The Hotel Seiryu Kyoto Kiyomizu

Unique history with a luxurious modern update

One of Kyoto's most intriguing repurposings comes in the form of The Hotel Seiryu Kyoto Kiyomizu. Like so much of Kyoto’s ancient city, The Hotel Seiryu Kyoto Kiyomizu— which takes its name from the word for “azure dragon,” the mythic protector of the Higashiyama district — seeks to preserve Kyoto’s heritage while offering the best of modern amenities. The result of refurbishing an elementary school dating to the 1930s with all the updates necessary to make it an ultra-luxe destination, the hotel affords breathtaking vistas of Kyoto and is a perfect perch from which to make quick jaunts to the historic city’s best sites.

While the converted lobby and guest rooms do not shy away from their academic past, the exterior design and interior décor provide a stunning blend of modernist less-is-more simplicity and traditional Japanese touches to create an elegant locale that is both swank and comfortable.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • Built close to the Kiyomizu-dera Temple that dates to the eighth century, the hotel is only an eight- to 10-minute walk for guests who want to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • The boutique hotel provides 48 guest rooms. The first to fourth floors retain the school’s outward appearance, though they have been fully modernized with bespoke additions.
  • The rooftop bar is a can’t-miss spot for lounging, giving you a sky-high view over Kyoto.
  • Dine in Benoit Kyoto from celebrated chef Alain Ducasse’s Ducasse Paris group. The modern bistro is an outpost of the beloved 1912 Parisian restaurant.
  • The hotel’s guest lounge offers floor-to-ceiling, nearly 360-degree views of the site, including the Instagram-worthy Yasaka Pagoda.

Things to Know

  • Those feeling weary after a day exploring Kyoto should take in one of the three private baths on offer at the hotel, which manage to be both spacious and cozy.
  • Aside from Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Yasaka Pagoda, Kyoto is full of historical locations, including Fushimi Inari Shrine and Kenninji. Tours of local historic sites fill up fast so make sure to book them as soon as possible.

The Rooms

  • The Kyoto hotel offers 15 different types of rooms and one suite.
  • Interior décor comes in golden woods, gentle off-whites and soothing earth tones, framing the breathtaking view out of the extra-large windows in each room.
  • Each accommodation has tray ceilings with recessed lights, giving off a soft glow that promotes relaxation and revitalization.

24-hour room service
Babysitting services
Getting There
2-204-2 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-city, Kyoto 605-0862, Japan
KIX (1 h 20 min-1 h 40 min)   ITM (50 min-1 hr 20 min)  
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