Kyoto, the city on the island of Honshu and once Japan's ancient imperial capital, is now home to a modern-day shrine, of sorts, with the opening of the latest Aman Resorts property.
Set within 29 hectares of forest and more than three hectares of garden, the site's original owner, a collector of the obi, the ornamental sash of a traditional kimono, intended the space to be a textile museum t surrounded by the moss-covered stone walls and maple and cedar lined pathways.
Instead, six guest pavilions, built in the latticed style of traditional ryokan, or inn, house 26 rooms with Tatami floor mats, tokonoma (alcoves in which to place artwork), blonde cypress furniture and floor to ceiling glass for a nature experience from the comfort of your bed,
Just beyond the Living Pavilion for all-day dining and overlooking a sunken lounge with firepit is the Kerry Hill garden, named in honour of the Australian architect whose practice designed the hotel.
Hill's stamp is also on two other properties at Amanemu Resort in Ise Shima National Park and Aman Tokyo.
At the Kyoto property's Japanese restaurant Taka-an, the kaiseki meal provides guests with a glimpse into the hospitality that's steeped in centuries-old tradition. A set number of delicate, seasonal-only dishes including slow - cooked abalone and canola flower - are silently assembled by several chefs in front of diners and served on special ceramic dishes.
The spa with traditional onsen using water from a local spring has indoor and outdoor bathing and treatments feature local ingredients from the sake in the foot bath, to the camellia oil used during massage to local roasted green tea served afterwards..
Rooms from $1006 a night. See aman.com
Jane Reddy travelled as a guest of Aman Resorts