Few countries in the world can rival Japan when it comes to the application of robotics and automation in daily life. Automated toilets and self-opening taxi doors are some of the more famous things that surprise tourists when they arrive. Robot assistants like Softbank Robotics' Pepper are commonplace. There's even a hotel almost completely manned by robots in Nagasaki Prefecture, with robot clerks at the front desk and automatic luggage delivery.

Now, Tonosawa Ichinoyu Honkan, a traditional Japanese inn, or ryokan, in Hakone with a 136-year history has taken a leap into an automated future, but with a more subtle approach.

There are no androids dressed in kimonos greeting you when you arrive. However, once you open the doors and begin removing your shoes in order to go inside, you may do a double-take as you notice something moving on the floor. Pairs of slippers slide along as if by magic with nobody wearing them, trace an orderly path through the lobby, stop at the entrance, make a 90-degree turn and back into an opening in the row of slippers neatly lined up without touching any of the adjacent slippers.

It's almost as if they were cars backing up into parking spaces! As it turns out, that's no coincidence, since the ryokan has collaborated with Nissan for a limited-time concept project to promote their ProPilot self-parking technology.

Aptly titled "ProPilot Park Ryokan," the inn also has surprises waiting for you in your tatami-matted room. You've rested a bit from your long trip, seated on comfortable floor cushions around the traditional low table, perhaps even turned on the television, and now you're ready to head towards the communal bath. You're at the door, about to exit...

But wait, what's this? A switch on the wall which looks oddly similar to the one in Nissan cars installed with ProPilot Assist self-parking technology!

With one touch of the switch, the table which you had pushed to one side suddenly slides to the center, the cushions return to their original positions neatly organized around the table, and even the remote control on the table returns to its original spot perfectly lined up next to the box of tissues.

Nissan's promotional video does a good job conveying the sense of wonder you'll probably experience when you see it all for yourself:

This is the third in Nissan's "Tech for Life" projects showcasing their semi-autonomous driving technology, the first being chairs that allow you to wait in line without leaving your seat, and the second being self-rearranging chairs for a conference room.

If you want to see the technology behind the ProPilot Park Ryokan for yourself and you happen to be in Japan this week, you can see the slippers in action from Thursday, February 1st to Sunday, February 4th at the gallery in Nissan Global Headquarters in Yokohama at 1-1-1 Takashima, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture (神奈川県横浜市西区高島1-1-1)

If you happen to live in Japan and are over 20, you can also participate in a drawing in which you and one other person will win a free stay at ProPilot Park Ryokan, including dinner on Saturday, March 24th and breakfast on Sunday, March 25th. To enter, you need a Twitter account. Simply follow Nissan's account at (@NissanJP), then, between now and Feburary 10th, tweet a message with the following hashtags: #PPP旅館 #wanttostay and you'll be automatically entered into the drawing.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.