Discussing the Ace Hotel Kyoto’s Design + Inspiration with Roman Alonso of Commune

The 213-room property is an ode to craftsmanship, with a focus on harmony in design and atmosphere

In any other year, we would have joyfully visited Kyoto’s new Ace Hotel close to its opening (which occurred in June), but as such a trip isn’t possible yet in 2020, we opted for a virtual tour. What’s immediately clear is this lovely hotel balances the Ace’s familiar laidback, minimal style and ethos with craftsmanship and materials utilized in traditional Japanese architecture—an appealing, subtle amalgamation …

CH Japan: Exploring Setouchi Crafts + Denim

From a vessel that represents a region's talents to a neighborhood of exemplary mills

Japan‘s Setouchi region—from the namesake town to the serene Seto Inland Sea—offers a concentration of high-quality crafts, denim and food. On our CH Japan guided excursion, we explored it from the pristine guntû floating ryokan to various day trips on foot. Nearly everything on guntû is from Setouchi, including furniture, ceramics, textiles, food and even the wood used on the ship. The rattan chairs in …

Oakland’s Ever-Evolving Den Sake Brewery

Experimentation and dedication drive this fledging but flourishing company

While most of the sakes that line the shelves at Oakland’s Umami Mart are made in Japan, Den Sake Brewery produces just two miles away. Until recently, the company made just one small, numbered batch at a time, garnering attention from sake enthusiasts and experts (the brand has twice been a semi-finalist for the James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer). This year, …