Japan is one of my favorite destinations I can, and want to visit time after time, year after year. As my first official blog post, I have chosen a city that has significant cultural relevance but has been overshadowed by cosmopolitan lifestyles when one thinks about Japan – Kyoto – the original capital of Japan.
Kyoto was the capital of Japan for over one thousand years, a city where the Japanese Emperor called home, and where the Imperial Palace once stood (the structure has been now moved to Tokyo). You’ll find many articles and information about Kyoto, past, present and future on the Internet. What I am most interested in sharing came from my recent visit – the water!
Over 1,000 years ago, it was said that Kyoto residents and visitors alike knew there was something special about the water but couldn’t figure out what it was. Skin would feel softer after a bath, food tasted milder. As time went on, Kyoto’s main water source Kamogawa (Kamo River), running in the center of Kyoto was found to contain high amounts of minerals and is Nansui, or soft water. Water plays an important part in food creation as well. It was rumored that tofu from China and was hard, but when it ran through natural soft waters in Kyoto, it was reborn as soft tofu!
The hotel that I stayed at, Kyoto Tokyu Hotel, boasts itself to having one of the highest quality water in the city of Kyoto. In fact, they claim their water quality is in the top three! The hotel’s water source is drawn from 80 meter’s below ground and is mixed with a small amount of tap water and is used throughout the hotel, from guest rooms to restaurants. They even had special signage in the guest room highlighting this!
The lobby of the hotel had a dedicated area to invite guests to try the water, including a short description.