Aonagi is a boutique luxury hotel in the Japanese region of Setouchi, in Okayama Prefecture. This painstakingly developed hotel project boasts only seven rooms and was designed 17 years ago by Tadao Ando, a brilliant self-taught Japanese architect whose exquisite work –famous for the use of concrete, light and water– earned him the Pritzker Prize, the highest international award for architecture, in 1995 .
Ando has transformed Aonagi, originally a private home and later an art museum, into a hotel that features “minimalist luxury”. The interior, stripped of all unnecessary furniture, directs the guest’s gaze to the surrounding natural landscape. The property seeks to create an absolute connection between the guest and the rich nature, history and culture of times past by placing special focus on features like the hot spring jacuzzi, sauna and spa, and two stunning pools.
Perched on a mountain several kilometres from the coast, The Blue provides views of the Seto Inland Sea, while The Cave can be reserved exclusively for private use.
The Setouchi Triennial International Art Festival put this region on the map. Today, the festival seeks to once again revitalize the area. This cultural event is celebrated every three years and draws in visitors from around the world to the twelve small islands in the Seto Inland Sea, between Okayama Prefecture on the island of Honshu and Kagawa prefecture on the island of Shikoku.
Fans of Ando’s work won’t be disappointed by a trip to the island of Naoshima. Visitors can visit other landmarks by the minimalist master (Chichu Art Museum, Benesse and his own Ando Museum) along with the Aonagi hotel, now another must-visit spot on any tour of Ando’s architecture.