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  • Writer's pictureJing Lens

My Stay in the Hotel Gajoen Tokyo

A Museum Hotel of Japan Beauty




I had unique and immersive culture experience in Hotel Gajoen Tokyo ( first time to wear kimono, Hyakudan Kaidan exhibition, Hotel art tour, etc) all contributed to the amazing stay of mine here. I want to say Gajoen hotel keeps transforming and elevating to stand the test of time. Its art legacy particularly transcends time and space to sustain and thrive to this day and onwards!

今回一番楽しみにしてるホットルです! 一流のおもてなしと ホテルで もらう た深い文化体験のおかげで、素晴らしい滞在ができました! まさに日本美のミュージアムホテルです!

文化、歴史、芸術作品 あふれる、絢爛豪華な装飾美は見事な建築と自然に溶け込んだホテルを見たことが初めてです !特に 館内の「百段階段」( も東京都の有形文化財に指定されました)で 企画展 と 素晴らしい「ミュージアムホテルアートツアー」を体験してき こと は最高の文化体験の一つです!


Kimono experience


It was my first time to travel to Japan post covid. I craved for some new experience, trying things I haven’t done before. So I was quite intrigued by the kimono experience provided by the hotel. It turned out to be one of my best experience in this hotel. The laday who helped me for fitting and the photographyer are kind and professional, putting me at ease. It was a collaborative and collective efforts with both creatives,which led to my kimono photos I like so much! By the way,I had a lots fun to do a few photoshoots with Japanese and Chinese photographers in Tokyo this time. I also developed a whole new level of appreciation towards models and photographers. Photoshoot is not easy, but with right photographer, what I gain is not just the end-product ( photos ) but also a unique journey with each creative which I also tressure the most.

このホテルで, 私も初めての着物体験をしました。この着物を着ているだけで1時間かかりましたね。着物の着付けを手伝ってくれた人はとても優しい, また、ホテルのカメラマンが私の着物姿を撮ってくれて、素敵な写真を作るって本当にありがとうございました!


Hyakudan Kaidan exbihition "Taisho Roman"

My hotel exploration started from hyakudan Kaidan which was running the event "Taisho Roman". Tt was an exhibition that showcases enduring classics of Japan’s modern literary masters with three-dimensional display. Forgive my poor vocabulary cabinet, I couldn’t even getting closed to delineate its intricate and sophisticated artistry in each chamber just from interior design perspective. But what drew my first attention was the ceiling and wall treatment ( for a lack of better word ) featuring exquisite carving and painting, rare material-built and architectural details . Each display is a masterpiece of art blending in ambient music to deliver nostalgic romance stories. I have to say, wearing kimono is perfectly matched with glamorous atmosphere. For a moment, I feel be transported to the Taisho era. It’s just such eye feast, and I had many hours of amazing immersive experience here.

館内の「百段階段」での 企画展 :大正ロマン×百段階段

~文豪が誘うノスタルジックの世界~(ちなみに, 若い頃、谷崎潤一郎先生の本を読みました) . 一番好き の部屋 は 漁樵の間.着物を着て, その部屋で 過ごしたのがとても似合ってい感じました.


Museum Hotel Art Tour

I joined the “Museum Hotel Art Tour” here which was delivered in Japanese only. My listening is ok. Ilustration material are also provided in English. They are Must-see-Gajoen’s treasures of Japanese artworks originally made in the early Showa Era. We were taken to see various banquet rooms and restaurants. Each room features magnificent sculpture, opulent painting, lacquerware, woodwork and gold foil. During these two hours tour, everyone was amazed by its exquisite artistry and enchanting tale.

この先生は ‘日本人は巨大な仏像を建てるのが得意で、中国人は非常に繊細な彫刻がとても上手です’と言いました。中国人として、これを聞いてとても誇らしく思いました.


Room Tour

My room is executive suite with stunning night view ( quite unexpectedly). It’s around 80 Sq ,which is bit too luxurious for one-person stay lol. The suite approached massive use of wood material on façade ( wall,door, furniture, etc) and was enveloped in warm ambience lighting.( recessed lighting, table lamp, underneath lighting, etc) The Japanese -style touch soften up its executive vibe, creating a subtle and delicate balance. It’s quite open, airy and feel like.. home ..That’s rare feeing you get from a hotel lol. The bathroom features pure luxurious comfort ( private steam sauna , jacuzzi, you name it).

My faviroute design detail is the wall deco behind my bed headboard. Wood beams were positioned left and right side asymmetrically at the backdrop of wood-panelled wall enveloped in ambience warm. It’s like an abstract painting that expresses quietly subdued vibe, which quite fits in a sleeping mode. Another thoughtful gestue was that I even fund a eye mask on the side table to compete my beauty sleep routine. I had a very nice sleep on the properly the largest bed I ever slept lol.


Hotel Snapshot

This property is renowned for housing thousands of Japanese masterpieces, including opulent paintings, lacquerware and ornate woodwork from the early Showa era. Historical touches and beautiful artworks can be found around every corner. While new building presents grand luxe and contemporary cool, the gorgeous Japanese garden that surrounds the premises further adds in ethereal beauty. Walking along the lobby, I also found myself bathing in a sheer of fragrance. I often say I feel an ideal status of 'being' both physically and emotionally through meaningful connection of art, architecture, interior design ,music and nature. I gained what I believe the ultimate experience from Gajoen Hotel because my five senses were activated to the fullest and reached that ideal being


Hotel brief

A quick brief about the hotel. It’s museum hotel with over 90 years history featuring Japan beauty. Old Gajoen was built as a restaurant then expend into an all in one wedding complex. From the get go, it was designed to offer a fairyland for visitors and was called as palace of the dragon king of showa era. After reconstruction from 1988, most of art work was reattached to the current new building. It was very blessing that hyakudan Kaidan (which has been deemed as tangible cultural property in Tokyo) of old Gajoen bildings are meticulously pre-reserved and still in existence. I want to say Gajoen Hotel keeps transforming and elevating to stand the test of time. Its art legacy particularly transcends time and space to sustain and thrive to this day and onwards. It truly reflect ‘ it’s a fairy tale retreat that mixes 1930s glamour with contemporary cool in Meguro, Tokyo.



Show notes

Hi, welcome to Jing lens. Today, I want to share my recent amazing stay in Hotel Gajoen Tokyo.

I am a bit of what we Chinese call ‘酒店控’. When I travel, I don’t do much planning. But I will pre-book an experiential luxury or boutique hotel for my trip within my affordability. Experiential hotels go beyond just providing an accommodation stay but a full range of cultural and lifestyle experiences, hence creating a temporary new reality and fantasy living for me. It is often just one or two nights stay, but memories will not easily fade away. That’s how I know it hit my core on a deep level.

The price tag doesn’t dictate a hotel experience. I often quite thoroughly look into their website to see whether it aligns with my aesthetic and style (just like interior design). External aesthetic and design can be visually sensed through its photos, videos ., but what I will also dive deeper into is the story-telling behind the hotel brand ( a bit like doing a podcast lol ).

Elements such as Architecture, cultural heritage, internal activities, and art showcase all fall into my interest categories. Overall, the choice of hotel is very personal as individuals expect differently. In my case, I grew up watching Ghibli animation. When stumbling upon this hotel with the saying that it’s the prototype of a bathhouse from the animated movie spirited away, it instantly hit my radar. Looking into the hotel website, it ticked all my boxes. A quick brief about the hotel. It’s a museum hotel with over 90 years of history featuring Japanese beauty. Old Gajoen was built as a restaurant and then expanded into an all-in-one wedding complex. From the get-go, it was designed to offer a fairyland for visitors and was called the palace of the dragon king of the Showa era. After reconstruction in 1988, most of the artwork was reattached to the current new building. It was very blessing that Hyakudan Kaidan (which has been deemed as tangible cultural property) of old Gajoen building are meticulously preserved and still in existence.

I want to say Gajoen Hotel keeps transforming and elevating to stand the test of time. Its art legacy particularly transcends time and space to sustain and thrive to this day and onwards. It truly reflects ‘it’s a fairy tale retreat that mixes 1930s glamour with contemporary cool in Meguro, Tokyo’.

Without a second of hesitation, I feel it’s like a calling and booked in. Now I will share my one-night stay at the hotel. it was my first time traveling to Japan Post Covid. I craved some new experiences, trying things I haven’t done before. So, I was quite intrigued by the kimono experience provided by the hotel. I had a few email correspondences with the hotel Concierge to eventually confirm my booking for the kimono experience and kimono photoshoot. Their reply was always prompt and direct in detail to my questions with transparency and clarity. I guess from that initial communication stage, my expectation for the hotel was raised pretty high aleady lol. Also just very personally speaking, I feel wearing kimono for the first time in a hotel setting is more likely to put me at ease, which turned out to be one of my best experiences in the hotel.

My Schedule was a bit tight on that day. I had a bit hard time finding a kimono-fitting room. One of their staff, a lovely girl helped me find the fitting room efficiently. When choosing

kimono, I was a bit concerned to choose a vibrant color that may make me too standout in the crowd. I noticed just a very few ladies were wearing kimono on that day and they are wearing

in a very light and chic color. But then I was like just go for my first instinct lol. The lady who helped to fit in kimono was professional. I told her about my concern. She was very gently, comforting me that ‘’. It took almost an hour to complete the fitting but I quite enjoyed the wearing process thanks to her. Obviously I couldn’t walk too fast after wearing Kimono. At that moment, I feel quite like a calming down growing up lol.

Then I was sent to meet up with the photographer who is again such a pro. He not only guided me to make a pose but also listened to my vision. It was a collective and collaborative effort with two creatives that eventually led to my kimono photos I like so much! By the way, I had a lot of fun doing a few photoshoots with Japanese and Chinese photographers in Tokyo this time. I also developed a whole new level of appreciation for models and photographers. The photo shoot is not easy, but with the right photographer, what I gain is not just the end product (photos ) but also a unique journey with each creative which I treasure the most.

After the photoshoot, I officially began to explore this expansive and stunning museum hotel. My fits stop was Hyakudan Kaidan which was running the event "Taisho Roman". It was an exhibition that showcases enduring classics of Japan’s modern literary masters with a three-dimensional display. Forgive my poor vocabulary cabinet, I couldn’t even get close to delineating the intricate and sophisticated artistry in each chamber even just from an interior design perspective. But what draws my first attention is the ceiling and wall treatment (for a lack of better word) featuring Exquisite carving and painting, rare material-built, and architectural details. Each display is a masterpiece of art blending in ambient music to deliver nostalgic romance stories. I have to say, wearing kimono is perfectly matched with the glamorous atmosphere. For a moment, I feel transported to the Taisho era. It’s just such an eye feast, and I had many hours of amazing immersive experience there.

Apart from Hyakudan Kaidan, this property is renowned for housing thousands of Japanese masterpieces, including opulent paintings, lacquerware, and ornate woodwork from the early Showa era. Historical touches and beautiful artwork can be found around every corner. While the new building presents grand luxe and contemporary cool, the gorgeous Japanese garden that surrounds the premises further adds to the ethereal beauty. Walking along the lobby, I also found myself bathing in a sheer of fragrance. I often say I experience an ideal ‘being’ both physically and emotionally through the meaningful connection of art, architecture, interior design, music, and nature. I gained what I believe is the ultimate experience from Gajoen Hotel because my five senses were activated to the fullest and reached that ideal ‘being’ .

I also have to give the biggest credit to the top-notch hospitality of the hotel staff. Another male staff helped me do check in later on that day and also recommended the hotel art tour the next day for me. He then gave me a quick room tour. I do feel the need to introduce my room a bit. It’s an Executive suite with stunning night view ( quite unexpectedly). Now it’s always the interior design grabs my first attention lol. It’s around 80 Sq, which is a bit large for a one-person stay lol. The suite approached massive use of wooden material on the façade ( wall, door, furniture ., ) and was enveloped in warm ambiance lighting. (recessed lighting, table lamp, underneath lighting ., ) The Japanese -style touch softens up its executive vibe, creating a subtle and delicate balance. It’s quite open, airy, and feels like …home .. That’s a rare feeling you get from a hotel lol. My favorite design detail is the wall deco behind my bed headboard. If you can see the photo below, the wood beam is positioned left and right sides asymmetrically at the backdrop of a wood-paneled wall enveloped in an ambiance warmness. It’s like an abstract painting that expresses a quietly subdued vibe, which quite fits in a sleeping mode. Another very thoughtful gesture that touched my heart is that I even found an eye mask on the side table to complete my beauty sleep routine. In terms of the bathroom , it just features pure luxury lol (private steam sauna, jacuzzi, you name it). I had a very nice sleep on the properly largest bed I ever slept lol.

The next day, I joined the hotel art tour which was delivered in Japanese only. My listening is ok. They also prepared illustration material in English. They are Must-see-Gajoen’s treasures of Japanese artworks originally made in the early Showa Era, which extended and expanded this eye feast to the next level since yesterday’s exhibition. We were taken to see various banquet rooms and restaurants. Each room features magnificent sculptures, opulent paintings, lacquerware, woodwork, and gold foil. During this two hour tour, everyone was amazed by its exquisite artistry and enchanting tale. I joked with my friend that seeing too many splendid artwork these two days, I kind of reached Visual fatigue lol.

I also want to shine a spotlight on ‘holding pride to work’. Essentially, every industry is customer service. What I learn as both a service provider and service recipient is that you have to fully engage in your work with pride. Your energy will translate to whoever you serve, which may make or break’ This could be once in a lifetime encounter’ with your customers or clients. I want to send my deep respect and genuine thanks to every hotel staff I have come across this time in Gajoen Hotel

I often say only words coming within making true impacts. A number of factors contribute to this amazing stay of mine (unique and immersive cultural experience, top-notch hospitality, local cuisine, etc.,). I will sincerely recommend people to check in this hotel if they pursue an intimate artistic and emotional connection with artwork, culture, story-telling, architecture, and nature through an experiential hotel. It’s definitely not a cookie-cutter experience but a of kind precious memory.

Thank you for listening to my podcast. See you next time.









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