The view of Nazuna Kyoto Tsubaki St. main street at night, with a woman standing in the middle with an umbrella.

Unwinding at Nazuna Kyoto Tsubaki St, where Traditional Design meets Modern Comfort

In February, I had the opportunity to stay at Nazuna Kyoto Tsubaki St. to visit their special, limited time gallery. Traditional Japanese elements merge with modern comfort at this beautiful ryokan in Kyoto.

Tucked away on an unassuming street in Kyoto Shimogyo ward, the interior street of the ryokan transports guests to the Edo period. The glowing exterior of each individual room combines to create a street more reminiscent of Kyoto’s famous Gion district than a ryokan. 

The view of Nazuna Kyoto Tsubaki St. main street at night, with a woman standing in the middle with an umbrella.

Rooms Inspired by Nature

Each room is designed around an element of nature. These rooms include the themes of water, bamboo, flowers, leaves, and other natural inspirations. I was so excited to find that my room was inspired by rocks. Since I am a fan of rocks and minerals, I really enjoyed the aesthetic of my room. Chunks of natural rock decorated one wall of the bedroom, while the outdoor bath was surrounded by countless polished river stones. 

The design of each room perfectly encapsulates clean, traditional Japanese design elements with all the modern comforters of a luxury room. The upstairs features a raised tatami mat floor and low table for enjoying tea, along with unique designed chairs for comfortable TV viewing. The bedroom features a large, incredibly comfortable bed in a sunken floor room, with a view into the outside bath area.

The bedroom of the "rock" room in Nazuna Kyoto Tsubaki St. ryokan hotel.

The bathroom has heated floors, a large shower and access to the outside bath, providing both a luxurious and comfortable experience. The exterior bath’s design and soft lighting tempts you into spending hours outside, soaking in the large bath filled with the fragrant bath salts included in the room. 

The large outdoor bathtub in the "rock" room of Nazuna Kyoto Tsubaki St. ryokan hotel.

Tastes of Kyoto

Of course, no stay at a Japanese ryokan is complete without a meal. Nazuna’s restaurant focuses on high quality Japanese beef, prepared in different styles across a multi-course kaiseki (traditional Japanese cuisine) meal. The wagyu (Japanese beef) was served raw, seared, as nigiri (sushi), minsed, and boiled in shabu shabu soup. The meal also included chawanmushi (savory egg custard), soba noodles, and a sweet warabi mochi for dessert. 

A slice of seared Japanese beef being picked up by a pair of wooden chopsticks.

The lobby also features a selection of local Kyoto food, with sweet and savory snacks available throughout the day. The classic yatsuhashi is available along with locally made crunchy bean snacks and mixed nuts. The bar offers both a fine selection of tea and local sake. In the evening, an egg sandwich is delivered to your room as a delightful late night snack. 

The egg sandwich served in the evening at Nazuna Kyoto Tsubaki St. ryokan hotel.

Breathing Life into Traditional Art

The rooms are just one of the many ways Nazuna Kyoto Tsubaki St. incorporates traditional Japanese design elements. At the entrance of the hotel, there is a gallery featuring design items from around the country. Putting a modern twist on traditional arts like pottery, sculpting, and weaving, these featured artist strive to bring new life to these artforms. 

Three tea cups made by Usukiyaki displayed on a gallery table.

I was especially taken by the pottery from Usukiyaki. Named after the kiln culture of Usuki city in Oita prefecture, these ceramics are created by forming clay into plaster molds. The plaster molds are created by carving out the desired design, pressing the clay into the mold, then adding carved details into the clay by hand. This means each item has a unique shape despite using the same mold. You can really appreciate the handmade details in every flower shaped plate and cup crafted by Usukiyaki. 

A flower shaped plate made by Usukiyaki.

The gallery featuring the Usukiyaki pottery and other handcrafted items from around Japan will be displayed through May, 2024 at the Nazuna Kyoto Tsubaki St. ryokan.

Katie is the food and travel blogger behind The Tasty Traveler. An American living in Tokyo, she now also gives tours and does promotional work on social media for locations and business around Japan.
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2 thoughts on “Unwinding at Nazuna Kyoto Tsubaki St, where Traditional Design meets Modern Comfort

  1. I pray God will bless me and allow thing to align where June 2025 I can bring my babyguurl and her brother cousin/my grand nephew for the Big 21 . I hope it’s a good time to travel there weather wise. I saw you with Darius … I’m a follower. If you’re affordable I’d love be your assistance navigating Japan. They are big ANIME fans and game players.

    1. Hi Valencia,
      I’m happy to help with any future planing or tours during your trip to Tokyo. Please feel free to contact me via thetastytraveler.kt@gmail.com for more information and rates.
      June is during the rainy season (tsuyu) so the weather is hot, humid, and quick to change. However, everything gets very green and pretty with lots of blooming flowers.

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