Concept“Carving the future out of history”

Kiyomizu Elementary School opened in 1869, and was then relocated into this very building, newly constructed for that purpose in 1933. The hotel still holds on to the unique characteristics of the building located onto a slope, and the tasteful combination of Japanese and Western aesthetics. It encapsulates the taste of its traditional design in a modern, comfortable space.

Memories of the former Kiyomizu Elementary School

Kiyomizu Elementary School began with the 27th Shimogyo Elementary School, which opened in 1869. This elementary school also served as a gathering spot for local authorities and traditional communities over the years.
In 1933, Kiyomizu Elementary School was relocated to the new building that has now become The Hotel Seiryu Kyoto Kiyomizu. At the time, construction trends for elementary in Japan were starting to forsake the traditional wooden buildings in favor of modern-looking reinforced concrete ones.

Among these, Kiyomizu Elementary School was known as unique for its location and super exterior and interior design.

An Higashiyama landmark

This complex, surrounded by green on the Higashiyama hillside, acts as a landmark for the area. It is comprised of three differently sized buildings arranged in the shape of a horseshoe, connected by a large central staircase. Details such as the Spanish tiled penthouse on the east wing building make for a dynamic construction that emphasizes the slope it is built upon. It is a symbol of sorts for the Higashiyama area, where few buildings stand this tall.

A historical exterior design

The exterior design inherits the western design roots of its construction, with the outer walls of the south wing, where the hotel reception is located, decorated with exposed artificial stone and tiles, the top arched windows, the Spanish tiled parapet, the wooden corbels below it, and many more details.

Despite its characteristic appearance, it blends into the Higashiyama atmosphere, and is a crucial part of its beautiful landscape.

・A warm sense of exterior
The ocher-colored outer walls of the south wing are decorated with exposed artificial stone and tiles.
・Arched windows bordered with stone borders
The arched windows on top of the south wing building are one of the main features of its aesthetic. In the Showa era, arches were a common design element for elementary schools in Kyoto and throughout Japan.
・Spanish tiled roof
The parapet on the roof is covered in Spanish tiles, exemplifying the European influence on the building’s design.
・Wooden decorations
The Spanish tiled roof is supported by a set of beautiful wooden corbels. The east wing, around the opening of the uppermost portion of its outer walls, features wooden boards in a lattice pattern. These dark brown wooden accents further enhance the exterior’s uniqueness.

Interior design hinting at its school origins

Each space within the hotel was designed to preserve its original features and hint at its original purpose, such as the class rooms, meeting rooms, etiquette classrooms, gymnasium and auditorium, etc. In particular, in common areas such as stairs and corridors, there are many decorations, such as beams and sidings, that serve as a memory of the people who have been educated here.

The Kiyomizu Elementary School before restoration

Artworks in the hotel

Various places in the hotel, including the rooms, entrances, breakfast restaurant, gardens, and private baths, etc. feature beautiful works of art. Most of them are works of artists related to Kyoto, and they evoke pleasant childhood memories. We hope that this exquisite art will make your stay even more memorable.

Enjoy the wonderful view

Located on a hill in Kiyomizu, surrounded by greenery, the hotel also boasts a panoramic view of the green mountains of Higashiyama and the city of Kyoto. From the rooftop bar and guest lounge you can overlook the five-storied Yasaka Pagoda in the Hokanji Temple, and the rooms, terraces, and gardens are also blessed with breathtaking views. The traditional Kyoto event “Gozan-no-Okuribi*”, which is held every year on August 16th, can also be seen from the hotel premises.
* You cannot see “Daimonji” at Nyoigatake, Higashiyama.

“The hotel Seiryu Kyoto kiyomizu” (“ザ・ホテル青龍 京都清水” in Japanese) derives from two elements: “Kyoto kiyomizu,” which has an eternal history and is one of world-class tourist sites, and “Seiryu (blue dragon),” which has been believed to be a protective deity in Higashiyama. We decided the name, aiming to introduce this hotel with such local features and characteristic of historic elementary school building to the world.

Development personnel

Planning, development, general supervision
NTT Urban Development Corporation
Schematic design
Tokyu Architects & Engineers INC.
Construction drawing and construction
Design supervision
NOMURA Co., Ltd. A.N.D.
Creative Director Ryu Kosaka
Interior design
NOMURA Co., Ltd. A.N.D.
Exterior design
Landscape design
Lighting design
Illumination of City Environment (ICE), Ltd.
Artwork consulting
Graphic design
GRAPH Co. Ltd.
Uniform design
Oens Inc.