One bedroom Trunk(House) offers classic Japanese living with a disco twist in Tokyo
When Trunk(Hotel) opened two years ago, its contemporary design, buzzy ambiance and creative collaborations filled a much-needed gap in Tokyo’s hotel scene. Now, its entrepreneurial founder Yoshitaka Nojiri has opened Trunk(House), an entirely different kind of venture that is once again shaking things up in a city on a mission to open big hotels ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games.
Occupying a 70-year-old former training house for geisha, and comprising just one bedroom, the property is inspired by the concept of an exclusive ‘salon’ for modern creatives and unlike Trunk(Hotel)’s hipster setting in Shibuya, its new little sister is set in a maze of stone lanes lined with traditional wooden houses in Kagurazaka, an atmospheric neighbourhood dubbed ‘Little Kyoto in Tokyo’.
Outside, a pine tree – rather than signage – marks the entrance, while inside a modern riff on traditional Japanese house design – masterminded by in-house team Trunk Atelier and Tokyo-based studio Tripster – opens with an original stone genkan entrance, which leads to smooth grey mortar walls, terrazzo floors, wood panelled ceilings, and a decorative stained glass window.
Brass lights by Nara-based New Light Pottery are suspended above marble kitchen counters and a long, solid oak dining table, while the living room is similarly clean-lined, with metal-framed leather sofas by Stephen Kenn and an angular Jean Prouvé Potence wall lamp.
Like traditional dwellings, the minimal bedroom is unadorned with a simple low white bed, but the bathroom is a scene-stealer: inspired by a sentō, a communal bathhouse, a hinoki cypress wood tub sits against a tiled background featuring whimsical paintings by ukiyo-e woodblock print artist Masumi Ishikawa.
Elsewhere, other highlights include a tatami mat tearoom with leather cushions, paper artwork by Chiaki Hirano, a George Nelson Cigar Lotus floor lamp and contemporary tea utensils by artist Tom Sachs.
But perhaps best of all? In a fun Trunk twist, it’s also home to ‘the world’s smallest disco’ – complete with glitter ball, karaoke, neon signage, an illuminated floor and a private bar. §