Kyoto Hotel, Kyoto, c. 1910
“The Kyoto Hotel, a fine, new, imposing concrete, fire- and earthquake-proof structure completed in 1928, stands opposite the new City Hall, in Kawaramachi-dori, near the center of the city, is modern in every respect, with spacious, airy rooms with private baths, elevators, telephones, public and private dining-rooms, reading-rooms, luxurious lobby, etc. English spoken.
“Known for its good food and service. Highly spoken of. Recommended. The widely known managing director, Mr. J. Inouye, has had a long experience in catering to foreign travelers, and any hotel conducted by him always ranks with the best.”
– Terry’s Japanese Empire, T. Philip Terry, 1928
“Upon arrival in Kyoto you are so favorably impressed, again, with the service that you cannot refrain from mentioning it. A uniformed representative meets you with a car and transports you and your baggage to the Kyoto Hotel, where two men greet you by name before you register. You are escorted to your room, which has already been opened and lighted. The baggage follows immediately and the room boy explains the service and tells you that you may have tea in your room in the morning at any time before breakfast.
“You are given a small folder, with your name upon the front cover, containing all important information to do with the hotel. The first of these points, to which you respond with decided pleasure, is a notice similar to that of the Nikko Hotel, requesting that you refrain from tipping and notifying you of the 10 per cent addition to your bill to care for this item. Here you are sure that you will not carry your room key away with you, for you find that it has three small bells attached which will jingle as you walk, despite every effort to silence them.
“In the dining room you sign the well-known Oriental ‘chit’ for each meal. (Evidently the Japanese feel that it is better not to have their employees handle the money.) Kusataro Hioki, your guide, is ready the next morning to show you the interesting sights of Kyoto.”
– West of the Golden Gate, by Frank Harrison Beckmann, 1936