today marks the opening of hotel enso ango, combining classical and modern design in five zen-inspired buildings that act functionally as one innovative hotel experience. the first dispersed hotel, in the ancient capital of kyoto, enso ango immerses the traveler in the living culture of the city through activities such as zen meditation with the priests of kenninji temple ryosokuin. 

a symbol like azalea is placed in the middle of tomi ii courtyard. each 5 enso ango buildings have different types of gardens inside

photos by photo by tomooki kengaku

 

 

a journey into everyday kyoto and self-discovery, enso ango aims to facilitate a movement away from overcrowded attractions and pre-meditated photo opportunities. instead it hopes to bring the traveler to a deeper experience of the lifestyle and culture of the city.


the structure of japanese traditional umbrella was used to create the shadow against the restaurant ceiling

 

spread out among the neighborhoods of kyoto, the hotels are filled with art and craftsmanship inside and out. with seven more buildings planned, enso ango will continue to evolve its dispersed hotel concept and explore how travelers and the local community can interact to create a mutually beneficial synergy. the interior design takes the classical machiya theme and infuses it with modern art and colour. as you make your way through the typical machiya flow of entrance, garden, lobby, earthen floor area and relaxing space, the floor materials and décor change, inviting you deeper into the relaxing inner sanctuary.


open kitchen restaurant with the light and shadow effect created with traditional japanese umbrella structure on the ceiling

 

 

the five buildings are all located within walking distance of each other in the central neighborhoods of kyoto. guests may check in and use the communal spaces that include a gym, tearoom and zen meditation area. walking between the five is just as important a part of the experience offering a chance to explore and feel the essence of this ancient city. enso ango aspires to help the guests to experience a taste of living in kyoto, from festivals and events to local cuisine, specialist shops and craftsmen.


a warm and cozy lounge coordinated with various objects by atelier oi uses washi paper, origami inspired lanterns, atelier oï developed wall lightings from japanese fanʼs closing and opening mechanism

 

 

the five buildings are all located within walking distance of each other in the central neighborhoods of kyoto. guests may check in and use the communal spaces that include a gym, tearoom and zen meditation area. walking between the five is just as important a part of the experience offering a chance to explore and feel the essence of this ancient city. enso ango aspires to help the guests to experience a taste of living in kyoto, from festivals and events to local cuisine, specialist shops and craftsmen.

metal glazed kiyomizu ware plates are aligned in a geometrical format echoing the form of a butterfly

 

 

one of the five buildings contains a space designed specifically for zen and mindfulness activities. for the first time ever, priests from kyoto’s oldest zen temple, kenninji ryosokuin in gion, will teach zen meditation outside of the confines of a temple. the one-hour workshop is an opportunity to focus within and expand your consciousness under the guidance of an experienced zen master.

 

a series of workshops organised by the hotel include a trail run guiding guests through the gently-lit streets of kyoto. the route takes the runners along the kamogawa river, through quiet shopping arcades and past shinto shrines. another teaches them the craft of tatami, a type of floor mat made from a rush plant characteristic of the japanese culture and lifestyle. 


shigeru uchida’s tea room features gazanbo higuchi’s scroll

 

 

welcoming visitors is the fuya i, a building which embodies classical machiya construction featuring a front desk and corridor-cum-gallery space decorated with art by masanobu ando. at the end of this corridor, the gallery space opens into a lounge area with a small garden known as tsuboniwa – a typical feature of kyoto houses, providing a spot to enjoy nature and relax in the safety of a private space. blurring the boundary between art gallery and hotel, fans of masanobu ando, and those who don’t yet know his work are sure to enjoy this contemporary space.


shigeru uchidaʼs tea room ʻsankyoʼ and lamps ʻpaper moonʼ placed at the lobby

 

 

welcoming visitors is the fuya i, a building which embodies classical machiya construction featuring a front desk and corridor-cum-gallery space decorated with art by masanobu ando. at the end of this corridor, the gallery space opens into a lounge area with a small garden known as tsuboniwa – a typical feature of kyoto houses, providing a spot to enjoy nature and relax in the safety of a private space. blurring the boundary between art gallery and hotel, fans of masanobu ando, and those who don’t yet know his work are sure to enjoy this contemporary space.


tatami salon with japanese tatami floor is decorated with a large scroll titled ʻkokoro (mind)ʼ by an acclaimed calligrapher gazanbo higuchi. this multi-purpose room is used for zazen meditation, yoga and various other activities of the hotel

 

 

fuya ii is the largest of the five buildings featuring a japanese tea room and a tatami straw mat room, incorporating elements of traditional japanese culture into its design. the lobby looking over the inner garden contains a tea room created by the celebrated designer shigeru uchida. the tatami salon is a multi-purpose space for events with a variety of themes such as zen, mindfulness and other kyoto-related topics. the gym overlooks a japanese garden and has a simple dark color scheme, the entire building brings the heart of japanese minimalism to a hotel space.


japanese garden courtyard

 

 

tomi i has a variety of dining choices boasting a guest kitchen arranged with a dining table and an island kitchen, creating an open atmosphere for groups and families who use this space. in the lounge there is a professional kitchen unit that can be used for events such as cooking classes and private dinners with hired chefs. spaces are decorated with original cuisine-themed wall art by katsuhiko hibino.


ryurei tea table and bench in one of the hotel’s communal spaces

 

 

designed by the swiss design group atelier oï, tomi ii has the only restaurant of our five buildings, available for breakfast and dinner. shadow is the theme for the interior and, with japanese umbrella-inspired light shades and kiyomizu pottery arranged shelves, there is a playful blend of swiss, japanese and kyoto.


simple and modern lounge by uchida design inc. with a variety of works by masanobu ando

 

 

yamato i is the smallest of the five and closest to the bustling streets of gion. functionality is given priority with bunk beds maximising space, the first floor hosts a bar that is open to guests and outsiders, creating a connection with the local community. a subtle humour is brought to the interior through art by naoki terada, whose work has been displayed in moma and other galleries around the world.


the tiles of corridor floor and base boards on the wall are specially designed and hand made by masanobu ando

 

 

 

credits

direction: uchida design inc.(kiyoshi hasebe)
architecture, interior & furniture design: uchida design inc. (rumi inagaki + shuichi narikawa)
local building design: akihiko soeda (soeda akihiko design office)
collaborators & featured creators: masanobu ando (fuya i), uchida design institute (fuya ii), katsuhiko hibino (tomi i), atelier oï (tomi ii), naoki terada (yamato i)
uniform design: akiko ando
branding vi design: philippe galowich
construction: daiangumi co., ltd.
total number of rooms: 229 guest rooms
opening date: october 15, 2018

  • Congratulations on the opening of the wonderful Enso Ango Hotel!
    May the beautiful artwork by Shigeru Uchida, especially the auspicious paper-Moon lantern placed at the lobby of the tearoom Sankyo, be conducive to your future success.

    I am looking forward for a visit to Enso Ango, as a participant of your workshop on Meditation, perhaps by next year, perhaps…

    Sincerely,
    Debbie Sassaki

    Deborah Sassaki says:

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