Shishi-Iwa House offers an exclusive Kintsugi experience that is both artistic and philosophical

Photo of someone performing kintsugi on a plate

Shishi-Iwa House partners with POJ studio to deliver a profound Kintsugi experience

I first learnt of Kintsugi when I was volunteering in a nonprofit dedicated to supporting cancer patients. It was here, among those confronting life’s fragility, that I discovered its deep metaphorical value. This venerable Japanese art form, which meticulously restores broken pottery with a blend of lacquer and gold, edifies breakage as integral to an object’s story, rather than flaws to be concealed. The golden veins that trace the lines of fracture do more than repair; they reinvent, celebrating each imperfection as a testament to resilience and transformation.

When used as a metaphor, Kintsugi conveys a profound idea: adversities that fragment one’s life can be transformed into something of great beauty and significance.

Photo of a plate with golden veins hiding its fractures
The art of Kintsugi turns broken pottery into pieces of art. Photo by Shishi-Iwa House

In an exclusive collaboration with POJ studio, Shishi-Iwa House invites guests to immerse themselves in the art and philosophy of Kintsugi. Nestled in the picturesque landscape of Nagano during the mesmerising Sakura season, this intimate 3-day retreat (limited to just 12 guests) is as exclusive as it gets.

Shishi-Iwa House’s masterfully-crafted retreats serve as the backdrop for a journey that goes beyond the simple act of repairing pottery. Guests have the opportunity to participate in workshops led by seasoned Kintsugi artisans from POJ Studio, who skillfully intertwine the practical aspects of Kintsugi with its rich philosophical underpinnings.

Photo of a wooden house in a forest
Shishi-Iwa House’s intimate retreats provide the perfect backdrop. Photo by Hiroyuki Hirai

As attendees engage in the delicate process of piecing together broken ceramics, they are invited to reflect on the broader implications of Kintsugi in their personal narratives. The retreat is enhanced with a suite of thoughtfully curated activities that echo the themes of healing and rejuvenation. Yoga sessions in the verdant gardens offer a space for mindful introspection and physical equilibrium, while the ritual of traditional tea ceremonies provides a serene interlude for quiet contemplation.

Photo of a garden with a stone walkway
Verdant gardens provide a spot for serene interludes. Photo by Hiroyuki Hirai

Culinary experiences at Shishi-Iwa House share this ethos. Every meal, artfully crafted by culinary experts, features a selection of local ingredients that meld into a symphony of flavours. Each dish narrates its own story of metamorphosis and harmony, akin to the transformative journey of a Kintsugi artefact.

As evening descends, guests retreat to their rooms, each a sanctuary of peace and elegance, offering sweeping views of the natural surroundings. The minimalist design and meticulous attention to detail in each room create a restful atmosphere, adding to a comprehensive experience of rejuvenation and renewal.

Shishi-Iwa House