Considering its creative credentials, Tokyo is surprisingly lacking in design hotels. The tide may turn, however, with the arrival of Trunk (Hotel), which has just opened its doors in the Shibuya district.
Expanses of recycled woods, tiered balconies and aromatic herb gardens set a contemporary tone at the hotel, housed in two four-storey buildings designed by local outfit Mount Fuji Architects. Inside, the 15 guest rooms, have been designed by Jamo Associates, and are more in keeping with a modern home than a hotel: there are wooden tables by Osaka furniture designers Truck, indigo patchwork wall hangings, monochrome bathroom tiling, organic made-in-Japan toiletries and vintage-style bedside Roland radio speakers.
Craft coffees and cocktails are served to locals as well as guests in the lively lounge and terrace, which is set around the base of a leafy Zelcova tree alongside large white cushions made from refashioned boat sails. Other highlights include its restaurant, Kitchen, complete with a large chef’s table at the back, a small kushiyaki grilled meat outlet, a pop up space, four banquet rooms and a clean-lined wooden rooftop chapel (guaranteed to be bit a hit in wedding-crazed Tokyo).
Local and eco are keywords throughout with a selection of dried fruits in the guest rooms from a nearby Shibuya fruit shop, dead stock denim staff aprons and a fleet of customised up-cycled abandoned Tokyo bicycles.
Perhaps best of all, the hotel even has its own convenience store, a minimal white affair by Torafu Architects, selling treats such as homemade onigiri rice balls and coconut popcorn plus craft beers and wines made in Tokyo, alongside a range of Trunk-branded products.
Receive our daily digest of inspiration, escapism and design stories from around the world direct to your inbox
Danielle Demetriou is a British writer and editor who moved from London to Japan in 2007. She writes about design, architecture and culture (for newspapers, magazines and books) and lives in an old machiya townhouse in Kyoto.
Instagram - @danielleinjapan
Knoll classics become unique works of art in the hands of Noel Mercado
Chicago artist Noel Mercado transforms three Knoll classics into one-off works of art using discarded car parts
By Rosa Bertoli Published
Budding romance: Dior pays homage to the rose
Dior Joaillerie’s ‘Bois de Rose’ collection pays homage to the classic flower
By Hannah Silver Published
Alaïa teams up with Rare Books Paris to curate a stylish library
Alaïa partners with Rare Books Paris to celebrate some of fashion and art’s most collectable tomes, curated by Peter Mulier and displayed in Alaïa’s Paris and London boutiques
By Tianna Williams Published
Aldo Rossi's Hotel Il Palazzo in Japan gets 21st century makeover
Uchida Design Inc refreshes Hotel Il Palazzo in Japan, which was originally designed by Italian Postmodernist Aldo Rossi in 1989
By Joanna Kawecki Published
Trunk Hotel Yoyogi Park offers rare green Tokyo views for ‘urban recharge’
Trunk Hotel Yoyogi Park opens this week by a parkland oasis in Tokyo’s Shibuya district
By Danielle Demetriou Published
Tokyo’s Bellustar Hotel combines minimalist interiors with great views of the city
Bellustar Tokyo is a new hotel spanning the top nine floors of the Tokyu Kabukicho Tower in the neon-lit Shinjuku district
By Danielle Demetriou Published
Bulgari Hotel Tokyo showcases the Italian art of living in Japan
The new Bulgari Hotel Tokyo unites the consummate craftsmanship of Italy and Japan
By Susan Chikuba Published
‘Where To Now’: Zara and Wallpaper* launch offbeat travel guides
Zara and Wallpaper’s ‘Where To Now’ travel guides launch with five off-the-beaten-track adventures, from California to Naoshima, for armchair and actual explorers, available to buy now
By Simon Mills Published
Kyoto's Maana Kiyomizu boutique hotel is the epitome of modern craftsmanship
Maana Homes’ latest boutique hotel with a twist opens in Kyoto, including suites, a café, and a shop specialising in modern Japanese craftsmanship
By Danielle Demetriou Last updated
Kai Yufuin by Kengo Kuma revisits Japanese farmhouse architecture
Hoshino Resorts has launched Kai Yufuin, a hot spring ryokan hotel by Kengo Kuma on the island of Kyushu in the Ōita Prefecture
By Feride Yalav-Heckeroth Last updated
Villa One at the One & Only Palmilla — Los Cabos, Mexico
By Chadner Navarro Published