A Tranquil Space Floating in a Japanese Garden
This article was originally published in the Summer 2020 issue of The ROYAL
Treasures of The ROYAL
Treasure Hunting at the RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka
A hotel truly deserving of the name “Royal.”
Since it first opened in 1935 in Nakanoshima, Osaka, the RIHGA Royal Hotel Osaka has aimed to become a hotel that hosts distinguished guests from all over the world by offering the best in everything from the interior to the cuisine while incorporating traditional Japanese art and culture. Inside this opulent hotel are “treasures” that have been passed down to the present day.
Looking out from the “All Day Dining Rimone,” there is a glass-walled room surrounded by lush trees and bamboo in the corner of the Japanese garden.
After crossing a small bridge, you will find a fantastical, 360-degree circular structure that resembles a cave or the inside of a spaceship. The center of the structure is a pillar that’s shaped like a morning glory rising to the ceiling, and its surface is covered with fine glass tiles of different purple colors in gradations.
This space, which is now part of the dining restaurant, first opened as a bar, “La Ronde,” when the hotel opened as the Osaka Royal Hotel in 1965. The unique space was designed by Yoshida Isoya based on the ideas of the potter Bernard Leach. The glass tiles, which are applied one by one by artisans, showcase a touch of Mingei folk art.
From inside, you can see that, in contrast to the impressive interior, there is calming greenery, cool streams of water, and bright light all around you.
It lures you to step away from the lively restaurant for a moment and take a deep breath. “La Ronde” almost feels like a tea house floating in a garden, and it has remained a special place for over 50 years.