Tokyo is known for a lot of things, including its extremely interesting and innovative accommodation options. From high-tech luxury hotels, to sleeping in a capsule, one thing that’s for sure is that you don’t want to just stay at your average accommodation, when there’s way more incredible options!
But I got to stay somewhere that took incredible, interesting, and innovative to a whole new level; the Park Hotel Tokyo, which offers guests the option of staying in one of their exclusive “Artist Rooms”. As the name implies, these rooms are each hand-painted by renowned artists, who get extremely creative with themes, schemes, and storylines.
I’m also not just talking about painting a few pictures and hanging them on the wall. I’m talking like the entire room, most of them floor to ceiling, is used as a canvas, and transformed into a livable piece of art. Some even have fun surprises in the closets and bathrooms!
Mine was the Goldfish Geisha room, which was so vibrant and stunning that I had a hard time leaving it, especially when my view was overlooking the city; from the Tokyo Tower all the way to the Skytree! I also got to take a tour of a few others, so I’ll showcase those after I finish going on about mine!
As soon as I walked in, I immediately noticed the hand-painted goldfish against a black wall, followed by what looked like a stained-acrylic door that led to bathroom. Taking a step further into the brightly-lit room, and I felt like I was in an exotic koi pond, with giant whimsical goldfish swimming all around me.
Of course my focus easily wandered to the room’s enormous window, whose view could have easily been mistaken for a painting itself. A view of Tokyo from the thirty-first floor of the Park Hotel Tokyo, and topping it off were two hand-painted goldfish that appeared to be swimming around the top of the Tokyo Tower.
But as I walked closer to the captivating window view, my attention was stolen by a floor to ceiling mural painting of two geisha’s behind the headboard, that were so vivid and beautiful that I wanted to be a part of them in the painting! On the adjoining wall was another interesting piece; a geisha face that almost seemed to be 3D! Across the room, amidst the flowing goldfish fins, were another pair of twin geishas, playing Cats Cradle in the corner.
Even the bathroom was a piece of art, with alternating orange tiles that the artist had cut varying designs out of and placed strategically!
The Zodiac Room had a completely different look than my room did. Instead of bright, bold colors and design, it had intricate black and white details, that composed the twelve zodiac animals, plus a few others that the artist decided to give an appearance to. A dark horse stands out as it gallops across the corner of the room, and a lounging tiger hangs out over your bed. But if you know how the story of the zodiac goes, and which of the animals wins the race, you’ll notice the little mouse below the tiger, and a few more hiding in the bathroom.
Look closely in between the animals and swirling lines; most of the walls are covered in writing! If you can read Japanese you’ll be in for an interesting spin on reading a bed-time story, because all you’ll have to do is lay down, and look around!
Edo is the ancient period in Japan when many of its temples and shrines were built. The artist’s concept with the Edo-Tokyo Room was to compare what Tokyo looked like during the Edo era, with what it looks like today, in a creative and well-calculated way. His paintings aren’t entire wall murals like most of the rooms are, instead, you’ll see smaller paintings, but with so much detail that you’ll think they’re actually photographs.
The first one you’ll see is the same birds-eye view of Tokyo that you’d see looking out my window. It’s pretty much painted to scale with it too, which he did on purpose with each of the paintings on each of the walls, which can be further emphasized by the compass that spans across the whole ceiling.
To the bottom right of the modern day portrait of Tokyo, is a rendition of an ancient painting of the same area during the Edo era, which you’ll see has the same temples, but not all the buildings or Tokyo Tower.
If you want to feel zen-ed out, you want to stay in the Bamboo Room. As the name implies, the room is hand painted with bamboo plants from floor to ceiling, making you feel like you’re actually sleeping in the Bamboo Forest in Kyoto.
One thing I noticed that I’m not sure if the artist did on purpose, was that outside of this room’s window, is a view of the futuristic Shiodome building, which is all glass with a massive metal architectural design, which completely contrasts with the natural bamboo.
I know this room will be extremely popular and loved by many! I mean, who doesn’t love a Lucky Cat?! Not only an adorable creature, but an icon of Japanese culture known as the Manekineko, which makes for the perfect art piece to transform into a room. But this room is more than just paintings of cute cats. The artist’s inspiration was from the popular Japanese book, “I am a Cat”, which has quirky quotes and thoughts from supposed cats.
You’ll notice one of the cats on the wall with what seems like a yellow straw coming out of his mouth; it’s actually leading to a quotation bubble which opens across the ceiling, with writing from the actual book about what the cat is saying! Meow!
You can also purchase your very own Manekineko “Lucky Cat” doll in the lobby’s Art Gallery, depending on when you go!
Since I had just gone to my first ever public bath house, or Oneson as they’re called, I was highly amused by the artist’s depiction of a bath house in the form of wall murals across an entire room. She painted it so that it looked like an actual traditional bath house; with teal tiles as the walls, and the wooden bath coming up to chest level. Except she put a twist on it by including a mural of Mt. Fuji behind the headboard, and instead of actual people bathing, she painted make-believe creatures she calls Poni.
To go with the bath house theme, the artist also included a basket of actual rubber duckies in the shower, and a couple other special duckies by the sink and nightstand.
Step into the Yokai Room and you’ll feel like you just walked into a Dr. Seuss Book. The first thing you’ll see is what seems to be a spiraling cloud against a blue sky across the ceiling, which ends in the middle, which is actually the ceiling light.
A large, circular green monster appears to be sitting on a cloud behind the bed, and also seems to be pumping out hundreds of extremely detailed little Yokai (supernatural little monsters that come after you if you do something bad to teach you a lesson!). You’ll have to spend some time looking at each little Yokai, and connecting the dots of how they’re marching up into the spiraling cloud on the ceiling, then coming out on the “other side”, which the artist portrays through use of the wall mirror.
This was actually the first artist to paint the ceiling of the room, and as I was told also the first artist to break his neck!
The Carp Room has a painting of a waterfall in it. Enough said. The reason for the waterfall, other than because waterfalls are awesome, is because it depicts the strength of the Carp, which is seen swimming up it. Carp are the fish that symbolize strength in Japanese culture, and are what can be seen flying as flags and kites during the “Boy’s Day” holiday, which is the last of three holidays during Golden Week.
Downstairs in the stunning and sophisticated glass lobby of the Shiodome Building where the Park Hotel Tokyo is located, is a special gallery that features the artwork in the rooms, in the process of being painted. You’ll see the artists painting their masterpieces, and what it looked like “in progress”, as well as background information on the artist, and their inspiration behind the pieces.
Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with the Park Hotel Tokyo, however all photos, opinions, and writing are my own, and I really did think this was an AWESOME hotel!