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[Hoshino Resorts Feature] Head to HOSHINOYA Kyoto to Become Beautiful with Kimono and Noh this Autumn! (Part 2)

Kyoto, a city with 1,000 years of tradition. Escape from the busy and noisy modern day to HOSHINOYA Kyoto, a gorgeous inn established within the former private residence of a wealthy Kyoto merchant deep in Arashiyama. Try your hand at Zen meditation on the first day, and follow it up on the second day with a private Noh lesson, done while garbed in a kimono. Dive deep into the culture and learn about the fundamentals of beauty on this trip!

A Special Travel Plan for Improving Yourself Through Noh and Zen at HOSHINOYA Kyoto

I came across “Basics of Beauty”, a special autumn travel plan that would let me better myself through Noh and Zen meditation at HOSHINOYA Kyoto, a facility established within the former vacation home of Ryoi Suminokura, a wealthy Kyoto merchant.

After the first day, in which you get to hear a sermon at a Zen temple and enjoy Buddhist cuisine, you’ll get to take a private Noh lesson (click here for the 1st day report).

2nd Day at HOSHINOYA Kyoto

My second day at HOSHINOYA Kyoto started off with breakfast. I scarfed down the food while still in my pajamas and without makeup on.

While eating, I enjoyed the view of Arashiyama covered in morning mist and listened to the sound of the falling rain.

8 AM: Breakfast Hot Pot While Gazing at the Misty Surroundings of Mt. Ogura

The main dish was a warm breakfast hot pot. The specially made soup was bubbling hot, and inside it were seasonal vegetables and autumn mushrooms. Tip: If you change up the flavoring with some grated yam and add in some cooked rice, you can even enjoy it as rice gruel!

Wear a Kimono and Get Your Makeup Done

After putting on the kimono that I chose ahead of time from a catalog, I headed to the main activity of the day - the Noh lesson. A professional fitter helped me put it on in just 20 minutes! I thought I looked radiant in it.

Later, I did a little research and found that more rental kimono services were opening up in Tokyo, so for just a few thousand yen, anyone could wear a kimono. Discovering that made me want to wear kimono more often!

According to the fitter, “Becausee kimono have more fabric and colors than regular Western clothing, it is thought to be difficult to pick kimono, but as long as you pick a color you like that matches well with the colors around your face, you’ll be fine. Try choosing based on factors like the lip color you usually have.”

Also, you can ask for them to do your hair and makeup separately. I took the opportunity to do so, and also asked them how I could make myself more beautiful...

9 AM: Pros Helped Me Put On a Kimono and My Makeup

“Don’t restrain yourself from getting other people to do your makeup on a regular basis. It’s difficult to self-teach yourself everything, so borrow other people’s knowledge on things like how to use certain tools or colors. That’s the shortcut to becoming beautiful!” was the response the hair and makeup person gave.

That day, I surprised myself by putting on my makeup in a completely different way, such as drawing my eyeliner longer than normal and using a cheek color that I normally wouldn’t use. That was when I realized that just changing up my makeup a little bit could have a really big impact in how I looked. It’s worth dropping by a makeup counter on the way back from work!

The Noh Lesson

Kawamura Noh Theater, where the Noh lesson took place, was close in proximity to the Kyoto Imperial Palace. Noh is a traditional Japanese performance art created in the 14th century that brings together several kinds of art, such as poetry, theater, dance, music, and art. Noh master Kotaro Kawamura remarked, “It’s almost like a dramatic, moving art gallery that draws up excitement and awe in the audience.”

11 AM: The Lesson Began

Normal people never get the chance to stand on a Noh stage, so it was extremely nerve wracking getting on it. I was taught several simple techniques, such as how to move my feet (a technique called “suri ashi”) and how to open a fan through a method called “sashikomi hiraki.” Even though it looked easy, my muscles were quivering from how difficult it actually was!

Upon seeing this, my teacher noted, “Noh may look very quiet and restrained, but you actually have to put in a lot of physical and mental effort. Since you have to move around while keeping your waist and head in place, you can really train your core muscles. Also, always imagine that there’s a copy of you gazing at you from afar. In the words of Motokiyo Zeami, it’s the ‘sight outside of sight.’”

Motokiyo Zeami was a genius who made Noh what it is today. Just what did Kawamura, someone who had been learning about the profound world of Noh for 30 years, think “beauty” was?

To him, “Beauty is ‘perseverance.’ It’s something that you can’t achieve by taking the easy route. For example, there is no beauty to be found in a hunched back. We train our bodies to always be aware of how we move and act. It’s hard at first, but once your body gets used to it, it’ll be easier than going back to the way it was before.”

His words were so moving that my body shivered. After the trip, I did a little research and found that there was a Noh theater in the well-known GINZA SIX in Tokyo. The play my teacher recommended beginners to see was the dramatic Funa Benkei. I want to see it!

Ways to Enjoy Your Time at HOSHINOYA Kyoto

There are lots of ways you can enjoy your 3-day Basics of Beauty travel package. Here’s a basic introduction to the different ways you can enjoy your time at HOSHINOYA Kyoto.

Have Gorgeous Scenery All to Yourself at the Library or Lounge

In the cozy library, there’s a bunch of books chosen by the popular Kyoto bookstore Keibunsha.

The Outdoor Tea Room is also a great spot to view the gorgeous scenery.

If you sit down, you can hear the high-pitched sounds of animals breaking the silence. At this time of the year, you’ll be able to hear sounds of deer.

Savor Gomijizai Cuisine With Jazz Music in the Background

The most famous menu item of HOSHINOYA Kyoto’s restaurant is Gomijizai, a kaiseki (traditional Japanese course cuisine) menu item. “Gomi” means the five flavors (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, savory) and “jizai” means being “unrestrained.” The head chef, who has gained a great reputation even overseas, will show you a new style of Japanese cuisine that draws out the flavors of ingredients that have not been utilized in Kyoto cooking up until now.

Salon&Bar Kura, a Sophisticated Space in Kyoto

This bar’s gold leaf folding screen is best enjoyed at night. It stocks delicious Japanese whiskeys such as Hakushu, Yamazaki, and Ichiro’s Malt & Grain. You’ll encounter even more unique items, such as designer glasses that look like ice and adorable mini baccarat cards.

Early Morning Meditation by the Waterside in the Sun-lit Inner Garden

I also recommend trying your hand at meditation and stretching by the waterside in the inner garden in the morning.

On sunny days, you can wake your body up by bathing in the sparkling sun rays that filter through the large maple tree that’s over 300 years old.

When I actually tried it out for myself, I found that the breathing exercise where you take in air for 4 seconds and then breathe out for 8 seconds the most effective. I couldn’t take in a lot of air at first, but as I continued, I could sense the air filling up every corner of my body. Apparently, you can learn your body’s habits by recognizing your breathing patterns. Please try it out if you normally have difficulty breathing!

The Inner Garden that Grows with Time

Even after you finish your stretches, you’ll want to stay and feel the breeze in the inner garden. It’s a traditional rock garden formed like a river using clay tiles and white stones. Most gardens like this can only be gazed at, but you can actually enter this one!

Moss grew in the gaps between the tiles that were once white sand, and the maple trees shrouding the garden have grown more majestic over time, suggesting that the garden was allowed to grow.
It interested me to the point where I decided that I wanted to visit it every couple of years, if possible.

The Secret to Becoming Beautiful that Traditional Culture Taught Me

Through this Kyoto trip, I was able to experience traditional Japanese culture and become aware of every part of myself. One particular beauty takeaway was making a habit of “sight outside of sight” whenever I did something unexpected. This was something that I could practice any time, any place.

The Basics of Beauty is a plan that’ll take you to spots that you wouldn’t be able to easily visit yourself, such as a Zen temple or a Noh theater. I also got to stay at HOSHINOYA Kyoto, a place that incorporates many ways to experience Kyoto culture. I highly recommend this inn if you’re looking to experience a new side of Kyoto.

■This article was written using the experiences and knowledge of the editorial team and writer. The experience will differ for each person. Please use your own judgement when deciding whether or not to use this travel plan.

[Basics of Beauty Sample Itinerary]

[Day 2]
8 AM: Breakfast (separate charge applies)
9 AM: Kimono fitting
11 AM: Private lesson on Noh at the theater
6 PM: Dinner at HOSHINOYA Kyoto (separate charge applies)

[Day 3]
8:30 AM: Meditation by the waterside
9:30 AM: Breakfast (separate charge applies)
12 PM: Check out

Read more BIBEAUTÉ articles

■ HOSHINOYA Kyoto is part of the HOSHINOYA line of luxury hotels, the first in Japan, that are run by Hoshino Resorts. It opened in 2009 in Arashiyama, and in spring 2016, the lounge, garden, and dining space were renewed. It is receiving a lot of positive attention both domestically and abroad for its extraordinary atmosphere, the way it incorporates Kyoto’s culture, and its exemplary hospitality.

Reservation number for all HOSHINOYA hotels (9 AM - 8 PM)
TEL:0570-073-066

■ Information on the Basics of Beauty Plan (until November 14, 2017)
Sermon at Zen temple,Buddhist cuisine,private lesson at Noh theater,kimono rental,kimono fitting,meditation by the waterside

This was written and posted in 2017, so some of the contents of the service may differ now. Please view the official homepage to see what activities you can partake in now.

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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