“We are all travelers.
So, how shall we best traverse the Japanese archipelago?
Here’s the answer.”
— Hiroshi Hara, architect

Locations to Explore:

71

SCHOOL’S OUT

In 2000, Kyoto Art Center opened as a means to bring artists of all genres, from traditional to co...
70

GET SCHOOLED IN MANGA

Kyoto International Manga Museum opened in 2006. Its main role is to record, preserve, and present...
72

WHEN IN NARA…

The Western-style structure of the “Nara Buddhist Sculpture Hall” is representative of the Meiji E...
74

THE WORLD’S SHARPEST KNIVES

600 years ago, when Kyoto was still the imperial capital, nearby Sakai City in Osaka was where the...
86

INOKUMA-SAN’S LIFE & WORK

Artist Genichiro Inokuma (1902-1993) is known for his paintings and drawings of animals and people...
67

JEWELBOX OF A GALLERY

One of Kyoto’s best-kept art secrets, this residential gallery opened in 2012 near the Tofukuji Te...

Explore More

In winter a skiing paradise, in summer a world of adventure for hikers, mountain climbers, and canoeists. But not only that. Tugged into Hokkaido’s nature one can find buildings that surprise with their refined architecture. Like “Suiboku” designed by architect Koichiro Ishiguro. The five-story concrete building stands on a slope in Niseko, two hours by car west of Sapporo.

museums and galleries to explore

45

ART FOR ALL SEASONS

Architect Hiroshi Hara (Kyoto Station, Sapporo Dome) decided on pure geometric shapes, exposed concrete, and lavish use of...
58

BACK TO EARTH

The area around Tajimi City has the country’s largest production output of mosaic tiles, so it com...
14

ART IN THE MOUNTAINS

The second edition of this art festival in Yamagata Prefecture took place in 2016, with the Tohoku University of Art and Design...

public spaces to explore

17

EVERYBODY’S GLASS PALACE

This Toyo Ito-designed cultural institution with galleries, cinema, and a library is one of Japan’s modern architectural...
89

EAST MEETS WEST

Completed in 1958, the East building was formerly the main hall of the Kagawa Prefectural Governme...
59

ART YOU CAN WALK ON

Outdoor sculpture museums usually don’t allow walking and climbing on art works, but Site of Rever...

shops and hotels to explore

75

THE ULTIMATE SPA GETAWAY

Situated deep in the mountains of Mie, this modern hot spa complex is focused on providing the ult...
06

CASTLE OF DREAMS

Space 1-15 was formerly a residential building called “Château de rêves” (Castle of dreams) in which a soap dealer decided to open...
48

ROOMS WITH NOH VIEW

Half a millennium ago, Yakuro Yukitada Asaba founded Shuzenji temple. At the gate he positioned mo...

lifestyle to explore

63

HAVEN OF TRANQUILITY

Handmade curtains, old doors from condemned buildings, flowers and plants – everything is a reflec...
61

TRANSLUCENT MODERNITY ON TEMPLE PLATFORM

The transparent structure, constructed of thick glass panels...
02

PROTECTED FROM THE ELEMENTS

A bistro-style restaurant, bar and café in Niseko, the Barn is a modern, minimalist take on the heavy-snow proof, gambrel...

Picked by | Robert Day Travel

26

ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN MECCA

The establishment of this space was realized by the Japanese design world’s dream team: initiated by Issey Miyake, architecture...
32

HOUSE OF TOMORROW

Jiyu Gakuen Myonichikan was built in 1921 as the main building of a private all-girls’ school established by publishers Motoko...
65

MINGEI HOUSE

The potter Kanjiro Kawai (1890-1966) was one of the central figures of the Mingei movement, which ...

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