NEW YORK, NY. (July 27, 2015) – Highly acclaimed for being the only luxury resort in the cultural heart of Japan, The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto is debuting a series of new offerings rich in Japanese culture, infusing old traditions with modern luxury and appealing to international travelers around the world. From immersing oneself in the art of samurai and kimono, to mastering the craft of sushi, the new offerings at The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto are perfect for any type of traveler eager to soak up the incredible culture that has shaped Kyoto to be recognized as the best city in the world by Travel + Leisure for the second year in a row.
Kimono and Rickshaw Experience
With the Kimono and Rickshaw Experience, guests can explore the city just as locals have traditionally done for centuries by wearing an authentic, Japanese kimono appropriate for the season as they tour the city in a rickshaw. As the temperatures soar in Japan, it is customary for locals to wear a yukata, a type of kimono made with light cotton cloth to keep cool for summer. With the help of a yukata stylist, guests will have their hair perfectly styled and choose their own special yukata garment to wear, complimented by their own traditional geta wooden sandals with an elevated sole and fabric thong for their rickshaw journey. As guests proceed to the rickshaw, The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto encourages them to first take photos in front of the grand bonsai tree, which is located in the heart of resort’s timeless yet modern lobby. Guests will then enter a Jinrikisha rickshaw where they can choose one of two tours and immerse themselves in the surrounding scenery. Guests can decide to either venture into Kyoto’s most renowned geiko district Gion, reputable for its preserved wooden machiya merchant houses, or Kyoto’s commercial district Higashiyama, known for selling Japanese specialties such as Kiyomizu-yaki pottery, sweets, pickles, and crafts. The Kimono and Rickshaw Experience is available between July 1, 2015 to September 30, 2015 at a rate of 17, 000 JPY (approximately 137 USD). The rickshaw holds two adults and two children at a time and is approximately one hour.
In feudal times, samurai warriors practiced the performing art of kenbu (meaning “sword dance”) to prepare themselves for battle. In this class, guests are invited to learn basic kenbu moves using a real samurai sword while dressed in traditional costume. After learning basic techniques, guests have the opportunity to enjoy a stage performance by a kenbu master. The Samurai Experience is offered from 4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. every Tuesday, at a rate of 8,000 JPY (approximately 65 USD) per person. Children under the age of five can enjoy the Samurai Experience compliments of the resort.
With its calm streets and serene surroundings, Kyoto is an ideal city to explore by bicycle. Cycle Kyoto offers a variety of sightseeing tours where guests can peddle through places such as the Shimogamo and Heian Jingu shrines. Led by experts who can provide unique and educational insight into these historic sites, tours are offered from 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, depending on the weather, and are offered compliments of the resort.
Sushi Master Class
Donning a crisp chef’s apron, guests will learn how to craft the perfect sushi maki rolls under the expert guidance of the Mizuki sushi chef, Tokyo-born Chef de Cuisine Masahiko Miura, in the Sushi Master Class. After sushi is made, guests are invited to a tasting session were they can sample their own creations. The Sushi Mater Class is offered from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. on second Sunday of every month, at a rate of 3,500 JPY (approximately 29 USD) per person.
Sake Tasting Class
In this tasting class, guests will sample a variety of premium sakes, from Fushimi area – well-known for its production of sake in Kyoto – popular “sparking sake”, and fruit sake such as peach, yuzu, and pear, in addition to learning more about the processes and techniques behind Japan’s cherished national beverage. Led by the resort’s experienced in-house sommelier, guests will be guided through the world of sake, and learn the art of sake-tasting. The Sake Tasting Class costs JPY 5,000 per person and drinks are accompanied with light snacks. The class is offered from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of every month.
Exquisitely crafted wagashi sweets have been enjoyed in Japan since ancient times. In this workshop, Japanese sweets artisans will teach guests the art of creating their own traditional Japanese confectionery, to be enjoyed alongside a cup of matcha green tea. Japanese Sweets is offered from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month, at a rate of 3,500 JPY (approximately 29 USD) per person.