Hotel Aiaoi / ホテル Aiaoi
Kamakura, Japan, 2016
Just an hour outside of Tokyo there is a little costal town which has been gaining increasing popularity among the younger crowds over the past few years. People go here for the relaxed atmosphere and closeness to the ocean. Go and Yuko Komuro has done just this. Fled the business of Tokyo and opened up a small 6-room hotel embracing the seasons and the nature in Kamakura. Hidden on the 3rd floor of a 60 year old building they have created a truly wonderful space where everything is in harmony. The name Aiaoi comes from ai [会い = to meet]/[藍 = indigo] and aoi [青い = blue] and you can see how this runs though out the whole place. You meet the ocean here. Blue linen, concrete walls, warm wood and then the water just around the corner. From the tea cups to the original designed pyjamas and breakfast; everything has been selected beautifully and with care. The rooms are small without being too small, and the fact that there are only very few of them makes you feel very privileged to stay in one. The breakfast table has been designed by a friend of Go and Yuko's, with just the perfect measurements so that you can comfortably talk to the people sitting across from you and besides you, but you can also choose to eat on your own without awkwardness. That alone says it all.
Aiaoi is a place to go alone or with someone you want to pass time slowly with, a place where you can calm down and connect with your senses again. As they put it themselves "... the true meaning of being rich; to be able to spare time to feel the seasons and the nature". And that's their present to us all.
Check them out here, and if you go - be sure to give them my best regards.