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About Our Host

About Ute Sawada

Meet Ute Sawada, the unusual host of Machiya Hotel YANAGI. Once a normal German woman, she was enchanted by Japan's culture and customs as soon as she stepped foot into the country for the first time during her time at university and has been madly in love with Kyoto's rich history and traditional arts ever since. Passionately devoted to her studies of the Sencha Tea Ceremony (senchadō), she was even awarded a teacher's license to attest to her great proficiency. Please spare a moment to have a look some of the tea utensils actually used during her tea ceremonies, which are on display the living room.

We would be delighted if you chose to spend some relaxing time with us and enjoy the unique and peaceful atmosphere of Kyoto in our small hotel.

Photo of Machiya Hotel YANAGI's host Ute Sawada picking tea leaves
Photo of Machiya Hotel YANAGI's host Ute Sawada performing a tea ceremony in the stone garden

Our Host's Vision

With the wish to offer its guests a chance to experience the true fascination of Kyoto, seen through the eyes of its unique German host Ute Sawada, Machiya Hotel YANAGI opened its doors in 2018 and has been operating successfully since. While carefully preserving historical and traditional features and their distinctive ambiance, it has been designed to provide its guests with a spacious and comfortable interior for a pleasant stay.

Guests also have the opportunity to take part in a private tea ceremony and witness one of the most essential parts of traditional Japanese culture right inside the hotel.

During your stay, we hope you will be able to enjoy Kyoto's special charm to your heart's content.

Sencha Tea Ceremony

The Sencha Tea Ceremony (senchadō) is one type of the Japanese “Way of Tea” (sadō) in addition to Chanoyu (tea ceremonies using Matcha tea). While many people tend to think that sadō inherently means Matcha tea is used, senchadō actually sports an equally long history and has been performed since ancient times. Fascinated by the humble and pure concept to simply have a cup of delicious tea together without having to mind each other's social status, in Kyoto a great number of tea masters, writers and artists enjoy tea gatherings with Sencha and Gyokuro tea, and sometimes even with some Japanese rice wine (sake).

Photo of several tea utensils used in tea ceremonies
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