The home of architecture and design in Asia-Pacific

Get the latest design news direct to your inbox!

Zaborin: Exquisitely combined nature, heritage and luxury

Nature, heritage and contemporary luxury combine in Zaborin, a Japanese ryokan based in the foothills of Hokkaido, Japan.

Zaborin: Exquisitely combined nature, heritage and luxury


April 8th, 2016

Zaborin represents modern architecture coupled with influences from traditional Japanese design, flavoured with a distinct reverence to nature reflecting the surrounding woods and mountain ranges.

Born from their mutual love of Japan, Japanese tradition, and the “omotenashi” (hospitality) of ryokans, Asia-based philanthropists and first-time hoteliers, James and Michèle Marshall, collaborated with long time friend, local Niseko resident Shouya Grigg to fulfill their shared dream of creating a luxury ryokan. They set out to curate a hotel that embraces the modern comforts but holds itself true to the key spirit of that tradition of the ryokan: ‘omotenashi’, exquisite food, onsen and an absorption of and reverence for the beauty and embrace of nature. Having worked with award winning Makoto Nakayama of NA Nakayama Architects before, it was an inevitable coming together of old friends and partnerships.


Set in the seclusion and protection of a Japanese forest, Zaborin enjoys direct views to mount Yotei, which is based in the Niseko area. With 15 private villas the resort is designed with simplicity and refinement, with a serene, non-ostentatious luxury. Each villa features both private indoor and outdoor onsens, with spring water fed directly from Zaborin’s very own hot spring. With sustainability and preserving the environment in mind, Zaborin’s spring waters, both the hot onsen waters and the cold mountain waters, are utilised to provide a natural source of heating and cooling throughout the property, in order to re-use and recycle its available natural resources.

The property’s design includes outdoor terraces with sweeping views of the mountain ranges, a kaiseki fine-dining restaurant with individual rooms, a Chef’s Table Teppan, tea room, an open plan library, intimate spaces including a lounge, bar and gallery of local art.


Zaborin - Indesign Live

Zaborin - Indesign Live

Zaborin - Indesign Live



Zaborin - Indesign Live

Zaborin - Indesign Live

INDESIGN is on instagram

Follow @indesignlive

The Indesign Collection

A searchable and comprehensive guide for specifying leading products and their suppliers

Indesign Our Partners

Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!

Related Stories

While you were sleeping

The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed