In Japan, the concept of a boutique hotel didn't really exist, but that's all starting to change with the arrival of Trunk (Hotel), a modern design hotel, located in the heart of Tokyo’s lively 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 design firm Mount Fuji Architects.
Inside, there are only 11 single rooms and four larger suites and all are different in size, layout and furnishings – although they all share a similar contemporary Japanese design aesthetic. The largest of the rooms and easily the nicest have outdoor spaces in the form of either a balcony or terrace with expanses of wood, big communal tables and lush green plants.
The bathrooms also feel satisfyingly un-hotel-like, with their white tiling, fluffy towels and organic Japanese products. As a bit of a rarity in Tokyo, all rooms play host to a large bathtub, apart from the smaller Standard Rooms which both feature a shower only.
Craft coffees and cocktails are served to locals as well as guests in the hotel's lively lounge and terrace bar. Tanaka (the man behind the hotel) says the "aim was to generate a lively atmosphere by creating spaces where locals would want to spend time alongside hotel guests".
Other highlights of the hotel 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 chapel on the rooftop.
Lastly, the hotel even has its own little convenience store on-site, minimally designed by Torafu Architects, which sells all sorts of 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.
The hotel is located in Shibuya, Tokyo on a small lane about a 10-minute walk from Shibuya Station – and just seconds from hipster-magnet Cat Street. Known as Tokyo’s youngest and most fashion-forward neighbourhood, Shibuya draws crowds with an abundance of boutique shopping opportunities, museums, cafés, restaurants, and bars.
Being only minutes from Shibuya Station (which is the fourth-busiest commuter rail station in Japan and the world) means that you should have no problems trying to explore and navigate this amazing city. From Shibuya Station, you can catch the Narita Express direct to Narita International Airport. This journey takes just over an hour and should cost around ¥2700.
If you are wanting to connect to one of the high-speed Shinkansen trains to Kyoto or Osaka then its a quick 12-minute train journey on the JR Yamanote line to Shinagawa station where you can then continue on the Shinkansen to your destination.
Address: 150-0001 Tokyo Prefecture, 5-31 Jingumae, Shibuya-Ku, JapanView larger map