Design Travel: Artful Hotels in Tokyo and Kyoto
A midcentury concrete former apartment building, the RC has a bunker-chic look. It’s set in a quiet neighborhood of alleys, shrines, and temples 20 minutes from Kyoto Station, and offers city views from the top floor.
Honorable Mention: 9h pod hotels
There are a lot of well-priced, no-nonsense capsule options in Japan. My husband feared claustrophobia, but our kids and I convinced him we should give one a try. I had already been interested in 9h, and with Kano’s endorsement of the chain, I booked us four pods for a night in Osaka.
There are 16 locations throughout Japan, including at Narita Airport (so you can nap through your layover). Shown here is the 9h Osaka across from Shin-Osaka station. On arrival, we were each given a comfy black sleep suit (a light sweatshirt and sweatpants), slippers, and a key to a luggage locker. Men and women stay on separate floors—with separate elevators. There’s clever signage at every step. On the women’s floor, the luggage room was very tight, but we loved the washing-up area with individual sink vanities and white-tiled showers.
Note: Sadly, a favorite spot, Kyoto Art Hostel Kumagusuku, closed to overnight guests during the COVID pandemic, but it still operates as a “small art complex with 12 stores,” well worth a visit. Head to Kumagusuku for more info.
We recently featured another appealing guest house, this one in Hokkaido; take a look at “The Dedication to Making Things Well” at Shiguchi in Japan. And for more hotels (plus shop and restaurant recommendations), explore our Design Travel archive.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on November 4, 2019, and has been updated with new guest houses and information.
You need to login or register to view and manage your bookmarks.