When we think of places where a yoga session could take place, the first backdrop that comes to mind is a tranquil fitness studio, a gym, or maybe a relaxing natural landscape. But what about an art gallery? Hotel Gajoen Tokyo, located in the Meguro area of the Japanese capital, is holding yoga sessions at one of the property's banquet rooms, which has about 200 works of art—including paintings, wood carvings, lacquerwork, and intricate silk screens—on its walls and ceiling.
The property, which describes itself as “Museum Hotel of Japan Beauty,” opened its doors as a restaurant over 90 years ago under the name Meguro Gajoen. The luxurious environment and unique blend of Beijing and Tokyo cuisine it offered quickly earned it the nickname of “Palace of the Dragon God,” which led it to become a popular spot for weddings and other events.
“We wanted our customers to enjoy not only the taste of the food, but also their eyes. This is how the splendid Oriental art hall was born,” the hotel’s website states. Although it has now been turned into a boutique hotel, its mission to help its guests unwind in an elegant space remains intact, as demonstrated by the “morning yoga” sessions it offers in its beautiful and art-filled banquet room.
“Once you step inside, you will feel as if you have slipped back in time to a different space,” the hotel ensures. One can marvel at different works of art while strengthening your body—even in an upward facing dog position, you can admire the art on the ceiling. These yoga sessions are led by instructor Hikari Profile, and they take place every Wednesday and Friday at 7:30 a.m. While they are free for hotel guests, those who are not staying there can partake in classes for ¥7,000 ($53) per session, which includes a western-style breakfast.