Does a Bed in a Field Really Count as a Hotel?

When you think about, it's basically a safari sans animals

By Diane Rommel

 
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29 August 2016

This is either an ambitious conceptual art project, the worst sort of emperor-has-no-clothes business  plan, or a really rather lovely attempt to reconcile our deeply seated need to commune with the out-of-doors in a controlled and mindful way. 

Welcome to Japan's Memu Earth Hotel

The hotel may be a hotel — it has a website, nightly rates and a high season (August - October) — but the similarities pretty much end there. You get the administrative structure of a hotel without any of the physical structure: no walls, no lobby, no nothing. We return to the no walls situation: What you do get, in lieu of everything else, is a bed on a platform in a field. 

Of course, it's all very elegant and thoughtful (this is Japan, after all; the field in question is on Hokkaido). And it's really not that far from what even the highest-end safari lodges offer in terms of creature comforts, usually at a premium over their regular lodging: a bed under the stars surrounded by a mosquito net, usually preceded by an afternoon watching giraffes. 

But would you pay for just a bed in a field?  And is this actually even camping? 

Our first instinct: Why don't we just drag our own mattresses to the backyard? Well, obviously: that'd be terrible, we'd ruin our mattress and we don't even have a backyard. 

So maybe ... this isn't totally ridiculous? 

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