Located in Oku-Nikko, one of Japan's most scenic areas and a designated national park, The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko is a luxury hotel with 94 guest rooms, two restaurants and a hot spring spa.
Oku-Nikko is characterized by its rich nature and dynamic topography created by volcanic activity over 15,000 years ago. The tranquil blue surface of Lake Chuzenji spreads out in front of the hotel, with Mt. Shirane to the west and the 2,500-meter-high Mt. Nantai looming to the north.
Amidst a scene of masterpieces created by Mother Nature, sacred sites of ancient mountain worship, hotels exclusively for foreigners established since the modernization of the Meiji period (1868-); and foreigners' villas used as diplomatic retreats―the theme of this architecture is the incorporation of all of these memories of the land and the flow of time into the spatial design.
The first thing that was attempted here was to create a dialogue between the architecture and the surrounding environment by arranging each of the three guest wings to face the three overwhelmingly beautiful views of Lake Chuzenji, Mt. Shirane, and Mt. Nantai. Among them, Mt. Nantai had been a sacred site for mountain worship, and once a place of asceticism where only monks were allowed to enter. A multitude of great fir trees stretching up to 20 meters tall have grown amid the history of this land.
Confronting the landscape that sustains such magnificent fir trees, the linear composition of the three main architectural forms, while centering on the three beautifully shaped symbol trees, face the lake and mountains and are arranged so that fir trees are not cut down. Other buildings include a restaurant wing that juts out into the lake and a lakeside pavilion. A variety of gardens were also designed in unison with these buildings. Using local trees, shrubs, and stones, and taking advantage of the topography, the landscape design expresses a microcosm of the diverse nature of Nikko.
The use of bronze cladding for the exterior - inspired by one of Japan's largest copper mines that once flourished in the vicinity - makes this architecture unique; and its change of expression from moment to moment, the completely different appearance from season to season, and the beautiful aging over the years are expected to fascinate those who experience it.
Stepping inside, guests are welcomed by the warmth of the woody interior space. In this interior space, guests can fully experience the atmosphere of the land that was once home to many embassy villas and loved by ambassadors. The outside of the hotel has a variety of signature gardens, beyond which is the beautiful lake, mountain, and river backdrop. All guest rooms are equipped with a deep terrace where guests can directly feel the rich nature, while from their room, the view framed by the cedar wood of the terrace can be appreciated like a painting. Here, guests can luxuriate, immersed in the flow of quality time within a serene environment.
项目摄影：铃木研一、河野政人（Nacása & Partners）