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The Hotel Horizontal Project: Japan's artistic traditional inns

The Hotel Horizontal Project: Japan's artistic traditional inns

Specially designed ryokans


Image: Telegraph UK

To celebrate the anniversary of Japan's oldest hot spring spa, the country's most revered artists have transformed a series of traditional inns with beautiful decoration skills

Creating an aesthetic of beautiful Japanese artistry and influence is always something of interest to Buro 24/7. And now, Japan's oldest hot spring spa, Dogo Onsen, which provided the inspiration for manga artist Hayao Miyazaki's 2001 film Spirited Away, has undertaken a unique artistic endeavour.

Located in the town of Matsuyama on the island of Shikoku, the spring enjoys a wonderful historic spa building celebrates its 120th anniversary this year, and to mark the occasion, a number of prominent Japanese artists launch installations throughout the town.

The most immersive works on show are those commissioned as part of the Hotel Horizontal project. A combined total of nine hotels and ryokan (traditional Japanese inns) surrounding Dogo Onsen have been redecorated by photographers, poets and painters, and can be booked for overnight stays by guests.

The results are striking, and distinctly Japanese in style. One fabulous example – inspired by the concept of "paradise" – photographer Nobuyoshi Araki has designed a room at Hotel Kowakuen, laid with 16 tatami mats and featuring rice paper sliding doors, that is decorated with oversized images of kimono-clad women...  And will do so until the initiative ends in December.

View more of the exciting project, below: 

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