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The Ryokan Collection
The Ryokan Collection Welcomes a New Member-
Sowaka, a Renovated Kyoto Machiya Showcasing the Skill and Imagination of Local Craftsmanship
The Ryokan Collection is delighted to welcome a new member to its group of fine ryokan - Sowaka in Kyoto.

This newly opened luxury hotel ryokan within walking distance of bustling Yasaka Shrine and the nightlife of Gion has 23 completely unique rooms that strike an eloquent balance between traditional ryokan culture and a forward-looking philosophy about what Japanese style and hospitality should be.
In the sprawling main building, a renovated machiya townhouse from the early 20th century, the rich sense of history is preserved in the use of original materials and in traditional architectural features like tokoma alcoves and artistically cut transoms. However, those historic details are complemented by modern luxuries like heated floors and rainfall showers for guests' comfort. An exquisite Japanese garden sits at the center of the building, revealing a hidden world clothed in the splendor of Kyoto's four seasons and a relaxing soundtrack of rustling leaves and burbling springs.
In the new custom-built annex, the rooms mix elements of traditional architecture with a contemporary minimalist aesthetic. Unlike the uniform structure of typical hotels, this building provides impeachable privacy with recessed entranceways recalling Kyoto's hidden alleyways and cunningly crafted screens shielding outdoor baths and verandas with private gardens or open-air hearths.
All rooms include made-in-Kyoto luxuries such as camellia oil facial kits and amenities from Kazurasei, roasted teas from Gion Tsujiri, coffee from local roaster Inoda and natural fiber springless mattresses from Iwata, founded in 1830. In fact, the entire hotel is a showroom of Kyoto craftsmanship, beginning with the renovation envisaged by talented architect Shigenori Uoya and culminating in interior design featuring art and antiques selected by Masa, a local gallery.
In-hotel dining is offered at La Bombance, which is overseen by the Michelin-starred chef of restaurants by the same name in Tokyo and Hong Kong. The restaurant plays with the concept of creative washoku dining, drawing from the rich variety of produce available in Kyoto to create both a la carte and course meals that are distinctly Japanese yet subtly international, pushing against expectations with surprising ingredients and playful presentation. The fried grouper ankake with leek, avocado and tomato, for example, combines a popular local fish with thick Sino-Japanese sauce and New World vegetables for an unforgettable fusion of flavors and textures.

The dining room is dominated by a 11-meter African cherry counter with lowered kitchen, putting the chefs eye-to-eye with guests in traditional kappo style. The elegant black lacquer wall behind reflects the illuminated garden at night and reveals subtle seasonal motifs by day. The restaurant is open to the public for lunch and dinner.
Sowaka's sultry bar space, however, is only open to hotel guests. It has just a handful of tatami seats facing a small illuminated garden and exudes the shadowy elegance of a classic Kyoto cocktail bar. A full menu including many locally made sakes, spirits and even wines ensures guests can explore the local offerings or enjoy their usual, depending on their mood.

At Sowaka, the interplay between new and old, luxury and simplicity, tradition and flexibility create a warm dialogue between Kyoto's past and future that invites guests to join in and make it a part of their history as well.
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For more information and queries, please visit www.ryokancollection.com or contact our concierge at info@ryokancollection.com or +81 3 6824 1015.