Stones out the Window

Stones out the Window

One of the really wonderful things about traveling in Japan is the sudden bursts of the Japanese aesthetic when you least expect it.   Because I needed to inspect a large number of hotels on a recent trip to Japan, I found myself going in and out of a wide variety of places, some of them quite simple and even some that westerners would consider tacky.  Not all the hotels in Japan are minimalist escapes from the day-to-day.   But there is one thing that I noticed on many of my inspections that I found quite charming – which is the unexpected and hidden gems that would be placed throughout the hotel to gently remind the traveler of life’s beauty.   I saw rock sculptures that were like micro-gardens, small stands of bamboo strategically placed to add some green and carefully lit ceramic pots nestled into small cubby-holes in hallways.   And each time I came upon one of these gems, especially in very prosaic settings, I was reminded again of the Japanese sense of beauty.

Rock sculpture in hallway (Takayama)

Rock sculpture in hallway (Takayama)

Garden out floor level window (Hakone)

Garden out floor level window (Hakone)

Hotel Rock Garden (Kyoto)

Hotel Rock Garden (Kyoto)

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