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This New Tokyo Boutique Hotel Is in a 70-Year-Old Former Geisha House

And it’s in the “Little Kyoto” neighborhood of Tokyo.


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As Tokyo gears up to host the Olympics in 2020, luxury properties are constantly popping up—each seemingly more appealing than the last. The latest, and one of the more distinctive, particularly from a design-perspective, is set to open on August 1, 2019. It’s TRUNK(HOUSE), Tokyo’s first “townhouse-style” hotel concept.

TRUNK Group has already made a name for themselves in Japan as an edgy-but-luxe boutique hotel innovator with their opening of TRUNK(HOTEL) in 2017. TRUNK(HOTEL) is a 15-room property in Shibuya that brings art to the forefront of the hotel’s design—each room featuring their distinctive, curated artwork. The hotel revolves around “socialization” in a setting that’s unlike anything else you’d come across on the Japanese hotel scene. It’s home to TRUNK(BAR), TRUNK(KITCHEN), and TRUNK(STORE), all designed with tasteful, deliberate angles and a local-first approach.

TRUNK(HOUSE), the property opening in August, retains that charm while also bring the first “townhouse hotel” to Tokyo. The building is a two-story former Geisha house, and the design team has sought to maintain much of 70-year-old Geisha house’s facade in the restoration process.

Inside, guests benefit from a more residential style of Japanese life. While TRUNK(HOTEL) is all about “live, play and work,” TRUNK(HOUSE) focuses on the live aspect of day-to-day Japanese culture.

On the design front, artwork and luxe pieces are being commissioned specially for TRUNK(HOUSE) and the Geisha house roots inform the gorgeous interiors. From the stained-glass windows and grey mortar walls to the stone “genkan-style” entry, preservation has really taken hold within their restoration process.

Of the amenities to check out when on property, TRUNK(HOUSE)’s tearoom, bath area, and private indoor gardens all promote a slowed-down version of Japanese life. The tearoom is decorated with Japanese artist Chiaki Hirano’s paper cutting work, and has an uber-comfortable “irori” fireplace, which is a traditional Japanese hearth. The baths are, of course, a nod to Japanese public baths, and have a beautifully scented cypress tub surrounded by “adult artwork” printed onto the white tiling surrounding the baths.

You can visit the new hotel starting August 1—it’s in Kagurazaka, which is the neighborhood that’s said to offer a little slice of Kyoto life in Tokyo.


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