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It's like an art space. What is the true identity of "SHIP'S CAT," the gigantic cat statue standing at nearly 3 meters in height at WeBase?

One of the things that is essential to talking about " WeBase, " a chain of lodging facilities across the country, is the giant cat statues named " SHIP'S CAT " that stand at each of the five accommodation facilities. They were created as a new form of art, public art, by Kenji Yanobe, a leading contemporary artist in Japan, with the hope of bringing happiness to travelers from around the world who visit various parts of Japan, and as a work that will take root in the local area and be loved by the people. The cat's blue eyes, dressed in a diving suit or a space suit, can see into the future, and its armor that reflects its surroundings gives courage to face difficulties, inviting you on a journey of new challenges and hope.

The model for SHIP'S CAT is the sailor cat that boarded ships from ancient Egypt and traveled around the world during the Age of Discovery.
In addition to fighting off plague and protecting food supplies by eradicating rats, cats also served to provide healing and strengthen the sense of camaraderie for sailors who had left their homes. Meeting people through art, bonding among the five WeBase locations, and a spirit of hospitality for guests. We look back on the history of SHIP'S CAT , which has a deep relationship with WeBase, at each of its locations.

WeBase Hakata - The first SHIP'S CAT opens at the gateway to Kyushu's port

The first SHIP'S CAT was born in July 2017 in Hakata, the gateway to Kyushu, famous for festivals such as the Hakata Dontaku and the Hakata Gion Yamakasa. Yanobe was inspired by the image of sailors coming and going as sailors traveled around the world during the Age of Discovery, protecting important Buddhist scriptures, food, and ships from rats on missions to the Sui and Tang dynasties, and preventing epidemics. The cat's impressive appearance is that of its upper body protruding from the building and heading powerfully towards the city. Its cute back view, which can only be seen from inside the hotel, has also become popular.

Upon its creation, the children of the local Hakata Elementary School solicited a nickname for Nyapy, which was named " Nyapy " and has continued to be loved by tourists and locals alike. It won the Fukuoka City Urban Landscape Award in the advertising category (November 2018), planted flowers around Nyapy and participated in Fukuoka City's "One Flower per Person" initiative (February 2021), and thanks to the connections Nyapy has made WeBase Hakata a hotspot for numerous local art event venues and community development events. Combined with its adorable appearance, it has appeared many times as an icon in local media, such as posters for the Hakata Old Town in Fukuoka City, and the area is overflowing with people who want to meet Nyapy, not just guests.

Accommodation Features

3 minutes walk from Exit 7 of Nakasu-Kawabata subway station. Conveniently located in the center of Hakata. There are 41 rooms in total, with 7 types of rooms, from bright, clean, and casual capsule-type mixed dormitories to king rooms suitable for families. A simple breakfast is served daily for free. The friendly, international staff and homely atmosphere are also popular.

Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture, Hakata Ward, Tenyacho 5-9

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WeBase Kyoto - SHIP'S CAT, a traditional handmade washi paper manufacturer, plays an active role in promoting French-Japanese exchange

WeBase Kyoto, which opened in October 2018, features three statues, " SHIP'S CAT (Totem) ", " SHIP'S CAT (Sleeper) " and " SHIP'S CAT (Thinker) ", as well as a wallpaper called " Picture scroll of SHIP'S CAT ". These were also exhibited at the " SHIP'S CAT Exhibition" (organized by Kyoto University of Art and Design and Raysum Co., Ltd., supported by Kyoto City) held at the Carrousel du Louvre, adjacent to the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, as part of the Japanese government-sponsored "Japonisme 2018". SHIP 'S CAT, a washi paper sculpture made using three-dimensional papermaking, was created in collaboration with Eriko Horiki, who has opened up new horizons in the world of traditional washi paper, and contemporary artist Kenji Yanobe. In Paris, the exhibition interacted with 23,000 visitors, and also played a part in the cultural exchange commemorating the 160th anniversary of Japanese-French relations.

With nearly 70 million tourists visiting Kyoto every year, WeBase Kyoto continues to attract tourists with its hospitality through multilingual global communication, as well as art experiences that combine tradition and innovation.

You can also encounter SHIP'S CAT at the Paris-based bakery Liberte Patisserie Boulangerie Kyoto branch and the Osaka Nakanoshima Museum of Art .

Accommodation Features

Conveniently located in the "Shijo Karasuma" area. Choose from 4 types of rooms to suit your needs, whether you're on business or sightseeing: mixed dorms, private rooms with bunk beds, private rooms with double beds, and private rooms. A balanced plate breakfast that changes with the seasons is also provided. There are 50 guest rooms.

Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, Shimogyo Ward, Iwatoyamacho 436-1

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WeBase Kamakura - A cat of hope travelling in name and in reality on an overseas business trip to Paris, 10,000 km away

It opened as a community hostel in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture in September 2016. " SHIP'S CAT (Harbor) ", perched on top of a giant bollard, was born at WeBase Kamakura.
This " SHIP'S CAT (Harbor) " also participated in the aforementioned " SHIP'S CAT Exhibition " held at the Carrousel du Louvre, which is attached to the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, in 2018. It actually traveled all the way from WeBase Kamakura to Paris, about 10,000 km away, becoming a traveling cat of hope in both name and reality.
SHIP'S CAT also connects people in Kamakura through art. It was the venue for the Art & Design New Generation Awards (March 2019) and witnessed the birth of young artists.
Taking advantage of Kamakura's geography, which is surrounded by the sea and mountains and is a popular suburban resort area located an hour from the city center, WeBase Kamakura will be fully renovated as a resort hotel in May 2023, and the hotel's Restaurant Kou will be reborn as a restaurant based on the concept of local production and consumption. Even though the hotel has changed its appearance, SHIP'S CAT will remain enshrined at the back of the terrace and will continue to be a popular photo spot for guests and restaurant patrons.