Spend the night in a meditative masterpiece
Nestled in a hillside forest overlooking the picturesque town of Tokamachi, the House of Light by James Turrell is a true marvel of art and architecture. This unique structure invites visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of light, color, and shadow while experiencing the tranquility of a traditional Japanese home.
The House of Light is easily accessible from Tokyo, making it the perfect destination for a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Whether you choose to travel by train or car, reaching this exquisite masterpiece is a breeze. Simply take the Joetsu Shinkansen from Tokyo to Echigo-Yuzawa Station, switch to the Hokuhoku Line to Tokamachi, and then enjoy a short 15-minute taxi ride to the House of Light.
As the only work of art by James Turrell that invites overnight guests, the House of Light offers a truly unique and immersive experience. Created in 2000 for the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale, this architectural gem is based on a nearby family house, seamlessly blending traditional design with Turrell’s signature artistry.
Upon entering the main room, aptly named “Outside In,” visitors are greeted with automatic light programs that are timed to coincide with the mesmerizing sunrise and sunset. The roof of the room is left open, allowing guests to gaze up at the ever-changing sky, creating a sense of connection with nature and the universe.
The House of Light takes its name from the profound use of light in traditional Japanese homes. Each room within the house showcases Turrell’s mastery of light, creating a serene and meditative atmosphere. Up to 16 people can experience the mesmerizing light show while comfortably resting on the tatami mats. And before drifting off into a peaceful slumber, guests can indulge in a relaxing soak in the “Light Bath,” a truly rejuvenating experience for both the body and the mind.
While the House of Light can be visited during the day, it is highly recommended to book well in advance for an overnight stay. Tucked away in a quiet forest, far from the noise of the city, this retreat offers a unique opportunity to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with oneself. Although there are no shops or restaurants in the immediate vicinity, traditional meals can be arranged for delivery, and the house is equipped with a fully functioning kitchen for those who prefer to prepare their own meals. Futons, sheets, and towels are provided for each guest, ensuring a comfortable and restful stay.
In addition to the House of Light, the Echigo-Tsumari area is home to hundreds of other art installations, making it a haven for art enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Take the time to explore the surrounding area and discover the hidden gems that await around every corner. From large-scale sculptures to interactive installations, there is something to captivate every visitor’s imagination.
It is important to note that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the information and availability of the House of Light may be subject to change. It is advisable to check the latest updates and guidelines before planning your visit to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
In conclusion, the House of Light is a true masterpiece that seamlessly blends art, architecture, and nature. Its tranquil setting and captivating use of light create an atmosphere of serenity and introspection, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in a truly transformative experience. Whether you choose to spend a night in this meditative sanctuary or simply visit during the day, the House of Light is sure to leave a lasting impression and become a cherished memory for years to come.
Address And Maps Location:
2891 Uenoko, Tokamachi-shi, Niigata-ken