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The Setouchi Triennale is perhaps Japan’s most successful art festival. A clear message and gorgeous backdrop, combined with island hopping and fine art, has brought millions of tourists from both Japan and abroad to the Setouchi islands. And if there’s an individual whose stamp is most visible throughout the islands it’s probably architect Tadao Ando. His signature style of minimal concrete buildings form numerous hotels and museums, which helps add consistency to the entire experience. His latest addition is the Setouchi Aonagi, a small luxury hotel with only 7 rooms that opened earlier this year.

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Ao means “blue” while nagi is a word used to describe a calmness generated by lack of wind on a shore. Aonagi conjures up images of asanagi (morning calm) or yunagi (evening calm) and is the perfect word to capture the intimate experience you’ll have at this new hotel. But with only 7 rooms throughout the entire facility, be prepared to pay for exclusivity. Prices start at the bottom with the Garden Suite (87,600 yen or about $820) and rise to the Aonagi Suite (156,000 yen or about $1450). But the rooms are substantial in size and sleep 3 to 5 people, depending on the room.


the Aonagi Suite

Related: Spoon & Tamago’s sample itinerary of the art islands


the Hanroten Suite


the Garden Suite

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the outdoor pool that visually extends into the Setouchi Inland Sea

The building itself was previously a private residence. At one point a section of it was open the public in the form of a museum. But a major renovation by Ando yielded this fantastic addition to the Setouchi Art Islands. And in keeping with the art festival theme, various artworks and installations are incorporated throughout the hotel.

Bonus tumblr post: check out more images of the hotel’s branding and identity created by design agency Artless.


artwork by Frank Stella hangs on a wall


artwork by Rieko Kawabe


a garden installation by Yutaka Ono