Mitsui Garden Hotel Mitsui Garden Hotel

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concept

Concept

Inheriting the spirit of Kyoto

Kyoto, inheritance and rebirth

To be in the moment, to appreciate nature; the wind, snow, and rain, the changing flowers, greenery, the reddening leaves, the fruits of the seasons, to enjoy them with an open, honest mind.
This is the spirit of Kyoto, protected over a thousand years since the days of the Heian period, and proudly reborn into the present.
And here we stand, in the middle of Kyoto, wrapped in its truly unique atmosphere.
We hope you will truly enjoy Mitsui Garden Hotel’s answer to what Kyoto-style truly means.

History and tradition on the grounds of the former Matsuzakaya.

History and tradition on the grounds of the former Matsuzakaya.

The region around Shinmachi has always been a special place, even in the thousand year old history of Kyoto. Since the Edo period, many major kimono merchants were based there, creating a unique atmosphere. The grounds where the hotel stands was once where the Matsuzakaya store used to procure its wares in Kyoto, one of the few major storefronts left in the city. Built in 1903, the front featured the simple, sturdy build of a merchant’s house, while the residence on the other side of the inner garden featured sukiya-style architecture with an abundance of precious timber and rock. The structured okudo stove and keyaki timber mainstay are features which can no longer be built. Weathered, precious stones dotted the many small gardens and courtyards. It was also a storage and research venue for old dyed fabrics. Ancient fabric ends such as kireji and kosode dresses from the Edo period were featured in the collection, and filled the house with their ambiance.

An establishment worthy of the heart of Kyoto, to inherit and renew renowned traditions.

  • Masahide Ishikawa
  • Basic conceptMasahide IshikawaArchitects Office

    20 years in Shimizu Corporation, Main Design Office.
    Independent since 2005.
    [Notable works]
    Honjin Hiranoya Kachoan
    Nishi-Azabu Gonpachi
    Hida-kozan Funasaka Shuzo
    Tarasa Shima
    Kojun Building, etc.

  • Hiroaki Kobayashi
  • Architectural DesignHiroaki KobayashiTakenaka Corporation
    Osaka Main Office, Design Division

    Graduated from Kyoto Institute of Technology Graduate School.
    Entered Takenaka Corporation.
    Currently in Design Division of Osaka Main Office.
    [Notable works]
    Stores, Sonezaki-icchome
    Nishi-Shinsaibashi N Building
    Umeda-kita Yard (Gran Front Osaka), North Wing etc.

The Colors of Wood

New wooden engraving in the front lobby by Susumu Koshimizu.

New wooden engraving in the front lobby
by Susumu Koshimizu.

The hotel grounds originally housed a store where the Matsuzakaya store procured its goods, and a museum for old dyed weaves. The wood and pattern used for the work are both derived from our predecessor. The timber comes from the store; the pattern was inspired by a kosode item from the museum. The artist took the history and traditional beauty of the location and produced an elegant modern masterpiece, a beautiful embodiment of balance and innovation.

Tradition and innovation, an expressive, artistic masterpiece

  • Susumu Koshimizu
  • ArtworkSusumu Koshimizu

    Born in Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture.
    Emeritus Professor, Kyoto City University of Arts
    [Key Awards]
    2004 Order of the Purple Ribbon
    1999 Kyoto Prefecture Culture Price and Distinguished Service Prize
    1993 28th Yoshida Isoya Award
    1980 Nakahara Teijiro Award, etc.
    [Key Public Collections]
    The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (Tokyo)
    National Museum of Art (Osaka)
    Tate Modern(London)
    The Pinault Collection
    (Punta della Dogana/Venice)
    The Rachofsky Collection(Dallas)

  • Art Produce : TAK PROPERTY INC.
  • Elegant wood engravings on white plaster, and artworks symbolizing the new heart of Kyoto can be found on each floor.

    Art Produce : TAK PROPERTY INC.

A landscape of stone

A garden of tradition, worthy of the Kyoto cityscape.

A garden of tradition,
worthy of the Kyoto cityscape.

Using Kamo Nanaishi stones and rocks from the old Matsuzakaya store, we have created a garden that inherits the fine traditions of the locale and passes them on to the future. To maintain a so-called hannari aesthetic, you are welcomed in by a chozubachi, marked stones and pieces of foundation stone, all elegant echoes of the old Matsuzakaya for you to see and enjoy.

Recreating the primal nature of Japan, the great inner garden.

Recreating the primal nature of Japan,
the great inner garden.

Full of new surprises, youthful nostalgia, with a taste of the new Kyoto, we’ve brought plants from Kyushu to Tohoku, creating a crystallization of the beautiful greenery that makes up the Japanese landscape. Aiming for a garden that looks entirely natural, the central garden lets restaurant visitors experience the feeling of dining outdoors.

On the 3rd floor, the rooftop garden is a Karesansui-style Japanese rock garden.

On the 3rd floor, the rooftop garden
is a Karesansui-style Japanese rock garden.

In contrast to the greenery of the 1st floor garden, the light caught by the shirakawa-white gravel gently overflows the space and fills the interior with natural light. The tranquility soothes guests on their way to their rooms as they take in the atmosphere of Kyoto.

The essence of floral elegance, unfettered by tradition or Japanese style.

  • Toshiya Ogino
  • Garden DesignToshiya Ogino

    1960 Born in Osaka Prefecture
    1999 Atelier and residence receives 10th Green Landscape Award (Osaka Shisetsu Ryokuka Award).
    Studies gardening through self-study.
    2006 Establishes Toshiya Ogino Landscape Design as a design division.
    2013 Receives Matsumoto City Landscape Award
    Garden design and construction themed on renewal of primal landscapes. Many collaborations with architects.

    [Notable Works]
    Atelier Bisque Doll
    Ushiroyama sanso (Chochikukyo @Tomonoura)
    Kiya Ryokan etc.

A Gathering of Earth

A modern Japanese space, adapting plaster walls in a modern fashion.

A modern Japanese space, adapting plaster walls in a modern fashion.

The Japanese restaurant is positioned facing the historical street of Nakagyo Ward in the heart of Kyoto, looking out onto historical kura warehouses and the inner garden. The same white plaster was used for the outer walls of the kura were made thin and installed as in-store partitions, keeping the soft impression of plaster while framing the landscape of the garden and the interior of the restaurant.

Grand, brass table, full of mystical candlelight.

Grand, brass table, full of mystical candlelight.

The great brass table in the center gives off a gentle, candle-like radiance that fills the dim space with light. The materials and arrangement is simple, much like a typical Kyoto residence, but we aimed to produce a smart, crisp ambiance. The light coming in from the outside gives the space a changing feel depending on the time of day.

The annex, a space of serenity built into an existing kura warehouse.

The annex,
a space of serenity built into an existing kura warehouse.

The kura warehouse was repurposed as a tea room, and this piece redesigned as its roji (outdoor garden of a tea house). The garden features a Kamo Nanaishi, a historical stone with its roots in Njio Castle, preserved in the old Matsuzakaya store. Take a moment to still your heart in the roji before you enter the annex.

An expressive, elegant space framing the beautiful inner garden.

  • Yuko Nagayama
  • Restaurant DesignYuko Nagayama

    1975 Born in Tokyo
    2002 Establishes Yuko Nagayama Architectural Design

    [Notable Works]
    LOUIS VUITTON, Kyoto Daimaru Store
    Okanoaru Ie
    ANTEPRIMA Singapore ION Store
    Kayaba Coffee
    SISII PRESSROOM etc.

    [Key Awards]
    L’Oreal Award, Honorable Mention
    JCD Design Award, Honorable Mention
    AR Awards, Award of Excellence
    ARCHITECTURAL RECORD Award
    Design Vanguard 2012 etc.

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