Witness Beautiful Japanese Art at Hotel Gajoen Tokyo’s 100 Step Staircase

24.July.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

Those interested in Japanese art should most definitely visit the hotel and museum Hotel Gajoen Tokyo which is now holding the 5th Wa no Akari x Hyakudan Kaidan art exhibition until September 1.

It is taking place at its Hyakudan Kaidan, or ‘100 Steps Staircase’―which was registered by Tokyo Prefecture as a Tangible Cultural Property in 2009 for its exceptional architecture and artistic beauty. This year’s event has been made bigger and better with brand new exhibits.

Visitors will ride the exquisitely decorated elevator and first come to an Aomori Nebuta Festival-style float as pictured above with its bright colours and angry gaze. This piece was created specially for the event. It also gives off an original summery smell too.

As you follow the path deeper into the exhibition―having first taken off your shoes―you will come a line of cloth crafts. You can switch on the lights inside to light up each piece which radiate the natural colours of the material. There are many cloth work pieces on display to enjoy.

This is what it looks like when looking up the 100 Step Staircase from the bottom. You will come to several rooms when ascending the stairs with light displays in them.

This is the first room inside which is a display created by bamboo lighting artist NITTAKE from Nichinan, Miyazaki. The bamboo is beautiful on its own but even more so when the lights are turned on in a dark room as the entire room is turned into artwork itself.

Continuing on you come to the “Nagasaki Lantern Festival.” You can see the lights before you even enter the room and they plunge you into that Japanese festival atmosphere. It’s truly spectacular inside. It’s different from the previous room which was dark with lights hanging from it. It’s even more bright and colourful. It made me want to visit the real Nagasaki Lantern Festival which boasts 1 million visitors every year.

This room contains umbrella art using Japanese umbrellas from Yamaga, Kumamoto. The colours of the umbrellas turn the room into something magical. The room has a relaxing, soothing vibe to it that makes you want to gaze in silence.

Dangling further up the stairs are wind chimes which continue the summer vibes.

There are many unique art pieces too such as these goldfish from Yanai, Yamaguchi. There is artwork from around 40 individuals and groups so there is lots to be discovered. Take your time to admire each and every thing in there.

The stairs actually go up to 99. Once you have seen the final exhibition on the top floor it’s time to return to the bottom where you take your shoes off.

Whether you’re interested in art or Japanese culture, this exciting event is one not to be missed this summer.

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    Restaurant Menus Beckon Hanami

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    March 12 | New Store Opening
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     Toki with Alexander Julian

    Alexander Julian
    Yamikaya / FLOWER PUSHER

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    24.February.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

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    100 Bottles Signed by Daidō Moriyama

    KAMU kanazawa is a modern art museum which centres on art expressing the culture of Kanazawa. On December 15 last year, the museum opened a new space called the “LIP BAR” which features prints of a close-up photo taken by Moriyama plastered on the walls, ceiling, and surfaces. Lip <Junmai> can be tasted at the LIP BAR from Monday to Saturday at 20:00-Midnight amongst a flurry of other cocktails.

     

    The sake can also be bought online or in-store at Fukumitsuya, with a limited number of just 100 bottles signed by Moriyama himself.

    The Sake at a Glance
    The sake is an homage to Moriyama; a deep-flavoured junmaishu made with Yamada Nishiki and Kinmon-Nishiki rices.

    The Design
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    Lip <Junmai>

     

    ©Daido Moriyama Photo Foundation Courtesy of Akio Nagasawa Gallery

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