The DNA: If the rash of new hotel openings is anything to go by, Kyoto is certainly having a moment. One of the new kids on the block is the 60-room MAJA HOTEL, an updated version of Japan’s traditional capsule concept, but with a slick Nordic look. Behind a timber-slatted façade – a modern nod to Kyoto’s machiya townhouses – on a quiet street in central Kawaramachi, Finnish industrial designer Harri Koskinen has created a serene and minimal aesthetic revealed through a mix of light Tamo Ash wood, concrete and considered lighting. With an entrance designed to resemble the shape of a house, complete with a triangle roof, the capsules themselves come in two sizes: the smaller ones follow a traditional capsule hotel format and are stacked on top of each other in two levels, while the larger ones are full-height walk-in rooms complete with a western-style bed. Privacy comes courtesy of blue-green pulldown Marimekko textile blinds, designed by Koskinen himself. Also designed by Koskinen are the tables – using legs made from a tree that used to grow in the building’s courtyard – and his iwatemo KI-0202HK chairs, crafted in Iwate Prefecture, which fill the communal public spaces. Meanwhile, Cafe Aalto serves up a taste of Finland – from salmon soup to cinnamon rolls – alongside official reproductions of Aalto-designed tables and chairs.
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 60 capsules (2-3m2) (22-32 sq ft) • hotel opened: December 2019 • interior design: Harri Koskinen ❌ no parking available • no pets allowed