Review: OMO5 Kyoto Gion by Hoshino Resorts

Front desk - OMO5 Kyoto Gion by Hoshino Resorts

Words: Tanya Joslin


Embark on a journey into the enchanting soul of Gion by choosing OMO5 Kyoto Gion, nestled in Kyoto’s historic district. With a fusion of contemporary Japanese style and traditional ambience, this hotel connects you with the local culture, offering a genuine resident-like experience.

Lounge _OMO base_ - OMO5 Kyoto Gion by Hoshino Resorts

From the moment you arrive, OMO5 guides you through a captivating exploration of the Gion Kyoto area, allowing you to immerse in the surrounds and develop a deeper understanding of Japanese heritage.

The location:

Entrance - OMO5 Kyoto Gion by Hoshino Resorts

You’ll be staying in the heart of old Kyoto, just steps from the famed Yasaka Shrine (Yasaka Jinja), originally called the Gion Shrine. OMO5 Kyoto Gion is part of a sublime district (hanamachi) where geisha can be found living and working, and just a five-minute walk from the Keihan Main Line Gion-Shijo Station. This vibrant area has been home to teahouses, temples, theatres, and wooden merchant houses for centuries, though now it has even more to discover.

Traditional festivals and seasonal events are treasured here, especially the annual summer Gion Festival. Many sightseeing spots are within walking distance including the atmospheric ancient streets of Hanami-koji and Ninenzaka, and the heritage-listed Kiyomizu Buddhist temple in the neighbouring Higashiyama district. This significant landmark has endured for 1,200 years — a marvel considering it was built from wood but without any nails!

The nearby Nishiki Market is another must-see for your Kyoto itinerary, home to vendors of fresh seafood and vegetables for 400 years. If you only try one thing, make it the tako tamago, a tender baby octopus stuffed with boiled quail’s egg: a delicacy that put this place on the map.

Sightseeing around hotel 3 - OMO5 Kyoto Gion by Hoshino Resorts

We loved this location — and highly recommend setting your alarm to join the Gion Morning Cleanse, a free tour that the hotel offers and which takes you around Gion, starting at 6.30 am. The streets are silent and empty, offering a unique chance to discover this geisha district and visit shrines in hushed serenity. The hour-long tour finishes with okousen, a soothing hot water drink infused with roasted Chinese herbs to cleanse the body.

Slightly further afield, some of Kyoto’s best attractions are within easy reach by train or bus. One must-see is the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, or Sagano Bamboo Grove (Sagano Chikurin). Travellers from around the world come to experience and photograph its towering bamboo, the sheer scale creating an enchanting atmosphere, especially in good weather. And of course, you can only leave Kyoto once you’ve ticked the vermillion torii gates of Fushimi Inari Taisha off your list, the most famous Shinto shrine complex in the city.

Follow a zen-calm walking tour of Kyoto’s temples

Food & drink:

Breakfast - OMO5 Kyoto Gion by Hoshino Resorts

The hotel can provide a set breakfast meal from Izusen, an authentic Kyoto restaurant that has been around for 150 years. The seasonal dishes will give you a true taste of Gion and are served in your own room (just remember to reserve yours in advance).

Another option for breakfast helps you tap into Kyoto’s unique love of bread — bringing the bakery to you without the need to change out of your pajamas! Simply set your ‘home bakery’ bread machine the night before and prepare for a morning treat. The aroma is purely intoxicating as it wafts through your room, inviting you to start the day like a local and cherry-pick through an array of luscious condiments while sipping drip coffee.

Hotel staff Gion Osewagakari can also help with suggestions on finding the perfect restaurant based on your budget and what you’re craving. A wonderful option as it immerses you more fully into the culture and makes it easy to find something you like without confusion.

Additionally, delicious bento boxes from Hishiiwa (est. 1829) can be delivered to your room with advanced notice.

Best room for two:

Guest Rooms 7 - OMO5 Kyoto Gion by Hoshino Resorts

This boutique Kyoto hotel offers 36 modern Japanese-style rooms that all weave traditional touches with modern comforts and functionality, including complimentary Wi-Fi and flat-screen televisions. Inspired by nature, every room features tatami flooring, sweet wall murals, and lanterns that evoke the look of the city along with kitchens for a homely, local feel.

The Chanoma Twin is ideal for couples, with additional sofa space for relaxing after seeing the sights. The Chanoma Suite Triple can accommodate up to six guests, with extra room for lounging and dining. The rooms may seem simple, but the clean lines and plush furnishings ensure a comfortable stay.

Kyoto Confidential: a comprehensive guide to this charming prefecture

Couples will love:

Sightseeing around hotel 4 - OMO5 Kyoto Gion by Hoshino Resorts

The location and the unique way OMO5 interlaces you with the local way of life. You will have easy access to everything plus free recommendations from the hotel staff, allowing you to get the most out of your stay in this beautiful corner of Japan.

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