We had a chance of staying at Ban Shigeru’s SHONAI HOTEL SUIDEN TERRASSE


“Shonai Hotel Suiden Terrace” is located in Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture in Japan. (Suiden means rice field)

As the name suggests, it stands in a rice field in the Shonai Plain, which symbolizes rice.

The magnificent scenery of the rice fields, the view, the size of the sky  is rather odd to those who are familiar with the sky scrapers.

A long approach has been set up across the rice fields, providing a spiritual gate to the world that extends beyond.

This long approach is the declaration of the beginning of a resort-like space-time that is a bit far from everyday.

The sculpture of this tree-like structure evokes a landscape that was once seen everywhere in Japan’s rice fields.

tree-like structure was built in the rice field after harvest to dry rice crops.

Ban shigeru hotel shonai suiden terracei

The architectural design is by Shigeru Ban, a Pricker Prize-winning architect.

It is surprisingly the first hotel that Shigeru Ban has worked on.

The appearance of a terrace-like building that is lifted so as to float in the air is quite dynamic.

The building, with its origami-shaped wooden roof on the low-growing volume of RC and glass, is a modern and regional architecture.

ban shigeru arichitecture

This building fits well into the landscape of the plain Shonai Plain.

A glass entrance hall where the outside landscape penetrates. The immaculateness that is unlike a hotel is clean and impressive.

There is a stairwell right after entering, and the reception and other functions are gathered on the second floor.

The interior and furniture are made of Ban’s favorite paper pipes.

Ban Shigeru Arichitecture

Access to the guest rooms zone is via a glass bridge from the center building. The symbolic effect of the act of <crossing> is intentional.

The guest room zone is divided into three buildings, and there is a hot spring facility (spa & fitness) at the end of the accommodation building.

The lack of blockage typical of hotel corridors is due to the fact that the voids at key points allow you to see the outside and the ground. At the same time, this void is an excellent idea that reminds you of a cottage style room that leads to each guest room through the outside, creating a resort-like atmosphere.

A room is with simple and natural taste. Some of the walls use the same tiles as the exterior walls.

The design of the fabric is unlike to the mainstream hotel interior.

In the common building with four ceilings and high ceilings, there is a pleasant open air.

The balance between concrete, glass and wood is also good.

The restaurant has a large terrace and unfortunately cannot be used in winter.

However the comfort of the spring breeze across the rice fields, the ineffective time of the summer day escaped the strong sunshine, the back light of the autumn sunset I can imagine that would be memorable one.

There are many reasons for having children here. Originally, this hotel was started with the intention of forming a revenue base for the all-weather children’s facility “Kids Dome Solai” which is built next to the hotel.

A major attraction of this hotel is the library provided in the common building. Pick up the book you care about from the 1,000 books on the bookshelf and look at it on the spot, read it on the table near you or on the sofa in the lobby, or take it back to your room and take a look at the bed You can enjoy the blissful time that the book and various spaces synchronize, such as reading.

A thorough book selection by Mr. Yoshitaka Waka of Bach, such as food, travel, music, art, anthropology, Shonai, etc. will prepare such unexpected encounters and stimuli.

In the Judokan Museum, which was a former clan school in Tsuruoka, the forehead of “Keiten Mistress”, which was the inscription on the right of Takamori Nishizu, Nishigo, is displayed.

Tsuruoka is a treasure trove of ingredients such as seafood from the Sea of ​​Japan, native vegetables, wild vegetables, and sake as recognized by the UNESCO Creative Cites of Gastronomy.

It is also a place where the food culture nurtured by nature such as the sea breathes.

Basque, Spain (Bilbao as a city) has been accredited as the same “Culture for Cultural Creation”. Nowadays, Basque is a world-famous food capital, but its language is quite different from Spanish, and it has a history of fighting a radical independence movement that does not quit terrorism. Is a region that has


Like the Basque, gastronomy is a keyword, and there is a strong possibility that the decentralized and decentralized movement in Tsuruoka will rise.



text by Tetsuya Omura