Finally back from Japan and getting some blog posts up! I want to show you around the newly opened The Junei Hotel, one of the Kyoto properties we had the pleasure of being hosted at whilst we were in Kyoto last month.
About the hotel
The Junei Hotel is a small luxury hotel located at the west of Kyoto Imperial Palace. With only eight guest rooms, you’ll feel like you’re at home with the personalised service and intimate feel. The hotel is located a quick 10 minute taxi drive from Kyoto station. There’s a Family Mart right around the corner, vending machines everywhere and many bus routes running along the main road which can take you anywhere from the Geisha District to Kinkakuji. Kyoto as a city relies heavily on bus transportation so always choose accomodation with good bus access.
A hotel like The Junei is the perfect getaway for those who want to visit Kyoto in a relaxed manner and be able to feel like they are away from the hustle and bustle, without actually being too far at the same time. It’s also great for people who really want to stay somewhere spacious – as you know in Japan this is such a rarity so The Junei is especially perfect for families and groups – the rooms have foldaway Japanese style futons which you can use if you’re travelling in a group. You can fit up to five people per room.
About the rooms
One of the first things you will notice and appreciate about The Junei Hotel is the fact that the rooms here are extremely spacious. For those who’ve been to Japan, you will know that Japan is not at all known for having spacious accommodation, so it was most definitely a surprise to be greeted with a villa sized room upon opening the front door. At The Junei, it’s all about promoting a relaxing atmosphere to wind down so you will notice the quiet background music, delicious selection of Japanese tea delivered direct from local tea growers, Shiseido skincare (you’ll be covered for foaming face washes, cleansing oils, moisturisers and more!) and of course, that custom made hydrogen water Shigaraki-bathtub. Each room also has a free phone for you to use during your stay in Kyoto – and this phone is fully equipped for all your needs with free internet and calls. The data is of course erased when you check out.
There are only eight rooms in Junei Hotel and each one has been lovingly designed with unique features in every room. The room we stayed in was the ‘TAKE’ or ‘Bamboo’ room (203). It has bamboo detailing everywhere and a little bamboo garden outside.
If you’re staying at the hotel, I totally recommend you find some time in your busy travel schedule to have a bath – the bathtubs here are beautiful and there is a function for a hydrogen water bath as well.
For those who select the Breakfast Inclusive Plan, you can try a mouth-watering Kaiseki style breakfast served in room before you head out for the day. You must experience a breakfast like this when you are in Japan so if this is the only chance to do it, I especially recommend you try it out. I love Japanese breakfast spreads like these because they always contain a huge variety of different flavours and foods, allowing you to try so many different things all in one meal. Our breakfast sets were packed with yummy goodness for a big day of exploring!
Here’s a peek into another one of the rooms here! This is the ‘UME’ room and is designed around the theme of ‘plum trees’. There’s a beautiful private garden here with a plum tree planted which flowers in spring as well.
Hotel organised experiences
For those interested in participating in some immersive cultural experiences, the hotel is able to arrange activities such as Geisha performances in your room, kimono rental and Japanese paper making.
Nearby foodie spots
- Touseian Kyoto – One of Kyoto’s local specialties is tofu so it’s definitely a must have when you’re in the city. This small hole-in-a-wall place is not something you’ll find in a tourist guide but most definitely a place you’ll see the locals huddled in. They do a multi-course tofu kaiseki (how amazing does that sound!) and you can even cook/make your own ‘yuba’/tofu skin here as well! If you love tofu, you’ll sure be eating it a lot here – think agedashi tofu, tofu skin, fried tofu, soybean mousse dessert (the best), and even a strong fermented tofu ‘cheese’ (most definitely an acquired taste).
- Honke Owariya – this 548 year old shop is down the street from the Imperial Palace and is one of the most popular soba noodle restaurants in Kyoto. I’d recommend getting a seat here at abnormal hours, because this place does attract lines during peak meal times.
- Hanomomo – A local favourite, this udon shop is just across the road from the hotel. However do remember, udon is more of a day time thing in Japan so if you plan to visit for dinner, it might just be closed!
When staying at The Junei Hotel, the following attractions are especially convenient to visit.
- Imperial Palace Gardens: Junei Hotel is just a short walk to the western gate of Kyoto Imperial Palace – a beautiful place to relax in the afternoon and watch the sun go down. In November when we visited, there are stunning autumn colours here and we chanced upon the most magnificent gingko tree here as well.
- Kinkakuji: One of those ‘must visit’ attractions of Kyoto – Kinkakuji is just a direct bus ride away.
- Nijo Castle: For those who love visiting Kyoto’s historical sites, also a direct bus ride away is Nijo Castle and its gardens.
- Temple illumination displays: In winter, a number of temples nearby have illumination displays. Myokenji and Honpoji temple are two we checked out at night. Also nearby is Myorenji, a temple which happens to have cherry blossoms blooming in winter.
Thanks for having us The Junei Hotel, we sure loved our time here. Okini!