Japanese Version
CHECKING OUT: THE FINAL DAYS OF HOTEL OKURA
Aug15

CHECKING OUT: THE FINAL DAYS OF HOTEL OKURA

February 20, 2018 / TOKONOMA The announcement that the Hotel Okura was slated for demolition in the summer of 2015 reverberated around the world, and was duly met with harsh criticism. Architects, designers and historians, not to mention the hotel’s former patrons — including heads of state, world-class actors and fashion house moguls — lamented that the Okura’s unique sensibility could never be replicated. Many fear that the...

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A Hotel Reincarnates in Tokyo

The Capitol Tokyu Hotel, a mid-range hotel in Tokyo’s exiting Akasaka district that was torn down about 7 years ago, has re-emerged with a stunning new building designed by super star architect Kengo Kuma (Nezu Museum, Hotaru Machi, One Omotesando, and Midtown Suntory Museum.) About ten years ago, the Japanese finally stopped building European look-alike hotels with French provincial furniture and chandeliers. In addition, this new...

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Gora Kadan: The Architecture

Built about 20 years ago, Gora Kadan is one of Japan's finest contemporary ryokan. It is located in the wooded hills of Hakone, in the little hot springs town of Gora and surprisingly close to Tokyo. I recently spent two impeccable nights there. It was the perfect combination of Japanese aesthetics, cuisine, comfort, hot springs relaxation and extraordinary Japanese attention to every detail. We were greeted by the kimono-clad...

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Yoyokaku: Classic Ryokan by the Sea, in Karatsu
Feb23

Yoyokaku: Classic Ryokan by the Sea, in Karatsu

IMG_1572IMG_1590IMG_1583IMG_1568IMG_1582IMG_1576IMG_1569 One of my favorite ryokans is Yoyokaku, located in the pottery town of Karatsu, in northwestern Kyushu. Run by the same family for over 100 years, Yoyokaku is a graceful combination of understated sukiya-style architecture, comfort, great food and a hospitality that is warm yet comfortably quiet. Attentive yet relaxed. The guest rooms are connected to the dining wing by long...

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