In this day and age, people are learning to embrace the concept of less is more, whether its in the home, office, or design and architecture. There are few who achieve minimalism as well as the Japanese, which is especially apparent in the hotels and resorts all across the country.
Minimalist-style hotels offer travelers a calm and soothing space to rest after spending hours exploring the sights, whether you’re in Japan to shop, sightsee, eat, or just drink Sapporo beer. A clear, simple design with elements pared down to the essentials lets the beauty of the architecture and surroundings stand out—and the results are hotels that are just as Insta-worthy as hotels with crazy themes.
Claska Hotel (Tokyo)
The 15-year-old Tokyo hotel Claska offers 20 rooms in four different styles: Modern, Tatami, Contemporary, and Story. Most of these suites are minimalist in nature, but lovers of minimalist design will be most at home in the Tatami rooms. With smooth lines and wooden accents, The Tatami collection blends Eastern and Western design aesthetics, while staying true to traditional Japanese minimalism.
Tatami rooms start at 28,000 JPY
Address: 1 Chome-3-18 Chuocho, Meguro City, Tokyo 152-0001, Japan
According to Nibbuno, it is not a hotel, but a livable gallery featuring galleries and a lounge along with design accommodations. The space has its own contemporary take on classic Japanese minimalism, opting for concrete and steel instead of wood and adding a few industrial touches, like exposed bars on the ceiling. For travelers who want clean, uncluttered accommodations that are still innovative and fresh, Nibbuno is a good choice in Tokyo.
Rooms start at 25,001 JPY
Address: 1-8-2 Higashiazabu, Minato, Tokyo 106-0044, Japan
Hotel Koe (Tokyo)
Hip and modern, Hotel Koe embraces modern minimalism with rooms featuring an open floor plan. While many other minimalist hotels opt for light colors, Hotel Koe veers towards a darker palette of blacks and grays, using white effectively for accents. With its favorable location in the busy Shibuya district, Hotel Koe is a popular choice among locals and tourists.
Rooms start at 15,000 JPY
Address: 3-7 Udagawacho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0042, Japan
Aman Tokyo (Tokyo)
From luxury hotel brand Aman Resorts comes Aman Tokyo, an 80-room sanctuary on the top six floors of the 38-level Otemachi Tower. The serene five-star hotel lets its clean, simple design highlight the natural surroundings of beautiful gardens and lush forests. Inspired by traditional Japanese homes, Aman Tokyo uses plenty of light and natural materials, like wood, stone, and washi paper.
Rooms start at 90,000 JPY
Address: The Otemachi Tower 1-5-6 Otemachi Chiyoda-ku Tokyo, 13 100-0004 Japan
Hoshinoya Fuji (Fujikawaguchiko)
With the view of majestic Mt. Fuji right outside the window, Hoshinoya Fuji needs very little to stand out from other hotels in Japan. Indeed, the glamping hotel embraces minimalist design principles, letting the simple, uncluttered interiors highlight the incredible scenery. Cabins are nestled on the mountainside with full-length sliding doors that open to spectacular views of the iconic mountain.
Rooms start at 39,000 JPY
Address: 1408 Oishi, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi 401-0305, Japan
Hotel Kanra Kyoto (Kyoto)
Hotel Kanra Kyoto is inspired by tradition, but its style never feels outdated. Clean lines, natural materials, and muted hues combine to create a welcoming and soothing space for families visiting Japan. Tucked away in a nondescript neighborhood in Kyoto, it’s a good spot to kick off a tour in the Kansai region.
Rooms start at 10,000 JPY/person for a five-person party.
Address: 190 Kitamachi, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8176, Japan
Zaborin Ryokan (Hokkaido)
Zaborin takes the traditional Japanese ryokan to new and luxurious heights. Soak in onsens surrounded by breathtaking natural surroundings, then retreat and relax in one of 15 private villas found in the heart of a lush forest. While each suite is fitted with its own indoor and outdoor hot spring bath, the décor is minimal and elegant, letting the natural scenery be on the spotlight.
Rooms start at 73,000 JPY
Address: 76-4 Hanazono, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0084, Japan
Asaba Ryokan (Shuzenji)
Serving guests since the late 15th century, Asaba is a testament to the timelessness of minimalism. It is now regarded as one of the best ryokan inns in Japan with serene surroundings, minimal décor, and rooms in classic ryokan style. Asaba is especially known for the attentive service of its kimono-wearing staff.
Rooms start at 70,550 JPY
Address: 3450-1 Shuzenji, Izu, Shizuoka 410-2416, Japan
Setouchi Retreat Aonagi (Matsuyama)
There are only seven suites in Setouchi Retreat Aonagi, but each one is painstakingly crafted for utmost comfort and bliss. Built by famous architect Tadao Ando, the hotel perfected the delicate balance of minimalist design and endless luxury. Setouchi Aonagi is located in a remote mountaintop with views of the Seto Inland Sea.
Rooms start at 71,950 JPY
Address: 794-1 Yanaidanimachi, Matsuyama, Ehime 799-2641, Japan
Benesse House (Naoshima Island)
Like Setouchi Aonagi, Benesse House feels like an expression of architecture and art, rather than mere tourist’s accommodations. Within the sprawling grounds in Naoshima Island is The Museum, which includes an actual museum as well as hotel facilities. Its rooms are stunningly minimal with plenty of natural light, tasteful design, and awe-inspiring views of the sea.
Rooms start at 22,000 JPY
Address: 761-3110 Kagawa, Kagawa District, Naoshima, Japan
*Featured image from Aman Tokyo