Japan is synonymous with aesthetics. From its quirky cafés to the futuristic hotels, the deeper you dwell in the country’s design tradition, the more fascinated you will be. With Ryokan-style shoji doors and futons, there's a long list of the best hotels in Japan that fuse post-modern architecture seamlessly with its minimalist, traditional aesthetics. Delivering a whirlwind of surreal new-age ideas with a blend of tradition, Japan’s modern-day hotels remain a wonder.
Dubbed Tokyo’s “art epicentre,” the BnA hotel is built like an open canvas for Tokyo artists. Located in the Nihonbashi district, the hotel plays with the bed and breakfast theme. Each room in the hotel has a distinct theme-based design. For instance, the room “Sushi War,” designed by artist Mako Watanabe, fuses cherry red with space dreams, sushi warriors, and robots. Yoshirotten’s “Float,” on the other hand, is a minimal all-white room with expansive sun-facing windows. They use eco-friendly and natural cleaning products while minimizing disposable amenities. Wherever possible, they use refillable packaging and organic skincare. Instead of disposable water bottles, they provide reusable bottles.
Address: 2-4-7 Koenjikita, Suginami City
This hotel is a Guinness World Record holder for being the first robot-staffed hotel in the world. During its early years, one would usually encounter a velociraptor in a bow tie and a bellhop hat at the reception. Currently, the hotel has both human and robot staff on its team. All rooms at Henn Na Hotel are equipped with a natural radiant cooling system. They also utilise solar panels. As a result, the hotel has achieved a 30 percent reduction in energy consumption compared to traditional hotels.
Address: 6-5 Huis Ten Bosch Machi, Sasebo City
Treeful Treehouse, Okinawa
This sustainable subtropical resort offers a 360-degree view of the Higashi jungle. Each treehouse is built on a living tree. Guests can choose between an “AeroHouse” or “Spiral Treehouse” or “Golden Trophy,” depending on availability. This treehouse is themed after a Japanese tea room.
The hotel also organizes tours around the lush landscape of the Higashi forests. It is a carbon-negative space, which absorbs more carbon dioxide than it produces. Solar energy panels ensure clean energy consumption. Every treehouse on the property is constructed at a height greater than 1.2 m from the ground to ensure enough sunlight for smaller plants to grow and provide a habitat for animals, microorganisms, and roots to thrive.
Address: 2578 Genka, Nago City
Nine Hours, Otemachi
Located in the Otemachi area near the Imperial Palace, Nine Hours is a designer capsule hotel. Capsule hotels are small but private accommodations well-suited for budget travelers. Since the pods don’t have room for luggage, these hotels provide separate lockers and shoe racks for the convenience of their guests. Nine Hours is an original take on capsule hotels that fuses capsules with minimal Ryokan aesthetics, offering a modern pod set-up with sleep-monitoring technology.
In Tokyo, this hotel is a favorite haunt for locals and joggers around the Imperial Palace, besides travelers. The hotel avoids single-use plastic items such as shampoo, conditioner, and body wash bottles, stirrers, straws, cups, and plates. It primarily uses energy-efficient LED bulbs for lighting and employs key cards or motion-controlled electricity in the rooms.
Address: 3-11-15 Kanda Nishikicho, Chiyoda City, Tokyo