Japan’s First ‘Detached Hotel’ Opens its Doors in Kyoto

11.02.2019

photo by Satoshi Asakawa

Enso Ango is the first detached hotel in Japan, a site where the buildings are isolated from one another, melting into the rest of the town. In the face of increasing ‘All-Inclusive’ holidaying, Enso Ango in Kyoto hopes to force its visitors out of their bubble.

The hotel was created in order for tourists to have more opportunities to discover their surroundings. Each of the five buildings are set apart by a few hundred metres, and in order to access the hotel from your room, you must therefore walk a few metres through the town, offering the opportunity to admire the architecture, or peer into the workshop of a local artisan. The hotel does not only lend itself to serendipity, but also seeks to reinvigorate the local economy and integrate tourism with the rest of the community. It breaks apart the closed circuits that foreign tourists often find themselves trapped in and encourages them to discover Kyoto on their own terms, all while providing the reassurance of never being far away from a point of reference. It is a way of combatting the damaging effects of mass tourism and riding the wave of the city’s serene energy.

The hotel might be scattered, but it remains luxurious. The interior design of the 86 rooms, composed of white walls with wooden detailing, was conceived of so as to offer a zen-like experience for its guests. This minimalist aesthetic, executed by a team of Swiss and Japanese designers, can be found throughout the five buildings, with a state-of-the-art gym and a chic contemporary art collection nestled alongside sliding Shoji panels in wood and rice paper.

This ‘dispersed’ concept is a European import and can be found most notably in certain villages in the south of Italy where the local population has long since moved on. Over the coming years, should the Kyoto establishment prove itself a success, the founders plan to create seven other hotels in this style across Japan.

photo by Tomooki Kengaku

photo by Tomooki Kengaku

photo by Tomooki Kengaku

photo by Tomooki Kengaku

photo by Tomooki Kengaku

Enso Ango Tomi I

152-154 Sujiyacho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto, 600-8061

www.ensoango.com