WHAT WE LIKE
- Built around well-being and human health.
- Amenities are not provided to reduce plastic waste.
- Houses brands that focus on sustainability and zero waste.
KYOTO’S NEW GOOD NATURE HOTEL CARES FOR YOU, SOCIETY AND THE EARTH
Good Nature Hotel, a new Kyoto hotel, looks set to receive the WELL Building Standard accreditation. It will be the first hotel in the world to receive the accreditation for incorporating features that ensure users’ health and well-being.
Good Nature Hotel opened on December 9 on the top six floors of the Good Nature Station building, which also includes three stories of shops and restaurants. The entire complex incorporates a number of features aimed at achieving a recycling-oriented society.
Achieved the WELL Building Standard
The WELL Building Standard grades buildings on their impact on human health and well-being. It covers the seven areas of air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. Founded in 2014, it has certified buildings in more than 50 countries.
Natural hotel interiors away from city bustle
Wood features heavily throughout the hotel’s interior. Furnishings, paneling and even the floors of guestrooms are made of wood, creating a pleasing, comforting feeling in visitors.
The use of light has also been carefully considered. The lobby centers on two open-air atriums. Guestrooms also back onto these, allowing natural light to enter them.
The smaller atrium includes karesansui, a Japanese-style pebble garden, around which the hotel holds weekend yoga lessons. Both atriums are lined with a “green curtain” of climbing plants, bringing welcome greenery into the space. This is a contrast to the hotel’s location near Kyoto’s busy, central intersection of Shijo and Kawaramachi streets.
Sustainable hotel stay, sustainable you
In the guestrooms, alarm clocks are connected to the lighting systems. Fifteen minutes before the set time, the room lights will gradually brighten to wake the guest gently and naturally. Guests from overseas dealing with jet lag may particularly appreciate this feature.
The hotel also carefully considered what to place in the rooms. Along with an air purifier, there is a fine tea set made from Kiyomizu-yaki pottery (named after the temple), and plant-only shampoo, treatment and body-wash products made by Good Nature Station.
It has also been conscious about what it does not put in the rooms. To reduce plastic waste, no disposable toothbrushes, razors or hairbrushes are provided. Furthermore, to help guests relax, tables are set up, but you will find no desks.
In the nourishment category, Hyssop, a café, restaurant and bar, is located in the lobby. It shares the healing properties of vegetables through a menu that uses lots of herbs and flowers, too. It is open from lunch through to dinner. In addition, Hyssop offers alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, which include its creative “plant cocktails.”
Good Nature Station also seeks the LEED certification
Good Nature Station has also applied for certification from Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED), the most widely used green building rating system in the world. It approves design, construction and operation of buildings that maximize users’ health and productivity, use fewer resources, and reduce waste and negative environmental impacts, as well as decrease life cycle costs.
The goal for a recycling-oriented society
Good Nature Station is run by Biostyle, a Keihan Holdings group company that aims to realize lifestyles that contribute to a recycling-oriented society. The entire complex incorporates such features.
Food waste is processed and sent to a farm in neighboring Shiga Prefecture for use as fertilizer. Crops from there will be used at restaurants in the building, thereby closing a circular circuit for food.
Takeout food is also served in paper or wooden containers, and drinks come in fold-over “butterfly cups” that don’t require plastic lids. Straws and cutlery are made from biodegradable plastic too.
To reduce waste, takeaway salads and other food include edible skins, leaves and roots of vegetables.
Zero waste in Good Nature Station
On the building’s third floor, Good Nature Station sells its original brand of plant-only skin care and body wash products, Nemohamo. The name is Japanese for ‘from roots to leaves’ which succinctly explains the goods’ key feature. Plants in their entirety are distilled to make the most of their enzymes, vitamins and minerals. No water or petroleum-based ingredients are used.
In seeking organic cacao beans for use in its bean-to-bar chocolate store, the company visited Costa Rica. Struck by how much work the farmers put into making the beans, the company found a way to use the whole bean. It dries and roasts the beans’ outer shell and adds that powder to products such as Cacao Tea and a curry, which are both sold in the first-floor market area. The tea is provided in guestrooms and is a refreshing green tea with the sweet, unmistakable aroma of chocolate.
Providing five “goodness” for all
Good Nature Station aims to provide five types of goodness: for health, for mind, for locals, for society and for Earth.
In another of its health initiatives, it sells an original food products brand, ‘Sizen to ozen,’ which uses organic vegetables and additive-free seasonings.
Another goodness the facility does for locals and society is allowing local vendors to use its storefront street space to sell their products. For its Nemohamo product range and essential oil products, Good Nature Station sources from spicebush in Kyoto’s Kitayama region. That aroma is also used in the hotel’s foyer. These trees are not used much commercially these days, but because the fragile trees often increase damage during floods and landslides, it is important to use trees thinned from man-made forests.
Good Nature Station’s concerted efforts to do good in the world ultimately aim to make it easy for hotel users, shoppers and diners to enjoy a lifestyle of good, healthy options, on their own terms. Since versatility and suitability are key to creating sustainability, the concept of ‘on our own terms’ is important. Exploring it at the individual, local, social and Earth levels, will surely lead to good things.
Originally published on Zenbird Media.
What we would like to see
None at the moment.
(updated 5 Sept)
|GOOD NATURE HOTEL
318-6 Inari-cho, Kawaramachi-dori Shijosagaru, 2 chome, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto
|CHECK IN: 3pm
CHECK OUT: 11am
While the hotel is always open, shops and restaurants operate on different hours. GOOD NATURE Market on 1F operates between 10am-8pm.
|Available. Use GOOD NATURE STATION parking (P1). 3,000 JPY per stay, from 1pm to the following day 1pm.
|Entrance, corridors, elevators, 4F restroom are barrier-free.