Historic Japanese house became a hotel open to nature

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The Japanese Atelier Satoshi Takijiri Architects and OHArchitecture turned a historic home into a quiet hotel which is open to the rich natural environment. In the village of Yamazoe, in the prefecture of Nara, the hotel “Ume, Yamazoe” blurs the boundaries between interior and exterior. It consists of three wooden buildings nestled on a hillside: the main one, which includes the reception area, the kitchen and a room; and two additional accommodations.

“Hotels tend to turn their backs on the outside, seeking privacy; however, we thought of including the outside, thus opening up a part of the hotel,” said Atelier Satoshi Takijiri Architects. “Ume, Yamazoe” was designed to connect the guests with the Japanese nature and, at the same time, to be sparing in terms of “excessive hospitality”. It focuses on the experience of the immediate surroundings, with an outdoor sauna, fireplace, places to stop and catch up with locals and easy access to the mountain trails surrounding the property.

The main building of the hotel houses the lobby and the reception area, an open kitchen with a wide view of the surroundings of Yamazoe village and a guest house (https://www.instagram.com/p/CPTJYvYLpHQ/). Each of the other two buildings houses a guest house. Semi-public spaces in all three buildings create confusion about what is inside and what is outside: the pleasant zephyr, the sun, the locals – bringing the unique atmosphere of the village – pass inside.

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