Hita, set in deep countryside in the west of Oita, is at the centre of northern Kyushu. Serving as…
Galleria Midobaru sets itself apart from Beppu's other hotels. A steeply climbing road from the city centre turns increasingly narrow as it reaches an outer suburb. Anyone could be forgiven for thinking that the taxi driver had taken the wrong road. Yet on arrival it is immediately apparent why this compact hotel is sited amongst domesticity. From here the high and expansive views across Beppu, the Seto Inland Sea and the neighbouring Kunisaki Peninsula are captivating and beautifully integrated into the hotel’s whole presence.
Galleria Midobaru also distinguishes itself creatively. Its warming reddish-brown exterior tones are surprisingly subtle and provide an immediate calming presence. This earthy hue, which is derived from sub-soils excavated during construction, also flow throughout the public spaces of the hotel, which is a modernist maze of rectilinear exterior and interior spaces. The former act as angular canvases for the artistic play of natural light during the day that turns into a mosaic of translucent illumination and shadows at night. The latter access, outwardly, panoramic vistas and provide, inwardly, muted backdrops that are enriched by a series of artworks commissioned from a new wave of younger Japanese artists. These include Sohei Nishino, Akiko Nakayama, Mika Aoki and Shinji Ohmaki.
Light natural woods and pale colours imbue the guest rooms with an understated calmness, a cocoon from which to savour privately those tremendous views. All rooms are appointed with a private balcony bath and there is perhaps no better a place to soak luxuriously, physically and metaphorically, into your surroundings.
Galleria Midobaru’s classy The Peak restaurant and Hot Spring Bar equally draw on the scenery to relish the eyes and through fresh produce, principally sourced from Oita, the palate. The hotel’s spa adds another level of soothing luxury. Guided tours to Galleria Modobaru’s art are also available, as are on-site classes in macrobiotic cooking, yakuzen traditional medicinal tea, and sessions in yoga and pilates. For the more actively inclined guided trekking tours are run in the surrounding mountains. Please note that booking prior to arrival is essential for all these optional activities.
At a glance
A hotel where architecture, modern Japanese art, expansive views and onsen hot springs coalesce into a sumptuous experience.