On May 12, the Imperial Hotel officially released plans for their luxury hotel project in Kyoto’s Gion district. This will be the fourth Imperial Hotel in Japan and the newest in almost three decades. It is also expected to be the most expensive of their hotels, with a level of service matching that of the Imperial Floors in their Tokyo hotel.
The hotel will replicate part of the historic Yasaka Kaikan hall dating from 1936. This theatre was designed by Tokusaburo Kimura (1890-1958) and built to showcase Kyoto’s traditional dancing. It was registered as a National Tangible Cultural Property in 2001 and in 2011 was given a historic designation by Kyoto City.
In recent years it had become increasingly costly to maintain and was in need of earthquake-retrofitting.
The property is located in a district with 12-meter building height limits, however, special approval has been obtained to build up to the 31.5-meter height of the original Yasaka Kaikan building. The 3,600 sqm lot will be leased from the landowner, the Yasaka Nyokoba Gakuen. Two new hotel buildings will be constructed – a north wing and the main hotel wing.
The new main wing will be built with the same roof style as the former Yasaka Kaikan, while the main facade on the south-west side will be incorporated into the new building.
The total building size will be 10,804 sqm and the project cost is estimated at around 11 billion Yen. The hotel will have 60 guest rooms, restaurant, bar, spa, pool, and gym. Construction is scheduled to start in April 2022, with the new hotel to open in 2026.
Demolition of the old Yasaka Kaikan will start in June 2021.
The Imperial Hotel News Release, May 12, 2021.
The Asahi Shimbun, May 14, 2021.
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