Immerse yourself in art at this Japanese hotel
This is about as close as it gets to Night at the Museum. First there were capsule hotels, and now Japan is embracing immersive art accommodations.
BnA Hotels already has two Tokyo locations in Koenji and Akihabara, though the brand recently opened its doors to the third and largest of the chain so far, the BnA Alter Museum in Kyoto.
Aside from allowing travellers the totally unique experience of sleeping inside a weird and wonderful art installation, the project also supports the local art community and gives back to creatives in Japan.
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Throughout the 10-storey hotel there are 31 permanent exhibition rooms created by 15 Japanese artists. With eerie installations and bright and colourful mediums, it’s really up to you to determine the mood of your stay.
Some exhibition rooms feature 360° murals, while others feature large woven sculptural decor.
Most were created over three months, and at some stage in the future, they’ll be deconstructed and swapped out for a whole new slew of exhibitions, revealing what is essentially a brand new hotel.
It’s hard to choose a favourite, but a handful of rooms stand out as artworks we’d love to sleep inside.
First, there’s the ‘goen no ma’ room by Ryuichi Ohira. The large space is minimal with two double beds, a small black desk and timber features, but it’s the wall decor comprised of meticulously placed five-yen coins that really shines (literally, when the sun hits it).
The coin pattern even adorns the bedspreads, and is a nod to the five-yen coin being a symbol of faith often deposited at temples and shrines, at which Kyoto has 1,600.
Another favourite is surely the ‘D/R/M’ room by EY∃ (BOREDOMS). Sound and vibrations play a key role as you move throughout the many zones of the space, which is designed after the chambers of the human ear.
Perhaps most enticing is the Instagram-worthy light tunnel that swallows you in tiny blue illuminated dots.
Lovers of the sea would no doubt choose the Venus’ Flower Basket room by Lulu Kouno, which is about as close as it gets to sleeping in a coral reef.
The bed, which is positioned in the centre of the room, is encased in a floor-to-ceiling net of white macrame. And splattered across all four walls is a hand painted mural of pastel corals.
Purchasing art for your own home is a fantastic way to showcase your personality and style, but bespoke art can come at a cost – which can often serves as a deterrent for young buyers both in Australia and in Japan.
The creators of BnA know this, which is why they’ve employed a revenue share system that means a percentage of each art room booked is paid directly to the artists who created the exhibition.
The artists receive tangible recognition, and the traveller enjoys a unique experience to write home about. It’s a win-win.
This article originally appeared as “Creepy to crazy cool: Sleep inside art at this Kyoto hotel”.