Kyoto, Japan

Aman Kyoto

Price per night from$2,029.39

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (JPY320,000.00), via, using today’s exchange rate.


Ryokan record


The place beyond the shrines

Within walking distance of the golden, glittering Kinkaku-ji temple, Aman Kyoto is a series of standalone pavilions within a shrouded secret garden. The 80-acre site spans stone pathways, forested hillsides, medicinal hot springs and lovingly tended-to lawns, with stairs leading to the tree-lined upper levels for views across to Mount Hiei in the distance. The rooms riff on classic ryokan inns: wooden soaking tubs, tatami flooring and tokonoma alcoves offering artefacts to reflect on, only this time with floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the spectacular natural surroundings. And the onsens on-site mean you can really get to know your fellow guests. 

Smith Extra

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A bottle of champagne on arrival


Photos Aman Kyoto facilities

Need to know


24, plus two pavilions.


Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm, also flexible, on request.


Double rooms from £2019.81 (JPY404,800), including tax at 26.5 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional room tax of JPY1,000.00 per person per night on check-out.

More details

Standard rates usually include breakfast.


Take the waters at the communal on-site onsens – separate alkaline hot springs for men and women – for a geothermal dip with naked strangers.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout, onsens. In rooms: free bottled water, TV, air-conditioning, tea and coffee, and Aman bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Each room nods to typical ryokan traditions – cypress-wood soaking tubs, tatami floors and tokonoma alcoves – with floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing the fabulously forested setting. For the most nature-surrounded seclusion, book either the Washigamine or Takagamine Pavilion, which have two bedrooms, wine cellars and views of Mount Hiei in the distance.


The hotel has traditional male and female onsens, along with three treatment rooms where you can enjoy aroma oil treatment, Shiatsu, Acupuncture, as well as yoga and facials.

Packing tips

You’ll need sensible shoes for clambering over the occasionally mossy stone pathways, but you can forego the swimwear: it’s birthday suits all round for bathing around here.


The hotel is not easily accessible for wheelchair users.


Welcome, but the gardens and grounds are better suited to older kids. Cots (free for under-twos) and babysitting (with three days’ notice for 8,000 yen an hour for a minimum of two hours) can be arranged on request.

Food and Drink

Photos Aman Kyoto food and drink

Top Table

Opt for a spot out on the garden terrace, or watch it from the warmth with a table by the window.

Dress Code

Ditch the shorts and flip-flops in favour of temple-worthy finery: regal robes and colourful kimonos.

Hotel restaurant

The Living Pavilion by Aman has a fireplace in the middle, with glass doors that lead out to the garden and traditional tiles crafted by a local ceramicist. The food is a mix of Japanese fine-dining, with some homely Kyoto cuisine (wild boar hot pots, equally wild vegetables and plenty of game) served all day, as well as some Western and child-friendly options. Afternoon tea is a serious ceremony in this part of the world, and the kitchen will also prepare hampers for you to disappear off into the gardens or a forest glade with.

Hotel bar

There’s no separate bar, but you’ll be able to request drinks (including a series of herb-infused signature sake cocktails) at the restaurant.

Last orders

Breakfast hours are 7am until 11.30am (last entry: 11am).

Room service

Some dishes, including comforting Western classics, will be available to order in.


Photos Aman Kyoto location
Aman Kyoto
1 Okitayama Washimine-Cho Kita-ku

This Aman outpost is in temple-toting Kyoto, once the country’s capital, on the island of Honshu.


The hotel is just over 100 kilometres from Osaka’s Kansai International Airport; the drive should take a couple of hours. Osaka also has a domestic airport, Itami – sometimes referred to as Osaka International, which isn’t very helpful – an hour from the Aman by car.


Kyoto’s train station is a half-hour drive from the hotel. Transfers are free if you’re staying in a Pavilion suite and taxis can be booked for guests of other rooms.


It’s 30 minutes by car to reach the centre of Kyoto and the hotel has valet parking, but with trains this fast and efficient, do yourself a favour and go by rail. The famous temple is under 20 minutes away on foot.

Worth getting out of bed for

This peaceful retreat is the perfect patch for channeling some zen vibes: find one of the meditation-ready corners of the grounds, do some yoga or learn how to make a miniature garden. Take your afternoon cuppa to new heights with a traditional Japanese tea ceremony at one of the Camellia tea houses in Kyoto; kimonos are included to help you get into the spirit. Hop in a rickshaw with Ebisuya for a riveting ride around all of Kyoto’s coolest corners, especially the more local-favoured spots. Go full geisha (technically geiko in Kyoto) with a maiko experience, in which you’ll choose from 200 kimonos, several fans and some wigs to play dress-up with white make-up and false eyelashes, then pose for a photoshoot. Travel along with the rapids of the Hozugawa river by boat from Tanba-Kameoka to Arashiyama with someone else doing the hard (oar-based) work for you. The dazzling gold exterior and pretty pagoda roof of the Kinkaku-ji Temple is probably what’s brought you to Kyoto – head to the city’s north-west to check out this mountain-flanked, Unesco-protected site for yourself.

Local restaurants

Sweettoothed travellers should follow the sugar to Awamochidokoro Sawaya, a purveyor of authentic Japanese confectionery near the Kitano Tenmangu shrine; start with the awa mochi rice and bean cakes. Enjoy a traditional Japanese meal at Ajiro, or mainline sashimi and tempura at Shinme, an izakaya that’s still going after nearly 75 years. At Kitcho Arashiyama, diners can travel around Japan via the food and the decor – this former antiques shop, which has been a restaurant since 1948, has period treasures to discover in every room.

Local bars

Head to the Common One Bar in Kyoto for well-crafted classic cocktails in a traditional Japanese setting.


Photos Aman Kyoto reviews
Iroshini Chua

Anonymous review

By Iroshini Chua, Jet-set doctor

Disclaimer: this article is written by a self-proclaimed Aman-junkie. Yes, we are real. So are the Aman-fairies who seem to be invisible, fluttering around the property making everything perfect and speaking an Aman-language which is a whole lot of ‘your wish is my command’.


This time, we had set our hearts high upon a lofty mountaintop, 30 minutes’ drive from the city of Kyoto: Aman Kyoto. Kyoto’s obligatory tourist hot list of rickshaw rides in the bamboo forest, walking in the tunnel of torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine and capturing the Insta-worthy, sakura-lined Imperial Palace of Kyoto was done and dusted by these Smiths a decade ago, which left plenty of time to indulge in one too many fresh mochi and matcha tiramisu stops along the way from Osaka. 

We were greeted with a ‘Welcome home!’ at the gates of Aman Kyoto, which means, ‘Leave EVERYTHING to us Emperor Smiths’ in Aman-language. The staff were at the ready to help me and my heels navigate the carpet of smooth stones that lead to the arrival pavilion, but an Aman-fairy from Aman Venice had prepared for me for moments like this by pointing me to a shoe shop that crafts flats that fold into the size of my palm. I slipped out of my city heels (leaving behind the frenzied traveller with an endless-FOMO-to-do list) and into my Venetian flats, allowing the stone pathway to gently massage my feet as I walked and embraced the calm, relaxed, origami-making, hojicha-sipping, Smith-approved, Aman-junkie version of me. 

You see, it’s the subtle details of Aman Kyoto that makes you transform. Mr Smith and I are all for immersive-art experiences, but nothing prepared us for living in a secret garden in a 80-acre property that had received TLC for decades by its fashionable former owner. Think Yama Momiji maple trees and Japanese cedar trees, a wooded hill on our left, a meandering stream on the right, moss-covered stone pathways, manicured platforms, ponds and sculptures. It was raw yet refined, wild yet created. ‘A piece of art coming to life! This must be something else in the autumn with the shades of red, gold and amber,’  I mused, probably looking as dreamy-eyed as the deer we spotted on our way to the pavilion.
The black timber pavilions, in sleek and minimalist Kerry Hill design, seemed to augment the burst of greens and it made perfect sense. As we walked into our tatami-clad, modern take on a traditional Japanese ryokan, the blinds of the floor-to-ceiling windows were drawn up ceremoniously to reveal the garden screaming in colour. Mr Smith likes a to jump into my bath under the false pretence of a relaxing soak, but it took a good 30 minutes to fill up the gigantic hinoki-cypress-wood Japanese-style bath tub, by which time Mr Smith had dozed off and I selfishly succumbed to the heady aroma of yuzu infusion in total, private bliss.
Kyoto is all about kaiseki meals and Aman’s got the memo. Dinner was a hushed menu-less kaiseki experience under soaring ceilings, where a kimono-clad hostess poured rare sake and the chef silently treated us to the most delicious local and seasonal fare, with some ingredients foraged from the forest nearby. The melt-in-the-mouth Omi-Wagyu courses presented on exquisite ceramic had me break the silence with delightful proclamations of ‘Oishi!’ 

Connecting one to nature in every possible way is in Aman’s DNA, so we were prescribed a post-dinner soak to soothe the limbs at the spa, which turned out to be the perfect way to end the day. Something about being fully immersed in the mineral-rich, healing waters of a traditional onsen comforts not just the body, but the mind and soul. 

Aman Kyoto’s quiet location had us enveloped in a world of tranquillity, away from the throngs of tourists. We started our days with yoga under the maple trees, followed by breakfast in our yukatas. We loved the electric-bike tours (well, one of us more than the other; one of us opted for a manual bike to navigate the hills…), with our private guide who brought us to attractions such as Kinkaku-ji (the Golden Pavilion), and several Zen gardens and traditional tea houses. 

These Smiths could not get enough of our daily garden walks, which turned out to be surprisingly philosophical. A staircase of smooth rock boulders are so carefully placed that when you reach the top and look back, it’s a smooth path. A Japanese saying: when you are young, every hurdle is tough to climb and causes stress, but when you are old and look back at your life, you realise it has always been smooth.

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Price per night from $2,029.39