It’s a rare thing in this modern world of technology and enterprise that we discover a synergy where fine arts and business come together as well as well as they do in Kyoto Japan. Master Artisan found that Kyoto is the perfect place for the art-lover to experience the beauty of this relationship for themselves.

Kyoto is located in the Kansai region, which is situated in the Southern-Central region of Honshu, Japan's main island. Kyoto is one of the most protected cities in the country, and as a result has retained much of its tradition and culture. This abundance of cultural heritage encourages tourism, which is a major part of Kyoto’s economy, with many tourists from foreign countries, along with school children from across Japan, being regular visitors. 

(Right: a Zen temple in the Kyoto surrounds)

Also due to the traditions of the city, there is abundance in the availability of Japanese arts and crafts in Kyoto. Arts and crafts form a major industry in Kyoto, and kimono weavers are especially famous. Kyoto is the major city in the world for producing this traditional garment, and artisans specialising in such traditional Japanese crafts mostly run the manufacturing plants. 

(Above: the Kyoto craft centre)

Unlike Western societies, in Kyoto it is customary for Japanese arts and crafts to be exhibited together. One fine example is of the extensive art collection held at Hotel Granvia. Hotel Granvia is located within the Japan Railway complex at Kyoto, and holds a unique collection of over 1 000 art and craft works, which consist of paintings, sculptures, ceramics and prints ranging from traditional to modern. Professor Tsuji of Seian University of Art & Design successfully put together this broad collection that ranges from the traditional in Kyoto to the modern, and includes works from the disciplines of both crafts and fine art.

(Above, from left to right: Jean-Christophe Burckhardt, Director of Master Artisan; Professor Kyoji Tsuji of Seian University of Art & Design; and Atsumi Fukui, International Relations and Translator, Master Artisan)

Professor Tsuji is a freelance curator who has been advising and curating a variety of exhibitions worldwide for the last 20 years. He holds a number of positions on committees for arts and craft organizations and has judged at competitions and exhibitions. In addition, he has been a regular contributor to a publication on textile art since 1990, and has published a book titled “Fibre Art Japan”. He was therefore in the perfect position to be curating the collection at Hotel Granvia Kyoto.

Hotel Granvia specialises in supporting the avid Japanese art and craft-lover during their stay in Kyoto. Specialist information on Japanese crafts is available at all times through the hotel’s unique services. This availability ensures that the art collector’s stay is as comfortable and as productive as possible. 

"Untitled" by Ms. Aki Kuroda
"T.O.O. 9613" by Akihito Morino
Student's artwork

Master Artisan discussed the Japanese arts and crafts with Professor Tsuji, in order to gain insight into this fascinating collection. When asked about the exhibiting of Japanese Arts and Crafts together in Japan – as opposed to the separation of these disciplines in Western nations –, he commented that “in Kyoto it is more mixed and it is a key feature of the Arts in Kyoto, in that they influence each other.” Professor Tsuji feels that this is originally how Art developed in Japan, with different areas influencing each other. In Kyoto a single gallery may exhibit both a mix of craftwork and artwork. In the Professor’s point of view, this is the main interesting aspect of Kyoto. There since has been more acceptance of the influence of tradition in the art, by people and by the art gallery owners.

"Mountain" by Mr. Genso Okuda

The professor himself had carefully selected the works for the hotel, and his selection process was based on art and craft that reflected the distinct flavour of Kyoto. He began with closely examining an already-existing art collection owned by Japan Rail, and determining which works he felt would be most suitable for the hotel. He spent one month scouring through 15 books containing details of the company’s art collection, and narrowed this collection down to several items suitable for exhibition. Before exhibiting the chosen works, Professor Tsuji sought the approval and acceptance by the people of the city: ensuring that the works reflected the interests of the city’s people. The art at the Granvia Hotel is now recognised as a very important collection with significant pieces.

The location, luxury, art display, and conveniences within and surrounding Hotel Granvia, make it the premier choice hotel when staying and experiencing Kyoto. For more information, follow the links below or please contact the hotel directly on:  telephone (81)-75-344-8888, fax (81)-75-344-4400, or e-mail

For Reservations please call (81)-75-344-4433 or e-mail

Link to hotel website:

Links to other articles:

Hotel Granvia - The Specialist Hotel for the Art and Craft Lover

Full Interview with Prof. Tsuji - Corporate Curating in Japan

Behind the Curating Process

Photo Gallery - Hotel Granvia Collection

Photo Gallery - Crafts in Kyoto

Photo Gallery - Visiting Kyoto



Jean-Christophe Burckhardt and Master Artisan would like to thank the following people for their support in our Crafts in Kyoto, Japan promotional tour and editorials:

Professor Kyoji Tsuji of Seian University for his time and for sharing his expertise as a curator.

Dr. Atsumi Fukui for her assistance in interviewing, translating and editing our articles.

I would also like to warmly thank all the staff at Hotel Granvia for their support and help, with special thanks to Ms Kanako Murayama (International Marketing Director) and her assistant Ms Yuka Murata, the Art Collection Manager Mr. Yosuke Naito, and the Guest Relations Manager Ms. Shiho Ikeuchi.