Kyoto Accomodation: ‘The Screen’ Boutique Hotel

The Screen is a bit of an anomaly for ancient Kyoto, but a one of a kind place to stay and well worth your consideration. I have passed by The Screen countless times and been in once to have a look around, reconnoitering for guests coming from abroad. It always looked (and sounded) pretty interesting to me but as I live in Kyoto, I have never had an opportunity to stay at The Screen but it was one of the first places on my list for accommodations in Kyoto to check out for OpenKyoto.

Boutique hotels are more than cool and of great interest to me. I have stayed at a few boutique hotels in other countries, the Soho Hotel in London was a mind altering experience for me and I have wished that we had more places like that in Kyoto.

SHARE! Kyoto Support Forum: Accommodation in Kyoto

The Screen has just thirteen guest rooms and each on is designed by a designer or artist. The signature of the designer of the room appears on metal plate that includes the room number. Each room has a distinctly unique theme and visual design. I was able to visit two rooms; room 101 and 401, it seems that the themes are either Japanese or not Japanese.

Kyoto Accomodation: 'The Screen' Boutique Hotel

Room 101: Night

Kyoto Accomodation: 'The Screen' Boutique Hotel

Room 101: Day (morning)

Room 101 is quite delightful. The main visual element is the hand painted fusuma sliding screens with their ‘night’ and ‘day’ sides. When you come back to your room at night, on the living room side you will see irises which is considered a night flower and somewhat romantic. In the morning, when you wake up, on the bedroom side you will see morning glories, dramatically lit. That is great!

Kyoto Accomodation: 'The Screen' Boutique Hotel

Room 101 - Designed by Tetsuei Nakamura

Eager Inc., on the bottom right, is the name of the company that developed The Screen hotel. When companies and artists collaborate in Japan now, it is stylish to write: party A x party B. A simple ‘+’ just wouldn’t be sufficient.

Kyoto Accomodation: 'The Screen' Boutique Hotel

Room 401

Kyoto Accomodation: 'The Screen' Boutique Hotel

Room 401

Room 401 is a contemporary design without a trace of traditional Kyoto. It is a very spacious room with a sleek and minimal look and feel.

Kyoto Accomodation: 'The Screen' Boutique Hotel

The Rooftop Sky Lounge

The lobby and other common spaces in the hotel have interior decoration and furnishings with Kyoto themes, below is Kyoto’s famed Nishijin-ori weaving with treasure symbol and The Screen logo, which looks like an ‘I’ to me, but it is actually an ‘H’ I was told. This fabric is used on many of the sofas and chairs in the hotel.

Kyoto Accomodation: 'The Screen' Boutique Hotel

Takura Zukushi Pattern: Treasure Symbols

Several years ago, a traditional Kyoto umbrella maker, Hiyoshiya, facing drastically declining sales developed a very ‘Kyoto’ product, a handmade lampshade made with the same materials and techniques as traditional umbrellas. This product is called Kotori and has become quite a hit and is distributed abroad. The Screen has 13 of Kotori decorating their lobby. Each one is hand painted with one of the takara zukushi treasure symbols.

I don’t know if this was planned or not, but when you enter the upper lobby and see the Kotori, you cannot see any color. Once you completely arrive, from below, you can see the 13 different colors. If intentional, that would be very authentically Kyoto. In old Kyoto houses, often the most expensive wood and materials are used in parts of the room that are not readily visible. Their discovery is made difficult. The same can be true with mens kimono, the most expensive or intricately crafted fabric might be on the inside, not the outside.

Kyoto Accomodation: 'The Screen' Boutique Hotel

The Screen Lobby: Kotori 'Umbrella' Light Fixture

Kyoto Accomodation: 'The Screen' Boutique Hotel

From Above: The Screen Lobby: Kotori 'Umbrella' Light Fixture

Kyoto Accomodation: 'The Screen' Boutique Hotel

From Below: The Screen Lobby: Kotori 'Umbrella' Light Fixture

Kyoto Accomodation: 'The Screen' Boutique Hotel

The Screen Lobby

Kyoto Accomodation: 'The Screen' Boutique Hotel

The Screen Noren Curtain

Kyoto Accomodation: 'The Screen' Boutique Hotel

The Screen Hotel Exterior

One the whole I liked The Screen and compared to the average boutique hotel, it is not particularly expensive. The big international chain hotels in Kyoto are quite soulless and not at all cheap. The Screen has some soul, perhaps a bit more Tokyo soul than Kyoto, but it is an excellent alternative to international hotels, especially if you don’t want to stay at a ryokan inn.

Plus

  • You don’t have to sit on the floor, no tatami mats, chairs and sofas abound. (Staying at a traditional ryokan can be rough on your legs. Read about Japanese Ryokan Inns and Stiff Joints on Kyoto Support.)
  • Conveniently located, within 5 to 10 minutes by taxi of half a dozen UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Reasonably priced for a boutique hotel, about the same price as an international hotel in Kyoto.
  • Perhaps the largest beds of any hotel in Japan.
  • Funky and novel.

Minus

  • Perhaps a bit short on authentic Kyoto style hospitality.

KyotoFoodie Article: Just next to The Screen is Ryuen, a traditional wagashi maker that makes chagashi, which is wagashi for the tea ceremony. See our Ryuen article on KyotoFoodie.
Sake in Kyoto: Just a few minutes walk from The Screen is Kunitaya which has an awesome selection of premium fresh, unpasteurized sake. More here and here.
Twitter: Find out what’s going on in Kyoto right now, follow me on Twitter.

English and Access
The Screen
English service: Yes
Website: http://www.the-screen.jp/ (Japanese language only)
Location and Access: Located on Teramachi-dori street just south of Marutamachi-dori street. The closest stations are Jingu Marutamachi Station (formerly Marutamachi Station) on the Keihan Line and Marutamachi Station on the Karasuma Subway line. The Screen is 2 or 3 minute walk to the Gosho Imperial Palace and about 5 minutes to the Kamo River.
Address
: Kyoto-shi Nakagyo-ku Teramachi Marutamachi-sagaru Shimogoryomae-cho 640-1 (京都市中京区寺町丸太町下ル下御霊前町 640-1)
tel: 075-252-1113 FAX: 075-252-1311

Map

View OpenKyoto/KyotoFoodie Map in a larger map

3 Responses to “Kyoto Accomodation: ‘The Screen’ Boutique Hotel”

  1. Chase Kerker says:

    Lol, sehr gut. Komme jetzt

  2. Lennie says:

    I just signed up to your rss feed!

  3. J Stant says:

    This was a great stay. Thank you for the info!

Leave a Reply

ContactCopyright © OpenKyoto, All Rights Reserved.