Where to stay: JAPAN
For people who care where they stay. Authentic. Soulful. Charm. Design. Indie. Local.
·76 Pins 4w
Fukuoka & Kyushu
UNWIND HOTEL & BAR | Otaru, Japan
The former Etchuya Hotel, a local symbol and historical building constructed in 1931 that was the very first hotel dedicated to serving foreigners in Hokkaido after World War I. Global Agents has committed to preserving the hotel's heritage and original facade while also giving the long-time vacant property a full interior renovation and offering guests a truly unique and refined experience.
Higashiyama Shikikaboku | Kyoto
There are certainly bigger and grander hotels in Kyoto than Higashiyama Shikikaboku, but you won’t find many places that are quite so transcendently tranquil. It’s set close to where the city gives way to the mountains, where green spaces are interleaved with urban ones. And with just eight rooms — and an adults-only accommodation policy — it’s just about as private as can be.
Hiyori Chapter Kyoto Hotel
Drawing inspiration from Japanese tea ceremonies, the guestrooms feature key elements of Japanese tea rooms and are reimagined with a modern interpretation to offer functional beauty and comfort with a sense of tradition. The Chapter Factory located in the hotel lobby presents a unique way for guests to connect with the local community. Further amenities include an all-day dining restaurant, a fully-equipped, 24/7 fitness center as well as a traditional Japanese public bath, "Hiyori No Yu".
Kaiju Yagura | Hirado, Japan
Although thouroughly modern and minimalist, this one-suite (120m2) "castle stay" is a first for Japan. Hirado Island was for long time, Japan's only trading port with the outside world, the Chinese, Korean, English, Portuguese and the longest, the Dutch. A number of experiences can be enjoyed, including after hours visit to the on-site museum and gardens.
Azumi Setoda | Ikuchi Island, Japan
A sliding door in a jigsaw of dark timber beneath waves of gray roof tiles is the quiet arrival to Azumi Setoda. Located on an the island of Ikuchi, famed for its lemons, in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea, it’s as understated and exquisitely executed as you’d expect from Adrian Zecha, original Aman founder and godfather of hotel minimalism.
Higashiyama Niseko Village, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve | Niseko, Japan
One of only five global Ritz-Carlton Reserves (and Japan’s first), the ski-in, ski-out resort features a warmly modern take on alpine aesthetics: a fire blazes in a circular stone table in the lobby, ringed by curved butter-soft leather seating, textured stonework, and iridescent rainbow streaked ceramic pots. But the main protagonist is always Mount Yotei: bursting through every wall of glass is its cartoon-perfect triangular form fringed in pencil-sketch-like trees.
Fauchon L'Hôtel Kyoto | Japan
FAUCHON meets Kyoto in a marriage of the iconic French brand with the traditional design and cultural elements of Japan, achieved by Spin Design Studio of Japan together with Atelier Paluel-Marmont in Paris. The new property is a blend of style featuring magenta, black, and gold with a nod to its Japanese location.
W Osaka | Japan
W Osaka asserts its presence in the city's busy urban streetscape with a black monolith façade designed by Osaka-born, world-renowned architect Tadao Ando. The hotel's intriguing design concept is expressed as a minimalist exterior concealing colorfully exuberant interiors, a nod to the Edo period when excessive displays of wealth were prohibited. The interior design was conceptualized by concrete, the Amsterdam-based design studio.
At this newly opened bolthole, time flows slowly and the mood is one of quiet contemplation. Under the direction of Hideaki Matsuura, the designer of eco-lifestyle brand Jurgen Lehl, Fujimoto kitted out the interior with natural materials, polished concrete floors and walls finished in a matte charcoal black. Set across three floors, the hotel’s guests can relax in the comfy organic-cotton loungewear and enjoy in their room Malda’s signature breakfast, which is cooked at its café downstairs.
Kimpton Shinjuku Tokyo
Manhattan meets Tokyo at Kimpton Shinjuku, the new 160-room hotel inspired by the New York art and fashion scene; yet imbibed in the spirit from the city’s iconic Shinjuku district. With interiors imagined and designed by interdisciplinary design studio, Rockwell Group, the overall style combines eclectic styles and patterns with layers of fabric, furniture, and art.
The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon
Tokyo’s luxury hotels are already in a class of their own, but Ian Schrager’s Edition brand is a welcome addition all the same. It’s a natural next step, and not just a business decision: Schrager’s hotels and nightclubs have long borne a seldom-noticed Japanese influence. More upscale than his original Schrager-branded boutique hotels, and more stylish than its staid luxury-hotel competition, the Tokyo Edition, Toranomon occupies a place all its own in the Japanese capital’s hotel scene.
The Mitsui | Kyoto
The hotel is located precisely where the centuries-old Kyoto residence of the Mitsui family—the original founders of a slew of Japanese corporations—once stood. Beneath its five-star sheen and contemporary décor (by creatives including architect Akira Kuryu and Hong Kong–based Andre Fu) the new-build hotel, home to 161 rooms and two restaurants, is firmly rooted in its Kyoto heritage. It is located opposite the 17th century UNESCO-listed Nijo Castle.
Zaborin | Niseko, Japan
A sprawling luxury ryokan like something out of a James Bond film. Hidden in Hokkaido’s lush forest, each of the 15 modern villas has private, unspoiled views of white birches through the floor-to-ceiling windows and a chic outdoor onsen tub and patio.
Kiderano-ie | Nara, Japan
Kiderano-ie is a series of five townhouses on the outskirts of the Naramachi district. Originally scheduled for demolition, they were painstakingly restored by the Fujioka family, who wanted to show that in the right hands, these small homes could not only live on as specimens of architectural history but also lead the way in combining traditional vernacular buildings with a modern way of life.
Benesse House | Naoshima, Japan
The concept is simple: a museum where visitors can sleep. The minimal architecture, with expanses of concrete, glass and wood – created by the deeply respected architect Tadao Ando – is the perfect complement to the surrounding nature and artworks. The original museum opened with guestrooms in 1992, with Ando adding several buildings over two decades – none of which appear in the slightest bit dated. High quality artworks that would not look out of place in a Tate are scattered throughout.
Hiiragiya | Kyoto
Hiiragiya was established in 1818, and has gained a reputation as one of the most beloved of Japan's traditional inns, or ryokan. Under the ownership of the same family for six generations, Hiiragiya has been host to internationally famous men and women-writers, artists, politicians, scientists, and members of the imperial family. Both Nobel Prize winning novelist, Yasunari Kawabata, and noted author, Junichiro Tanizaki, considered Hiiragiya to be their home away from home.
Shishi-Iwa-House | Karuizawa, Japan
- designed by Shigeru Ban. Located about an hour’s train ride from Tokyo in Nagano’s mountain resort town of Karuizawa, the two-storey, ten-room boutique hotel is a calm retreat of shaded courtyards, enclosed gardens and vast rooms. Its gently undulating roof almost hidden by the surrounding forest of maples, cherry blossoms and evergreens.
kishi-ke | Kamakura, Japan
As kishi-ke only accepts one group of up to five people at any time, guests are guaranteed optimal privacy and attention from the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Kishi. The spacious traditional Japanese room on the ground floor serves as the living room with a quiet view of the immaculate Japanese garden to one side and the Sagami Bay to the other. Bedroom and bathroom (with a stunning round hinoki bathtub) are on the first floor. Private tours, tea-ceremonies or zazen meditation are also offered.
House of Finn Juhl | Hakuba, Japan
The concept of OneCollection, who produces and sells Danish designer Finn Juhl’s furniture (much of it made in Japan), the hotel - which pulls double duty as the company’s showroom - has six rooms, all named after a Finn Juhl masterpiece - and all the public areas are dressed with Juhl classics, while his drawings and sketches grace the walls throughout. The rest of the interior meanwhile, follows a Scandinavian sensibility with white walls, stripped timber flooring and double casement windows.
Hakone Retreat före & villa 1/f | Hakone, Japan
Sublime, private, and traditional, this otherworldly gem puts one in the very heart of nature. Eleven standalone cottages are imbued with a sense of Japanese design tradition, yet artful Western lines, and natural wood that pays homage to the surroundings.
Setouchi Retreat Aonagi | Matsuyama, Japan
Designed by Tadao Ando, Setouchi Retreat Aonagi hotel sits on top of a mountain overlooking the Seto Inland Sea on Japan's Shikoku Island. The hotel consists of 7 suites (each over 100m2), a restaurant, a long outdoor pool tucked behind tall concrete walls and visually extending into the vista beyond. There is also an indoor pool and spa mimicking the same design.