Photo credit: TETSUYA ITO/COURTESY OF GUNTÛ
A ryokan is basically a type of traditional Japanese inn that features tatami-matted rooms, and when you combine it with a superyacht, Guntû is the result. This 266-foot-long vessel was designed by Tokyo-based residential architect Yasushi Horibe and contains just 19 cabins, with the largest being a 295-square-foot room. It’s used for multi-day tours of the Seto waterway from a private marina in Onomichi. Read more for a video tour, additional pictures and information.
You won’t find any multi-level suites here, as the accommodations are described as staying in a friend’s guest house, finished in hardwoods with floor-to-ceiling windows facing the sea. Amenities include a western style cafe/bar, a lounge, and a traditional veranda where guests can sip on a cup of tea while indulging in handmade sweets from the ship’s resident pastry chef Joichiro Kita. When you’re done relaxing, step into the 6-seat sushi restaurant manned by Nobuo Sakamoto. Instead of traditional propulsion methods, it uses twin electric engines to lessen the vibrations and noise pollution.
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Setouchi, Japan’s inland sea, is surrounded by the mainland Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu, it was the main waterway when western Japan was the center of Japan. Each island has developed it’s unique mixture of cultural and industrial histories. There is a harmony between the sea, sky, islands and the human activity in Setouchi. Guntû was designed to uncover the allure of Setouchi, and to show it as it is,” said Guntû representative Meguro Shinichi.