HIIRAGIYA was established in 1818, and has gained a requtation as one of the most beloved of Japan's traditional inns, or ryokan. Under the ownership of the same family for six generations, Hiiragiya has been host to internationally famous men and women-writers, artists, politicians, scientists, and members of the imperial family. Both Nobel Prize winning novelist, Yasunari Kawabata, and noted author, Junichiro Tanizaki, considered Hiiragiya to be their home away from home.
"On a drizzly afternoon in Kyoto, sitting by the window, I watch the falling rain, listen to it's calming sound. It is here, at Hiiragiya, that I wistfully recall that sense of tranquility that belonged to old Japan.
“The light from the pale white paper, powerless to dispel the heavy darkness of the alcove, is instead repelled by the darkness, creating a world where dark and light are indistinguishable... a rare tranquility not found in ordinary light...”
Hiiragiya takes its name from a type of holly (hiiragi) that is believed to bring good fortune. You'll find the symbol of the holly leaf, our trademark, throughout the inn. It is our wish that it will bring you the good luck it has brought us over the years.
Each of the twenty-eight rooms at Hiiragiya was uniquely designed with its own special motif. Some rooms feature lacquered bathrooms, while others are of marble or tile. Painted folding screens in some of the rooms are done on gold leaf; others have ink paintings on handmade paper in the Zen style. Details like polished wooden beams, reed ceilings, and hand-carved transomes are to be found in all the rooms at Hiiragiya, as well as antique maki-e lacquered writing boxes . . . gilded and inlaid with mother-of- pearl. All rooms are traditional Japanese style, with tatami mats, papered shoji window, and sliding fusuma doors.
Contemporary amentities have been unobtrusively combined with the overall traditional design. Since the turn of the century, the proprietors of Hiiragiya have tried to keep abreast of the times. Note the specially-made lacquered remote control boxes shaped like gourds in every room-one of great-grandfather's treasured inventions. It not only turns the light off and on, but opens and closes the curtains-a first in its day, and a symbol of Hiiragiya's wish to serve the needs of the present without disregarding the aesthetic considerations of the past.
We serve the finest quality Kyoto-style Kaiseki cuisine, carefully prepared with the freshest seasonal ingredients, and elegantly presented on handcrafted Kiyomizu ceramics and the finest lacquer ware.
A variety of different Kyoto specialties are also available a la carte in season.