Exploring Art in the Diverse City: A Tour at Hyatt House Tokyo Shibuya

Discovering the Added Charm of the Facility Through “Art Appreciation “

Hyatt House Tokyo Shibuya, the first entry of Hyatt’s hotel brand “Hyatt House” in Tokyo, opened its doors in February 2024 within the “Shibuya Sakura Stage,” one of the key facilities in the redevelopment project of the Shibuya Station area, often referred to as a once-in-a-century project. GARDE has been responsible for the overall planning, basic design, detailed design, design supervision, art coordination, procurement and installation, as well as the sign basic plan for the hotel, starting from the shared spaces to the guest rooms.

With a total of 125 rooms, each equipped with a kitchen, oven microwave, tableware, cutlery, and a washer-dryer, the hotel offers guests the opportunity to live as if in a residence, complemented by art inspired by the diversity of Shibuya’s streets, all within the latest facilities.

In this article, we will primarily showcase the art displayed in the common areas such as the entrance, inviting guests to experience a creative and enriching time akin to visiting an art museum.

First up is “Into Time 14 06 06” by Raphael Rosenthal, located in the entrance area on the third floor. This lenticular artwork (a sheet with a special lens processing that gives different appearances depending on the viewing angle, often creating a 3D effect) has been a series since its debut in New York in 2013. Showing changes according to the viewer’s movement, it is an ideal piece for the bustling entrance area where people come and go.

Continuing towards the elevator hall on the right-hand side, you’ll find a series of photographic artworks by Fumiko Imano, who has gained attention for her collaboration with the luxury brand “Loewe”, adorning the walls of the hallway. These artworks feature a series of photo montages where the artist herself appears as if she has a twin, created by cutting and pasting self-portraits taken with a 35mm camera. While it may be difficult to see in the image below, please enjoy her charming and fashionable artworks during your stay at the facility.

Upon arriving at the elevator hall from the entrance area on the second floor, you’ll encounter the mixed-media artwork “TRACE-SKY-Floating Clouds 08” by the sibling duo “SHIMURAbros”. This piece replicates the “sky” depicted in the movie “Floating Clouds” using Google Maps’ street view images as its source material, visualizing distortions such as power lines and seams between panoramic images. It’s captivating, so please be mindful not to miss your elevator stop while admiring it.

Upon arriving at the lobby floor on the 16th floor and descending from the elevator, you will be greeted by two pieces of Yukihiro Fujimoto’s organ works; V.-6-GREEN” and “V.-9-GREEN,” displayed side by side in the multi-functional room. On the right side, there are nine music boxes, each playing a single note, while on the left side, six music boxes, including one that plays “Wish Upon a Star,” are installed. Visitors can enjoy creating original melodies of serendipity by simultaneously winding each of the music boxes and playing them.

As you proceed towards the front side of the lobby floor, you’ll notice artwork by Dave Muller, an artist based in Los Angeles, on your left. Inspired by designs from old records owned by the artist, his works meticulously reproduce everything from price tags to labels of discontinued records, each with a unique flavor. The fact that the collection isn’t solely comprised of Japanese artists allows visitors to sense the international diversity characteristic of Shibuya.

Looking to the opposite side of Dave Muller’s work, two ceramic works by Kimiyo Mishima—a trend that is on the rise again—are placed on the front counter, as if blending into the landscape. In the foreground, Box Coca Cola Zero 22-3, a ceramic work in the shape of a Coca Cola Zero in a cardboard box, and Newspaper 20-6, a silk-screened transfer of a newspaper onto ceramic material, are elegantly and humorously natural, providing exquisite yet playful artistic entertainment perceivable to only the most discerning of guests.

Moving further in, in the interior of the main dining room, is MOSS CROSS TOKYO. The embroidered works by Mexico-based Gabriel Rico are detailed and bold, with a gentle sophistication that evokes a sense of folkloric nostalgia.

On each elevator hall of the floor where the accommodation rooms are located, a series of artworks by Fumiko Ishiba titled “2.5” is exhibited, featuring photographs of objects with lines drawn directly on their surfaces using a water-based pen. These works allow for the enjoyment of the unique presence of the objects by enclosing three-dimensional subjects with two-dimensional lines before photographing them.

While this area is not freely accessible to those other than users of the respective floor, it serves as a clever device that enhances the service with the uniqueness of art. It can be enjoyed as a recurring delight for those who use the floor multiple times and also acts as a subtle reminder of one’s floor when disembarking from the elevator.

The “2.5” series by Fumiko Ishiba also evokes fascination with its peculiar sensation between two and three dimensions, and the illusion of distance created by the advancing orange color as a background.

A personalized, culturally rich experience that transcends just staying, dining, and shopping.

The allure of Hyatt House Tokyo Shibuya lies in guests integrating with the city, becoming intertwined with its culture encompassing art, music, fashion, and more. While this article has focused primarily on art, we aim to introduce other unique attractions in the future.

■Hyatt House
■Hyatt House Tokyo Shibuya
■Official link for GARDE

How to Enjoy “Shukubo,” a Cultural Experience of Staying at a Temple

“Shukubo” is a place where visitors can experience traditional Japanese culture while staying at a temple or shrine. In this article, we will explore the attraction of shukubo.

Origin of Shukubo

The history of shukubo dates back to the Heian period (794-1180). It is said that shukubo originated as lodging facilities for aristocrats who made pilgrimages to temples and shrines. Later, through the passage of time from the Kamakura period to the Edo period (1180-1868), they evolved from accommodations for priests and pilgrims to a familiar pastime for the general public. Nowadays, shukubo is not only a place for local people but has also become a popular facility for foreign tourists to experience different cultures.

Highlights of Shukubo

Shukubo is different from ordinary lodging facilities. The attraction of a shukubo lies in the opportunity to engage in extraordinary cultural experiences, such as Buddhist services, ascetic practices, and Buddhist vegetarian cuisine.

Although the content varies from facility to facility, the following are some examples of experiences offered at a shukubo:

  • Otsutome: A ceremony in which a priest reads sutras to pray for ancestral offerings and family safety.
  • Meditation: Calming the mind and regulating breathing to create a state of relaxation.
  • Zazen: A state of mental unification achieved by sitting in an upright posture.
  • Shakyo: Copying sutras. It is important to carefully copy the sutras one by one.
  • Shabutsu: Copying a sketch of a Buddhist image.
  • Waterfall training: A practice to train the body and mind by exposing the whole body to the waterfall’s current.
  • Buddhist vegetarian cuisine: A vegetarian diet based on Buddhist teachings that does not contain meat or fish.

These experiences are not only extraordinary and special but also have a positive effect on the mind and body. Shakyo and shabutsu increase the power of concentration, while meditation and zazen can help calm the mind by reducing stress and anxiety. Buddhist vegetarian cuisine, which is gaining attention worldwide, is known for its vegetable-oriented dishes offering an abundance of nutritious and well-balanced options.

A One-of-a-Kind Space Created by History

The oldest temple in Japan is said to be 1,400 years old. Once constructed, temples and shrines, which are traditional Japanese architecture, can remain in existence for 500 years and are cherished as historical architecture that takes root in the local community. This long history nurtures and creates the unique charm of the temple.

Through shukubo, some temples offer visitors special opportunities to see and experience important cultural properties that are not usually available for public viewing. The experience of eating and sleeping amidst history, architecture, and art at close quarters is an opportunity to sharpen the senses and face oneself.

In Conclusion

Shukubo is a place to heal the body and soul in a quiet space away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The best part of a shukubo is the opportunity to experience ascetic practices, learn about Japanese culture such as Buddhist vegetarian cuisine, or simply relax and feel the flow of time in the natural surroundings.

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World Travel Trends According to ‘Unpack ’24’

Introducing Two Trends to Watch from the Global Survey Results of Travel Destinations

Expedia Group has unveiled the travel trend report ‘Unpack ’24.’ Drawing from a global survey of 20,000 travelers across 14 regions worldwide, including Japan, and supplemented by data from Expedia Group brands such as Expedia and, ‘Unpack ’24’ presents six travel trends for 2024, encompassing popular destinations to the latest technologies in the travel industry. In this article, we will delve into two of the highlighted trends.

Source: Expedia website

Trend Highlight 1: Selecting Travel Destinations Influenced by TV Shows and Movies – “Location Touring Trips”

Building on last year’s momentum, the trend of “choosing TV and movie filming locations as travel destinations” is projected to continue in 2024. Surveys indicate that over half (53%) of respondents have either researched travel destinations or booked trips based on the influence of TV shows and movies.

Among Japanese respondents, the primary sources of influence were “TV programs such as variety shows and dramas (49%),” followed by “books (38%)” and “streaming services (16%).” Notably, television programs wield significant influence in Japan compared to the global average.

Japanese films and animations with international fan bases, such as “Golden Kamuy” set in the late Meiji period and “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba” set in the Taisho era, have captivated many with their distinctive worlds. Consequently, accommodations featuring designs symbolizing these eras have emerged as popular travel destinations. Examples include ARU Hotel Kyoto, a project involving GARDE.

Francesco Ristori, the interior designer, remarks, “Through this project, I encountered Japan’s unique aesthetic and cultural styles, epitomized in the concept of ‘Taisho Romance.'” He adds, “Initially, I perceived it as Western-style emulation, but upon deeper exploration, I was struck by the creation of a distinctive worldview that offers fresh interpretations of Western architecture and art.” Such experiences transcend nationality, illustrating how firsthand encounters in locations frequented by movie protagonists shape travel trends. Movie protagonists have been can become travel trends.

Source: GARDE Co., Ltd. Press Release: “The Emergence of ‘Taisho Romance’ in Sanjo Kiya-machi, Kyoto”
The modernistic worldview crafted by Italian designers is truly embodied in the creation of ‘ARU’.

Trend Highlight 2: The Era of “Generative AI” in Travel

In 2024, the era of “Generative AI” is anticipated to unfold, progressively influencing travel content. While the responses generated by Generative AI hinge on prompts (instructions to the AI), they are poised to impact not only tourist destinations but also the very essence of travel itself. The report reveals that 50% of survey respondents express interest in leveraging Generative AI for travel bookings, with 69% believing it can facilitate travel itinerary planning.

Furthermore, novel forms of “immersive experiences,” such as exploring virtual reality spaces and game worlds like the Metaverse art museum “COCOWARP” created by GARDE, are poised to emerge as new travel trends.

You can find the full Unpack ’24 report here and the Unpack ’24 special site here.

For more information, visit:
GARDE Official Website:
Design Magazine:

ARU Hotel Kyoto:
GARDE Portfolio:

The Latest Trends at a Glance, Introducing the World Design Awards

GARDE diligently participates in both national and international awards annually, striving to amplify recognition of the excellence inherent in its space and design, even post-project completion.
Among numerous esteemed entries, award recipients are chosen via impartial evaluation conducted by a panel of design experts serving as the jury.
Outlined below is a partial compilation of prestigious design awards that GARDE consistently enters each year.

DNA Design Awards Paris
Founded in Paris by the FarmaniGroup, in collaboration with the creative collective InBetween, these awards serve as a testament to their commitment to nurturing and honoring the world’s design talent. Through a diverse range of activities and awards, they aim to recognize the contributions of international architects and designers whose practical, beautiful, and innovative creations enrich our everyday experiences.

Click here to read about the latest winning article for this award.

International Property Awards
The awards were inaugurated in 1993 under the patronage of International Property Media Ltd. Particularly renowned is the Asia Pacific Division, acknowledged as a premier design accolade for the region. Entries pour in from 25 countries and territories across the Asia-Pacific Region, undergoing evaluation by a distinguished panel of approximately 80 experts.

Click here to read about the latest winning article for this award.

MUSE Design Awards
The awards are presented by the International Awards Associate (IAA), established with the mission to celebrate, promote and encourage creativity by providing a new standard for evaluating the production and distribution of media design. It is one of the most highly recognized awards, judged by a panel of about 40 judges from around the world.

Click here to read about the latest winning article for this award.

International Design Awards
Established also by FarmaniGroup to recognize, celebrate and promote design excellence in architecture, interior, product, graphic and fashion design foresight and to discover new talent from around the world. All entries are judged on the same criteria by industry experts with at least 15 years of experience.

Click here to read about the latest winning article for this award.

iF Design Award
Established in 1953 under the patronage of the Germany-based International Forum Design (Industrial Design Association), these awards are renowned for their exceptional design and societal contributions. With over 7,200 entries from 56 countries submitted to the competition, a jury comprising 132 distinguished design professionals from more than 20 countries meticulously selects approximately 20% of the entries to receive awards.

Click here to read about the latest winning article for this award.

DFA Design for Asia Awards
The DFA Design for Asia Awards stands as the flagship initiative of the Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC), honoring design excellence and acknowledging remarkable design from an Asian viewpoint. Since its establishment in 2003, the DFA Design for Asia Awards has offered a platform for exceptional designers and companies to present their designs and projects to a global audience.

Nikkei New Office Award
Established by Nikkei Inc. and the New Office Promotion Association (NOPA), these awards aim to foster the development of “New Offices” and honor offices that showcase originality and innovation. Judging criteria include the comfort of workers, the creation of a conducive environment for creativity, consideration for the local surroundings, and the integration of information technology to facilitate intellectual production activities.

Indeed, aside from the awards highlighted in this article, there exist numerous other prestigious design accolades.
Observing the award presentations of each competition offers a valuable opportunity to stay abreast of the latest design trends and refine one’s design sensibilities.
Immersing oneself in the world of design through these experiences is truly enriching.
Stay tuned for future award announcements, which will be featured in our newsletter and Design Magazine.

The Metaverse is Becoming Wine Collectors’ New Space to Conquer

Wine Collection Beyond Vineyards, Cellars, and Wine Shops and Right Into the Space at the Border Between Reality and Virtual

Many think of the metaverse as a space or alternate world that was made for us to explore, different from our daily lives. It is a novelty space that can be accessed from anywhere, anytime; a world that offers visitors the opportunity to extend their realm of friendships and relationships into the digital world.

Now the metaverse can give a fresh breath of air to our passions, such as art and winery.

Wine Collecting in the Metaverse Mixes Entertainment, Knowledge, and Education

Today we are going to explore the work of Crurated, a Startup and membership-based community that aims to make highly sought-after bottles more accessible to wine lovers worldwide. What better way to do that than through the metaverse?

The Startup was founded by Alfonso de Gaetano, former director at Google, and since the beginning it has used digital tools such as NFTs and Blockchain to certify the origin and track the ownership of every bottle sold.

Now they have expanded their interest in the digital realm into the metaverse, offering an experience to wine collectors that mixes entertainment, knowledge, and education, therefore helping the decision-making process for purchasing a wine bottle.

Enhancing Wine Collecting in the Metaverse

The experience of wine collecting in the metaverse is not tied to a physical location, so it caters to a wider audience. It also gives the ability to introduce the history of a bottle more entertainingly compared to simply looking at a wine list.

In practical terms, Crurated introduced an AI model to help visitors learn about the history and origins of a bottle, and to help find answers to their questions about the bottles. The platform also allows members to share their private wine collections with visitors online.

The designer of the cellar space was Italian architect Giovanni Francesco Frascino, who was able to play with the technology and value new aesthetic sceneries that only the metaverse could allow.

A New Technology For Immersive Wine Shopping  

Crurated’s metaverse is built on the virtual production tool Unreal Engine 5, also used by Garde in COCO WARP, to give the illusion of a hyper-realistic and immersive environment.

In conclusion, the metaverse allows for a richer experience for all wine lovers, because to shop in the metaverse and learn about the history of a bottle is to help people choose their next bottle in an entertaining new way.

Enjoying wine is as much about wine tasting in the physical world as it is about the selection experience of your next bottle, and now anyone can do that easily in the metaverse.

Photo: Kym Ellis, Vinicius “amnx” Amano

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