan Collection members are the perfect place to experience the tranquil power of traditional Japanese design, blended with a thoroughly modern sensibility. The best way to fully understand kiyora is to come and see for yourself the "epitome of pure refinement" and deceptively simple aesthetic, at one of these beautiful ryokan.
Twice a year, in March and September, Kateigaho International Japan Edition brings you the latest on off-the-beaten-track travel destinations, new and inspiring traditions, modern lifestyle ideas, and gastronomic culture. Subscribe or order a gift subscription for your family and friends to discover new perspectives on Japan. The current issue, Spring/Summer 2017, features the dynamic artistry of craftsmen in Kyushu; a guide to the hundreds of fun and fascinating summer matsuri festivals all over the country; wonderful and unexpected uses for matcha green tea; and the enchanting island of Ise Shima. These and other interesting insights into Japanese culture await you in Kateigaho International.
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