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January 25, 2022
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Sunset Sakura Cruise on Yakata boat, Hisui, at HOSHINOYA Kyoto

Sunset views of cherry blossoms in Kyoto from our original Yakata boat named Hisui  

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HOSHINOYA Kyoto, a ryokan in Arashiyama where all the guest rooms have a river view, will open the Sunset Sakura Cruise on an original Yakata boat, Hisui, starting from 25 March to 10 April 2022. This program is available to one group per day to spend a private viewing of the cherry blossoms from the Oi River of Kyoto whilst enjoying sake and wagashi, Japanese confectionery. Much like the nobles of the Heian period, who enjoyed boating while admiring the scenery of the four seasons of the valley, guests can spend an elegant time from Hisui, as one watches the cherry blossoms in the dusk dyed valleys of Arashiyama.

Cherry blossom viewing is said to have started in the Heian period when nobles at that time read waka poems under cherry blossoms while drinking sake. Since Emperor Kameyama transplanted hundreds of cherry trees from Mt. Yoshino in Nara Prefecture at the end of the 13th century, Arashiyama has been known as a place for cherry blossom viewing and popular as a destination amongst travelers. Heian nobles built vacation houses in Arashiyama and enjoyed boating with the scenery of the valley of the four seasons while reading waka poems and listening to orchestral music. We developed this activity with the hopes for guests to spend an elegant time looking at cherry blossoms in a quiet valley at dusk in Kyoto, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Characteristic 1: Viewing cherry blossoms in Kyoto on an elegant Yakata boat, Hisui
In this activity, guests will be able to take a Yakata boat ride in Oi river, in front of HOSHINOYA Kyoto, to watch cherry-colored mountainsides of the valley. The cherry blossoms in Arashiyama have been selected as one of Japan’s Top 100 cherry blossom viewing sites. Since the slope of the valley is steep, it is characterized by gorgeous scenery where every single cherry tree of about 1500 trees such as Someiyoshino and Yamazakura stands out. Enjoy a private time for cherry blossom viewing under the warm lights of the sunset.

Characteristic 2: Enchanted by Spring wagashi, Japanese confectionery, and sake
In spring, the nobles of the Heian period held gatherings to enjoy cherry blossoms with a glass of sake in hand and enjoyed fruits such as pears, persimmons, and chestnuts as side dishes. Japanese sake and Japanese confectionery served during this program reflect the taste of spring. Sake made from rice grown in the town of Ine in Kyoto called Ine Mankai, characterized by its red color, reminding us of spring, is served. An original Japanese confectionery specifically to match the red rice wine is made by Omuro Wagashi Itotatsu, a Japanese confectionery store in Kyoto. The cherry blossom-colored dried confectionery uses dried fruits such as strawberries and mango, as well as almonds, and is inside sticky rice. The sweetness and sourness of the fruitful sake, Ine Mankai enhances the slightly sweet flavor of the Japanese confectionery. The coming of spring can be identified through both sight and taste during an evening of cherry blossom viewing.

Characteristic 3: Elegant times on Yakata boat, Hisui
Hisui is an original Yakata boat of HOSHINOYA Kyoto using materials and decorations that have long been familiarized in Kyoto. For example, Kitayama cedar and Japanese cypress used in residences of Kyoto create the boat's framework and throughout the boat, there are copper decorations that have been used as decorations for pillars and ceilings of temples since ancient times. The boat is surrounded by a traditional Japanese blind to create an elegant space similar to scenes depicted in Heian Emaki (picture scrolls of the Heian period). Moreover, the roof of the boat has a special glass that can be switched from opaque to transparent with a flick of a button so that guests can enjoy an expansive view of the glittering glow of the surface of the river.

Sunset Sakura Cruise in a glance
Period: 25 March – 10 April 2022
Time: 5:20 pm to 6:10 pm
Price: 36,300 JPY per group (includes tax and service charge)
Price includes: private use of Yakata boat “Hisui”, Sake, Japanese confectionery
Available: to guests staying at HOSHINOYA Kyoto
Capacity: 1 group per day (maximum of 4 persons per group)
Reservation: required a week in advance
・In case of bad weather, the program may be cancelled
・Depending on the weather, the time may be subject to change

Address: 11-2 Arashiyama Genrokuzancho, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 616-0007
Number of Rooms: 25
Check-in: 3:00 pm/Check-out: 12:00 pm
Price: Starting from 134,000 JPY per night per room (includes tax and service charge, excludes meals)
Directions: Approximately 10 minutes by walk from Arashiyama Station (Hankyu Line)

Luxury hotel embodying the true characteristics of land, history, and culture
HOSHINOYA is an accommodation with distinct themes, conceptualized from each location's land, history, and culture. Woven into these distinct themes is our attention to detail in every aspect from the design to hospitality; contributing to the creation of a one-of-a-kind world of HOSHINOYA. Enrich the heart with the epiphanies of travel through a unique stay experience.

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