BLINK Design Group’s Roku Kyoto connects people, culture and nature with a modern twist on traditional Japanese culture.
by Asih Jenie /
January 3, 2022
Japan’s cultural capital, Kyoto, is the place to experience the authentic traditional hospitality of the land of the rising sun. The city’s offerings range from beautifully preserved temples and shrines to bustling geisha quarters and breathtaking landscapes.
Designed by the award-winning BLINK Design Group, Roku Kyoto is the latest addition to the city’s modern hospitality that draws inspiration from a deep well of charms.
“Each space in the resort is inspired by various traditional Japanese elements to connect people, culture, and nature,” says Clint Nagata, founder and creative partner of BLINK Design Group.
A scenic and secluded location at the foot of the Takagamine mountains, it offers 114 guestrooms and suites, restaurants, and a spa for guests to immerse themselves in Japanese culture.
Featuring a pitched roof and a timber structure that frames the surrounding greenery, the hotel lobby is modelled after traditional Japanese shrines. An elegant tea lounge is accessible from the lobby, characterised by a series of timber pillars that highlight a simple, long table set in the centre.
Rooms range from 215 sq ft to 1,184 sq ft and express the same minimalist elegance as the lobby. Garden Rooms have semi-terraces, while Spa Access Rooms and Suites have full terraces and private onsens – the ultimate in Japanese hospitality. Some layouts are inspired by iconic Minka houses, while the materials palette mixes karakami, a Japanese decorative paper art, with earthy tones.
The resort’s restaurant pavilion has three dining areas next to the picturesque Tenjin River that offer all-day dining with a menu using locally sourced seasonal ingredients.
Echoing the lobby’s aesthetic, the pavilion features screens with bamboo weave patterns and a live kitchen counter with a shou sugi ban – charred treated wood with a distinct black finish – backdrop. Patinated blue copper wine shelves highlight the bar and cafe area near the alfresco area alongside the river.
The spa takes inspiration from Kyoto’s tranquil bamboo forest and features ceramics shaped like bamboo stalks, onsen thermal pools and a 24-hour fitness room. “Roku Kyoto is a tranquil retreat that emphasises the minimal aesthetic of Kyoto through materials and lines to build a relaxing space that can be appreciated over time,” says Rie Minoura, head designer at BLINK Design Group for Roku Kyoto.