Translated by Shinji Takaramura
ARTnSHELTER - A Strikingly Artful Hostel In Shinagawa
Written by Shinnosuke Saito
ARTnSHELTER is a one of a kind hostel with an art gallery and a bar, located near the Samezu Station of the Keikyu Line, which is close to Shinagawa in southern Tokyo. Let's explore this facility and see what makes it unique!
There is a unique hostel located only six minutes away from Shinagawa, and about forty minutes away from Haneda Airport, on the Keikyu Line. The hostel is named ARTnSHELTER. As you can imagine from its name, the concept of this facility is a combination between a work of art and a hostel. A wide variety of international artwork, from digital art and photography to block print, is displayed at this hostel.
ARTnSHELTER is located a three minute walk from the Samezu Station of Keikyu Line. The neighborhood is a quiet residential area, dotted with some temples as well. The hostel opened in 2015, and now backpackers from various countries stay here. There are even days when the hostel is fully booked.
A lounge and reception counter welcome the visitors. Light streams in from the large window, and fills this spacious room with a high ceiling.
First Floor: Bar Lounge/Art Gallery
The first floor of ARTnSHELTER serves as an art gallery, event space and a bar lounge. On the day of our visit, the oil paintings drawn by the artist Yazawa Hideki and monochrome photographs of scenes viewed from American military bases all over the world were on display.
This exhibition space can also be used for events, and hostel guests are invited to some irregularly scheduled events. The wall can be used as a screen, so it may also be used as a movie theater.
The most memorable artwork at ARTnSHELTER may be the graffiti in the basement floor, a work by the Singaporean artist Zon. You can say that the "art" is realized in the "shelter" (basement). Although the sign says "DO NOT OPEN," if you ask the owner, Mr. Kanomata, you will be able to appreciate the artwork.
Going down the ladder to the basement will make you feel like a little child again. If another hostel guest happens to be with you, it would make a great conversation piece.
Chat with the Guests at the Bar
Drinks and conversation with friends should take care of the weariness after a long journey. Hostel guests can drink whiskey and cocktails while chatting with fellow travelers at the bar lounge on the first floor. Local residents also come to the bar, so that is another appeal. Mr. Kanomata, the owner, selects the music flowing from the high-end speakers, which will undoubtedly add to the memories of your Japanese trip.
Of course, the bar also offers beer. After a day of walking around, there is nothing better than a cold glass of beer.
Second and Third Floors: The Guestrooms
The guestrooms are situated on the second and third floors. There are four types of rooms: Open Type Dormitory, 4 Bed Mix Dormitory, Women's Dormitory and Capsule Type Bunk Bedroom. The price ranges from 2300 yen to 5000 yen per night, and differs according to the room type and the date of your stay.
Bunk beds are lined up in the Open Type Dormitory on the third floor.
Clean restrooms, shower rooms, kitchen and lockers are located on both floors. Towels are sold for 150 yen, and toiletry items such as toothbrushes and razors are sold for 100 yen each.
Barbecues in Summer
There is an open-air cooking space, which can be used for barbecues or parties in summer. It is furnished with an oven which uses firewood, so guests can experience camping in a residential area. There is no other hostel like this in Tokyo.
ARTnSHELTER also has a work space which can be used as a studio by an artist, which makes it a one of a kind hostel.
Come to ARTnSHELTER
The owner, Mr. Kanomata graduated from a Japanese art college and studied design in London. While managing ARTnSHELTER, he is also active as a curator. Mr. Kanomata is a sociable person, so if you have the chance, chat him up. He will have some fun things to talk about.
Reservations for ARTnSHELTER, which is growing popular, can be made from this site. Be sure to take a look.