KYOTO, JAPAN, March 1, 2017: The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto opened in 2014 with a unique design concept that skillfully combines Japanese and Western design elements with classic antiques, modern elements and many original art pieces. As guests make their way through the interior of the hotel, they will notice one of the hotel’s key cultural heritages - Ebisugawa-tei – a historical Japanese residence built in 1908 entirely from gorgeous cypress wood. Its original owner, Denzaburo Fujita, is still famous today as the first ordinary citizen in Japanese history to become a baron. He was also a successful business man, famous as the founder of the Fujita Zaibatsu (“Finance Group”). Having played a key role in the modernization of Japan, he has become a symbol of politics and economics during the Meiji period.
The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto offers a unique experience at Ebisugawa-tei. Guests are invited to dress in kimono and enjoying fine Italian dining at this special history property, similar to the way the upper class would dress in kimono and enjoy western cuisine following the influx of foreign culture to Japan during the Meiji era. This special plan includes a sumptuous Italian lunch course, dessert, and professional kimono dressing and hair styling from Kyoto Gionya, leaving guests free to enjoy a special day, free of preparation. From Ebisugawa-tei, guests can enjoy beautiful views of the hotel’s elegant Japanese garden as they enjoy stunning Italian cuisine. Following lunch, guests are welcome to take a stroll around the vicinity of The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto in their kimono, a traditionally popular activity among the people of Kyoto. Walking along the nearby Kamogawa River leads guests to a wealth of local sights including temples, shrines, traditional shops, cafes and small streams.
◆Time : 11:30am-2:30pm (Last Order)
◆Content : Lunch including 4 dishes and 1 desert
◆Price : Weekday :20,000 incl tax and service charge
Weekends and public holidays :25,000 incl tax and service charge
* Reservations are accepted by 6:00pm the previous day
* Price includes the cost of the room, assistance in dressing in kimono and hair arrangement, and lunch
* Please arrive one hour in advance
* During the summer season, a yukata, a cotton kimono will worn
To coincide with the opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto in 2014, Ebisugawa-tei was given a full interior renovation in order to restore the residence to its former glory, completed in October 2013. Although today Ebisugawa-tei consists of two guest rooms, it originally consisted of a 27 square meter main room, a 5.5 square meter bedroom, and two small rooms on either side of the main room. The residence’s many decorative wooden elements are made of top-grade cypress wood which is no longer available these days. The traditional Japanese tokonoma alcove was constructed using boards made of Japanese zelkova wood. When it was dismantled during renovations, it was discovered that 2-3 different types of construction had been used for similar features, suggesting that several skilled craftsmen had competed against each other during its construction.
As the residence housed many valuable items and treasures and was in a decrepit state meant that renovations took almost 10 months to complete. All wooden parts of the house were preserved and reused for reconstruction, with the most severely damaged kamoi and shikii parts of the room, as well as damaged doors and locks, being repaired using replaced wood from other rooms in the building. Over coated plaster was peeled off, strained and mixed with top coating paint to be painted on the walls again.
Ebisugawa-tei also houses many remarkable features which were reincorporated following the renovations. Particularly noteworthy elements include the precisely detailed kugikakushi nail covers which are decorated with six petals and six leaves, two sliding doors featuring peacock, sparrow and cloud motifs that were converted into one beautiful Japanese folding screen, and a reused door knob featuring a rare plover design on sterling silver. Also, the chigaidana staggered shelves were made using a traditional nanakonuri coating technique, and feature metalwork edge-strips known as fudegaeshi, engraved with fine lines and painted using charcoal ink, making them the only item of their kind in the world. One more point of interest to visitors is the ranma decoration between the sliding doors and walls, which were designed and carved differently on each side.