Considering its creative credentials, Tokyo is surprisingly lacking in design hotels. This has changed with the arrival of TRUNK, a stylish hotel with a modern Japan design edge. The hotel is located in the trendy Shibuya ward, just seconds from hipster-magnet Cat Street, the epicentre of Harajuku’s famed street fashion culture. Countless independent fashion boutiques, restaurants and cafés can be found on the hotel’s doorstep.
Each of the rooms (distributed between two, four-story buildings) is different in size, layout and furnishings – but all come with a clean-lined décor, warm custom-made wooden furniture (by cult Osaka designer Truck), vintage-style Roland speakers and contemporary Japanese artworks or abstract mobiles. Bathrooms have white tiling, fluffy towels and come with organic Japanese toiletries. Suites have outdoor spaces – either a balcony or terrace – with expanses of wood, big tables and aromatic green plants. Inside, there are kitchens with 8-person dining tables, turntables, DVD players and even wine cellars. The terrace suite sleeps up to 14 people.
Craft coffees during the day and cocktails at night 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. The hotel’s restaurant “Kitchen” has a large chef’s table at the back, and a small kushiyaki grilled meat outlet. There is a convenience store selling “Made in Tokyo” treats alongside a range of Trunk-branded products.
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 15 rooms (20-35m2), including 4 suites (45-140m2) • hotel opened: 2017 • architecture: Mount Fuji Architects • interior design: Jamo Associates ❌ no parking available • no pets allowed • 24-hour front desk
The DNA: 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. In the lounge, large white cushions are made from refashioned boat sails. There’s expanses of recycled woods, tiered balconies and aromatic herb gardens. Even the – very drinkable – wine in the mini bar is from Tokyo. Unique: the aptly named “Getting Trunk” cocktail served contains a heady mix of Rum from farflung Ogasawara Island (which technically falls within Tokyo’s jurisdiction, so is perhaps the capital’s only rum) plus green tea, almonds, star anis and nutmeg.