Off-the-Grid Guesthouse-Style Hotel in Koyasan

View all 12 Photos

The Kokuu Guesthouse is an off-the-grid hotel in Koyasan, a monastic center in the Wakayama prefecture of Japan. The lodging was designed by the Kyoto-based architecture firm Alphaville and built on a low budget. To stay within the financial constraints, the structure was made as small and energy-efficient as possible while still providing a relaxing place to stay by the Ki

A pilgrimage destination for practitioners of Shintoism and Buddhism alike, the mountains are a UNESCO World Heritage sacred site. The holy ground represents the Shingon sect of East Asian Esoteric Buddhism and has been drawing visitors since the 11th or 12th century BC. The beautiful landscape and ancient architecture attracts travelers of all religions today. Appealing to both spiritual and secular visitors, the guesthouse is located just outside of the sacred area.

The lodging itself is clad in corrugated steel for a dark, minimalist look. Inside, the wooden ceiling and walls are painted white, and the floors of the main rooms are concrete. The space houses a lounge, a bar and restaurant, and a handful of single and double-bed rooms, all connected by narrow hallways. Moving through the hotel, one feels that the hotel is compact but not crowded. The capsule-style single rooms are entered via ladder and contain just a twin-sized bed. The double rooms are furnished with bunk beds and a small table. The main rooms provide many places to sit and interact with fellow guests around the bar and wood stove hearth.
The rooms at the Kokuu Guesthouse can be booked online for as little as ¥3,500 or about $29 per night, not including the breakfast, which is made of locally sourced ingredients and comes recommended.

Holly

Holly

Holly is a poet from Kentucky. She grew up first in a Sears house, then on a farm. She studied English and Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College and moved to Manhattan for love. As an occasional jewelry-maker and museum patron, Holly favors wearable and functional design but is eager to see work that challenges her aesthetics. Read more and connect by visiting her blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Featured Products Explore new arrivals at the Gessato Shop

Take me there

  • Boat Rooms on the Fuchun River

    A creatively designed retreat that celebrates an ancient local tradition. Built on the banks of…

  • andBeyond Vira Vira Lodge

    A serene retreat set on a working farm in Chile. Back in the early ‘90s,…

  • Eastwind Hotel & Bar

    A cozy upstate New York retreat in the Catskill Mountains. The brainchild of a group…

  • The Kumaon

    A serene mountain retreat in the Himalayas. Located 1600m above sea level in the Village…

More for you

                array(5) {
  ["post__not_in"]=>
  array(1) {
    [0]=>
    int(125217)
  }
  ["tag__not_in"]=>
  array(2) {
    [0]=>
    int(16203)
    [1]=>
    int(9208)
  }
  ["posts_per_page"]=>
  int(12)
  ["caller_get_posts"]=>
  int(1)
  ["cat"]=>
  int(6178)
}
            
  • Caldeireiros Houses

    17th-century dwellings become modern apartments. Clínica de Arquitectura’s Caldeireiros Houses project began with the refurbishment…

  • Cerna Voda Mountain Lodge

    A compact cabin that complements its dark cladding with a warm interior. Nestled in a…

  • The Freycinet Lodge Pavilions

    A coastal retreat that immerses guests into nature. Located in a stunning natural landscape in…

  • Sydney Cottage by Panovscott

    A small house in an urban space becomes welcoming cottage linked to nature. The owner…

  • Casa Xólotl

    From a house in disrepair to architectural gem. Located in Mérida, Mexico, Casa Xólotl is…

  • Dancing Light House

    A modern dwelling that celebrates the desert, mountains, and light. Located in Paradise Valley, Arizona,…

  • Villa Monoi

    A dream getaway in Costa Rica. Built right near a beach between Playa Tamarindo and…

  • Trautenberk Microbrewery by ADR

    An old mountain lodge modernized into an elegant retreat. Located in the north-eastern part of…

  • House In Neveklov

    A black wooden house that hides a bright and airy interior. Minimalist and restrained, this…

  • The Mylla House

    A wooden cabin with a creative pinwheel design. Built on the top of a hill…

Close Cart