- ENSO ANGO, the first dispersed hotel in Kyoto
With ENSO ANGO, Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, is the first city in the country to launch a 5-in-1 hotel experience based on the concept of dispersed hotels, designed for low-key tourism that helps keep down the environmental and social impact. This concept was first developed in Italy, where they are called “alberghi diffusi” and can be found in a number of places, including Abruzzo and Matera.
The five buildings of ENSO ANGO are located just a few minutes from each other in the central districts of Kyoto (between Gojo and Shijo Street) but away from the hectic bustle of the city’s main tourist attractions. Guests can check in and use the communal spaces in any of the five hotel buildings, which include a gym, tearoom, tatami mat salon for Zen meditation and yoga, a restaurant, tearoom and bar. So, the walk between the properties isn't just a passing pleasure, it's also necessary if guests want to actually use the facilities. At the same time, it gives them a unique opportunity to explore and get a real feel for this ancient city because the route passes through a thriving community and every stroll turns into a discovery tour.
Indeed, the idea is to avoid the hotspots of mass tourism, which prevents you from enjoying a truly immersive experience. The goal of ENSO ANGO is to make it easier for their guests to get away from the crowded tourist attractions and staged photo opportunities and offer them a deeper experience of the local lifestyle and culture. It is the answer for travellers who are eager to embark on a journey of self-discovery and private reflection.
However, it is also designed from the perspective of the local community by facilitating economic benefits for the population. This is because guests are encouraged to interact with their surroundings and in so doing they are exposed to the genuine face of the city and can appreciate local food, art and craft journeys. They can also participate in workshops, activities and classes based on Japanese culture.
The name of the hotel itself embodies its spirit. ENSO expresses the Zen concept that everything is connected in a great circle, from the largest to the smallest; it represents the unlimited universe. This circle is at once complete and incomplete. ANGO represents action and opportunity, a space of self-discovery.
The interiors of all five dispersed buildings are different but they fully reflect the philosophy of the hotel. Each building combines traditional and contemporary minimalist design by Japanese and Swiss artists. They created everything from the decor to the uniforms, furniture and fittings, and the interior gardens, known as tsuboniwa, a common feature of Kyoto houses.
The initial response to this new tourist facility is encouraging and Ango Hotels is planning to build another seven dispersed hotels in Japan, following their motto of living in close contact with the local community and exploring new systems of value for tourism with a low environmental and social impact.
Project: Ango Hotels - https://www.angohotels.com/en/
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Images: courtesy of Ango Hotels