HOTEL

A Japanese-Style Inn, Afloat at Sea

The sleekly designed ship Guntû brings the trappings of a traditional ryokan to Japan’s Inland Sea.

The sleekly designed ship Guntû brings the trappings of a traditional ryokan to Japan’s Inland Sea.

Japan’s southern Setouchi region doesn’t get as much recognition as Tokyo and Kyoto do, but with the opening of a floating hotel late last year, travelers have a new reason to explore the lesser-known territory. Guntû, which takes its name from a local species of blue crab, is a 19-cabin vessel that drifts along Japan’s Inland Sea, providing guests with new panoramas each morning. “I designed the interior to perfectly frame the sea’s beautiful landscape,” says architect Yasushi Horibe of the minimalist aesthetic crafted almost entirely from cypress and walnut wood, with soshi screens, private terraces, and open-air baths constructed to catch natural light. Consider Guntû a maritime Japanese ryokan, languidly cruising among the uninhabited islands that dot the sheltered Chugoku and Shikoku coastlines, complete with a six-person sushi counter run by a Nobu vet, nightly tea ceremonies, a communal bath spa, and a moon-viewing skiff for after-dark sake excursions

RELATED LIST MEMBERS
Travel

All photos: Tetsuya Ito, courtesy Setouchi Cruise.

All Stories