Design Travel: “The Dedication to Making Things Well” at Shiguchi in Japan

Shiguchi, a guest house in Hokkaido, Japan, just opened a scant nine months ago, but its roots are much older.

The name comes from the word for traditional joinery, according to the retreat’s website. “Shiguchi, or traditional timber joints, are deceptively simple but can take decades to perfect, and carpenters must not only master many differently shaped wooden joints and specialist tools but also develop an understanding of the vagaries of the wood, climate, and environment. At the heart of their expertise lies the Japanese concept of monozukuri, the dedication to making things well.”

That spirit runs through the five renovated guest houses and the restaurant as well. According to its founder and owner, the artist Shouya Grigg: “Shiguchi is not a conventional hotel, nor is it a traditional ryokan. I wanted to create a place that combines impeccable art, crafts and centuries-old architecture with Niseko’s extraordinary nature to inspire and reconnect us at a meaningful, personal level.”

Join us for a look inside:

Somoza Restaurant

the retreat’s restaurant, somoza, is housed in a 150 year old komi 9
Above: The retreat’s restaurant, Somoza, is housed in a 150-year-old kominka, which means “old house,” which also displays works of Japanese craft.
the gallery and restaurant space. 10
Above: The gallery and restaurant space.


the first of the guest houses, fu (“wind”), sleeps fiv 11
Above: The first of the guest houses, Fu (“Wind”), sleeps five and features rough-hewn exposed beams and glass.