Kyoto's newest luxury hotel ryokan was created by allowing young artists and artisans to play at the intersection of preservation and innovation. In the sprawling main building, a renovated machiya townhouse from the early 20th century, and the new custom-built annex, the hotel strikes an eloquent balance between Kyoto's traditional culture and beauty and a forward-looking philosophy about what Japanese style and hospitality should be.

With 23 completely unique rooms, meals overseen by a Michelin-starred chef, soothing bar and lounge spaces, and an exquisite Japanese garden clothed in the splendor of Kyoto's four seasons, Sowaka creates a luxuriously relaxing space just outside bustling Yasaka Shrine and within walking distance of Gion's famed nightlife.

The hotel is a showroom of all things Kyoto, sparing no expense to ensure an authentic experience of wabi-sabi throughout. Beginning with the renovation envisaged by talented architect Shigenori Uoya and culminating in interior design featuring art and antiques selected by Masa. Sowaka is an immersive experience of the skill and imagination of local craftsmanship.

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.