Mar. 18, 2019

Sumitomo Corporation Signs Three Party Agreement for Redevelopment of Kyoto Municipal Shirakawa Elementary School Site

On March 18, 2019, Sumitomo Corporation, Kyoto City, and Awata Jichi Rengokai (lit. Federation of Awata Residents’ Associations) signed an agreement on the former site redevelopment of the site of the Kyoto Municipal Shirakawa Elementary School. The agreement with the city and the federation is expected to bring the redevelopment project into the full-scale work stage.

Shirakawa Elementary closed in 2011. The property has since hosted a wide range of events, becoming a well-loved venue for residents’ association activities and community recreation. However, redevelopment has become an urgent priority in recent years, due to aging and deterioration, inadequate of earthquake resistance, and local calls for a facility equipped to serve the community in the event of a natural disaster.

Sumitomo Corporation is planning to construct and open a “museum hotel” on the site. Its concept is “a cultural complex bringing together cultural promotion, visitor appeal, and harmony with the local community.” The hotel is expected to become an establishment symbolic of the neighborhood.

To promote cultural traditions, Kyoto’s traditional craft products will be displayed in the guest rooms and lobby, and will also be available for purchase at the gallery shop. The former school playground will be converted into a community garden and fit with a deck (named “Nigiwai Deck”) that will connect the indoor and outdoor spaces while providing a place for community members to socialize.

A scene from the signing ceremony. “In partnership with the local community and Kyoto City, we will make every effort to create a facility which will be loved by community members for years to come,” commented Hirokazu Higashino, General Manager of Materials, Supplies & Real Estate Division (then post, pictured right).

The property is located five minutes from Higashiyama subway station, and has excellent access to Heian Jingu Shrine and many other tourism resources. It is expected to become a cultural interaction space capable of attracting large numbers of visitors from within Japan and overseas.

Through this project, the company looks forward to contributing to Kyoto City’s appeal as a visitor destination as well as its community building efforts and local economy.

An artist’s rendering of the planned facility, which is expected to incorporate a 200 guestroom hotel.
The planned hotel lobby, where items representing the cultural traditions and arts of Kyoto are to be displayed and sold.
The Community Garden, which will host a wide range of local events.
The Nigiwai Deck allows residents’ association activities to move freely into the outdoor space.