In 1952, Yoshikawa opened its doors as a Japanese bed and breakfast. It occupies a Sukiya-zukuri building that was built in early 20th century and a Japanese garden, which covers one third of the property, was created even before that. It’s said that the garden was designed by Kobori Enshu, a legendary gardener from the Edo period.
The building was the former residence of Ema Tenko, the master of Chinese poetry and principal of the private school that later became Ritsumeikan University. The garden by Kobori Enshu was created around that time and once was once known as “Ema Forest”. Today, much of its original form remains, and it continues to offer a serene quietness in the heart of the city.
It is said that intellectuals of the time, such as Otagaki Rengetsu and Tomioka Tessai to name a few, frequented the house as a salon. Their works can still be seen in the building.
Since the building was a former private residence, each of the 8 rooms displays a different décor. We hope you will enjoy the unique experience each room offers. Immerse yourself in the early Japanese modern architecture and its space. One step into the building provides a getaway from the bustle of the city. Renovating the once tearoom, our Tempura Counter Bar opened in 1964, the year of the Tokyo Olympics. Serving Tempura over the counter was a new experience in Kyoto at that time. Enjoy our Tempura course at the counter or in a private tatami room.