The restaurant Anteroom Meals shows artwork curated by Kohei Nawa. All pieces on hotel premises are for sale


Curated stays stimulate the senses


What do you seek from travel—extraordinary experiences, gourmet food, quiet time? Hotel Bijuu answers all these wishes, and may bring a surprise or two. Each of its three guest rooms presents works by artists and product designers from around the world. In the very center of the top-floor suite sits a luxurious manifestation of Japanese bathing traditions (above), and the suite’s hot-stone spa accommodates two. Room amenities, from fragrance to background music, have been customized to ensure that a Bijuu stay is a treat for all the senses.

Below the windows, the Takase River flows alongside Kiyamachidori street, lined with cherry trees that are quite a sight in spring. Within walking distance are the lively Shijo Kawara-machi district and many popular tourist spots such as Gion. If you prefer quiet, washoku meals can be catered to your room.

A vessel by potter Ani Kasten, and a bedside display

Japanese-style breakfasts feature assorted pickles, rice, miso soup, and tofu


Kyoto Art Hostel Kumagusuku

By the terrace of room no. 4 an installation of stones seems to blur the boundary between inside and out. It is part of the exhibition by Kohei Kobayashi and Kohei Takahashi running through autumn 2017

Yoshitaka Yazu, an installation artist and art lecturer, opened four-room Kumagusuku as a guesthouse-cum-exhibition space in a renovated warehouse in 2015. The second-floor guest rooms feel a part of the exhibits, which sometimes include sound installations. Guests can discover new viewpoints and meanings in the works throughout a stay. With secondfloor exhibits changing about once a year, it’s a delight to make return visits to the same room and find a new, completely different concept. The first-floor gallery space, opening onto the courtyard, is a popular spot for themed exhibitions, talks, and events throughout the year.

Owner Yazu serves guests at the bar counter

Kyoto Art Hostel Kumagusuku

Hotel Anteroom Kyoto

With over 200 works on display at any given time in this hotel, no space—from the entry to the guest rooms—is devoid of art. It’s no surprise that manager Masako Ueda doubles as curator at the adjacent gallery. Renovations in 2016 added eight “concept rooms,” each showcasing pieces by an individual artist such as sculptor Kohei Nawa and photographer Mika Ninagawa. It is a rare luxury to stay amidst the works of well-known artists. Located in the Kujo area with easy access to Kyoto Station, the hotel makes the most of buildings that were once student dormitories. The 128 guest rooms range from fairly simple, reasonably priced singles to twin rooms with a garden or terrace.

Concept Room No. 154 features works by Nawa, which harmonize perfectly in the minimal space created on the theme of “gravity.”

Hotel Anteroom Kyoto


2020 Spring / Summer

Delectable Japan