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A Modernist's Guide to Japanese Design Hotels and Sleeping Pods

photo: Josh Bulriss
If there's one thing Japan is known for in the design realm, it's a minimalist, timeless approach to architecture and interior design. We've gathered up some of the top luxuriously designed hotels that offer beautiful, simple accommodations alongside some of the most minimalist concepts like sleeping pods and tiny inns. From central Tokyo to the Japanese Alps, there's a destination for every Japan-loving jetsetter. 

Reporter: Alyssa Brown
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Amanemulearn more

    While the design concept may be minimalist, Amanemu certainly doesn't skimp on any detail. This luxury resort in Ise-Shima National Park at Mie Prefecture offers pristine rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, generously sized baths, a library for guests and traditional onsen spa fed by thermal springs.
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    Hotel Hakuba

    Hakuba, Japan
    Danish design meets the Northern Japanese alpine landscape at the village of Hakuba. Hotel Hakuba is a small inn that offers luxury, designer rooms influenced by Danish legend Finn Juhl, and easy access to the area's famed slopes. Read more about Hotel Hakuba here →
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    Kiraku Obi

    Nichinan, Japan
    A six-bedroom private villa that dates back to the Edo era, Kiraku Obi sits in a cedar forest that's part of a larger samurai estate. The elegant, modernized getaway is a gem in a town that's rich with historical and architectural highlights.
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    Koyasan Guest House

    Koyasan, Japan
    Located in ancient Koyasan, this guest house caters to budget travelers and folks looking to stay in simplistic but beautiful accommodations. The rooms here are split between sleeping pods for one guest or larger suites and bunk suites. The modernist architecture shapes spaces that are both thoughtfully designed and well-curated.
    Photo:Pat Inn
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    Pat Inn

    Chichijima, Japan
    With just 13 rooms, Pat Inn offers luxurious boutique accommodations on Ogasawara Island. While the setting stuns in its own right, the small bed and breakfast style hotel is all-modern with white walls, concrete surfaces and lots of beautiful timber.
    Photo:Aman Resorts
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    Aman Tokyolearn more

    Tokyo's cream-of-the-crop resort, Aman is an oasis within the city limits that feels at once completely removed from its urban setting and simultaneously immersed in Tokyo culture. The property takes a traditional Japanese approach to design with simplicity and clean lines throughout, complemented by amazing views of the urban landscape.
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    Photo:Claska
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    Claska

    Tokyo, Japan
    The 20 rooms at Tokyo's Claska are all designed with different personality types in mind, each suite gorgeous and modern in its own way. There's also a rooftop, an art gallery, a restaurant, a retail shop, and even a dog grooming salon.
    Photo:One Tokyo
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    One Tokyo

    Tokyo, Japan
    Choose between staying in an artist's atelier, loft space, studio or library inspired room at One Tokyo. This boutique design hotel is as interested in pushing great design as it is in offering an immersive experience in local culture.
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    Onomichi U2 & Hotel Cycle

    Onomichi, Japan
    Located about an hour from Hiroshima, Hotel Cycle offers a stay that's entirely cyclist-oriented. Onomichi has long been known as the kickoff spot for a famous cycling route that hops between six islands across the Seto Inland Sea. The modern, urban-style hotel is set in a warehouse on the waterfront, with a restaurant, bar, cafe, and shop all on-site.
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    Nine Hours

    Kyoto, Japan
    Nine Hours offers sleeping pods and showers to those traveling for work or in dire need of a high-quality rest. With locations throughout Japan, including in airports, this brand is taking Japanese urbanites and travelers by storm with their chic accommodation pods and pristine experience.

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    Do-c Ebisu

    Tokyo, Japan
    Rather than offer a hotel with a spa, Do-c Ebisu offers a spa with sleeping pods, flipping our idea of a design hotel entirely upside-down. This sleep and sauna space is located in central Tokyo and offers guests a unique opportunity to unplug and relax in a minimalist, design-savvy setting.
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    Rhinos Camping Hotel

    Kisarazu City, Japan
    Glamping is the main attraction at Wild Beach, located just outside Tokyo along the Trans-Tokyo Bay Highway. For those who prefer a more permanent setting with an architect's thumbprint, on-site you'll find a collection of modern apartments made of steel and wood set on stilts, each with their own interior aesthetic, known as Rhinos.
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    First Cabin

    Osaka, Japan
    Sleeping pod chain First Cabin combines a first class airplane-like aesthetic with on-the-ground convenience for those in need of a quick and easy rest. Mostly located in or near airplanes and train stations, these sleep facilities offer a simple solution for travelers on-the-go who appreciate a good-looking sleep set up.

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