It’s natural enough to think of traditional culture and modern design as being polar opposites, but in places like Italy or Japan, where the past seems always to be present, the story is a bit more complicated. Beniya Mukayu, an hour’s drive from the city of Kanazawa, is a case in point. Here, visual style notwithstanding, the experience is exactly what you’d expect from a good ryokan, while the clean lines and simple materials of modernist architecture, as well as some thoughtful, contemporary site-specific artworks, seem more like a natural evolution of traditional Japanese design than any kind of break with the past.
That classic experience means a serene immersion in a tranquil natural setting, along with a more literal immersion in the onsen baths, as well as a lavish multi-course kaiseki dinner. What you want is a place where you’re happy to shut yourself away, and this most definitely fits the bill. There’s no reason why a bit of modernist furniture should take anything away from the mood — and if Western architects are still using Zen metaphors to explain the appeal of minimalist interior design, Beniya Mukayu is proof that the two traditions are even closer than we think.
Text Courtesy of Tablet Hotels
Beniya Mukayu in Kaga-Onsen, Japan