ICONIC BEAUTY| Autore Emanuele Melani
Nestled in a secret garden in the heart of a 32-hectare forest, the third Aman destination in Japan Aman Kyoto was inaugurated November 1, 2019. It unfolds as a secluded divine refuge: blankets of moss illuminate the emerald in lush undergrowth, winding paths connect tranquil forest clearings and waterways offer a relaxing soundtrack, interrupted only by the songs of birds. A trip to a peaceful retreat, where gardens, treatments and waters rejuvenate body and mind. Aman Kyoto is nestled in a wooded park, a few steps from the iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Kinkaku-ji Temple and near the center of Kyoto. Inside a hidden valley, formed by a manicured platform, the garden is enclosed by a small stream on one side and by a wooded hill on the other. Ethereal landscapes with mature cedar, cypress, camelia and Japanese maple trees offer a calm and striking setting for Aman Kyoto, inspired by a respectful architectural design of self-irrigation by collecting rainwater through numerous caves and water tunnels on site. Named Kerry Hill Garden in honor of Kerry Hill who designed Aman Kyoto, amidst Aman’s many other properties around the world, this rich landscape stands as a living tribute to the iconic architect with characteristic elegance and sensitivity to complete the lush environment. Interior colors are neutral, complementary to the work of local artisans: handmade raku tile panels grace the Living Pavilion and custom ceramic tiles decorate the restaurant. Surprisingly minimalist in their design, rooms have extensive windows that frame the spectacular natural environment, tatami mat-covered floors and tokonoma that provide subtle focal points. The spacious and bright interiors are ingeniously made to promote peace, relaxation and contemplation. All furniture pieces, including traditional Japanese lanterns, have been customdesigned and are exclusive to Aman Kyoto.
The latticed oto pavilions are a contemporary homage to the traditional Japanese ryokan inn, featuring six categories of rooms including two Presidential Suites located in the Washigamine and Takagamine pavilions. Aman Kyoto accomodation offers luxuriant isolation overlooking the garden and maximum privacy. 29 hectares of forest and 3 hectares of beautiful gardens surround Aman Kyoto and are the serene setting for the Aman Spa. Guests can experience guided meditation and yoga, as well as Shinrin-yoku, the healing art of “forest bathing.” The natural spring water flowing under Aman Kyoto is at the center of the philosophy of the resort’s spa, and something quite rare in the region. Traditional onsen bathing facilities use water from a local spring, and offer relaxation and healing in their purest forms, while a series of treatments tap into Japan’s plentiful natural apothecary. The heart of the resort is Aman’s festive Living Pavilion with central fireplace and glass doors onto a decorated terrace overlooking the Kerry Hill garden. There Executive Chef Kentaro Torii takes the helm, offering both traditional flavors and innovative western dishes. Taka-an, the resort’s Japanese restaurant, honors the legacy of artist Honami Koetsu (1558-1637), who helped shape the culture and creative life of Takagamine. An enchanted stay in a pure scene.