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A ryokan where everyone feels as if they're ''returning home''

Stepping into Hiiragiya, a calligraphy work welcomes people saying ''Everyone feels as if they're returning home.'' This is very true at Hiiragiya: they offer perfect comfort and warmth to every guest from around Japan and the world.

In 1818, a man came to Kyoto from Fukui and started a business selling seafood on the site where Hiiragiya stands today. Since he was often asked to provide lodgings by those who had traveled a long distance, he gradually started an accommodation business and this is how Hiiragiya as a ryokan was born.

Beautiful Japanese room in the main building

The first-generation held a deep reverence for Hiiragi Shrine (a sub-shrine of Shimogamo Shrine), hence he named his accommodation ''Hiiragiya'', or the House of Holly. Hiiragi means holly tree, which is a symbol of holiness. This is why guests discover a number of holly designs everywhere in the ryokan.

Today, Akemi Nishimura, the 6th-generation Okami (the female manager who is responsible for the overall running of the ryokan), runs Hiiragiya. Born as a daughter of the former Okami, Akemi grew up seeing her grandmother's and mother's life as Okami. While raising her four children, Akemi's life as an Okami started from arranging flowers in the ryokan.

Authentic Kyoto cuisine; savor seasonal delicacies

''Kyoto is the city where a deep sense of hospitality and sensitivity to other people is inherent. More importantly, we never forget to raise children, who will take over the future of Kyoto, with this sense. I'm a bit worried as everything changes extremely quickly today, but I believe what makes Kyoto special is that this city has never lost and will not lose sight of the things which must not be forgotten or changed,'' says Akemi.

Try to look for Hiiragiya's symbolic holly leaf design

''I hope to provide our guests with peaceful and warm moments that can be experienced only at a traditional Japanese ryokan.'' In 2018, Hiiragiya celebrates their 200th anniversary. Every guest is welcomed ''as if returning home.'' A night at Hiiragiya will be an absolutely unforgettable experience which will remain warmly in your heart forever.

Tel: 075-221-1136