A former geisha house has been transformed by TRIPSTER into the TRUNK(HOUSE), a dynamic hospitality experience for those traveling through Tokyo, Japan.

  • rooms 1
  • Year 2019
  • Location Tokyo, Japan,
  • Type Hotel,
  • In 2018, TRUNK founder, Yoshitaka Nojiri and the TRUNK design team took over a 70-year-old two-storey former geisha house, tucked away in the heart of the Kagurazaka neighbourhood, a sought-after cultural hub in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Once they assumed ownership of the building, TRUNK began extensive restoration work on the exterior of the building immediately, as well as a full renovation of the interior space, in order to craft a masterful townhouse environment that will offer travellers a dynamic and immersive hospitality experience in Tokyo. The restoration and renovation of this space is also an effort by TRUNK to preserve a piece of Tokyo that is home to a thriving arts, culture and literature scene, something that is unique to the neighbourhood and city.

    TRUNK(HOUSE) is an exquisite, discrete, space bearing the restored original outward appearance of a traditional geisha house. Once guests step into the townhouse hotel, they are transported into a Tokyo residential style of living. The hotel is designed by Trunk’s in-house design team TRUNK Atelier and Tokyo-based interior design studio Tripster. Bespoke design pieces and artworks have been commissioned especially for the space.

    Design details of note include the stone genkan-style entry, which has been restored to its original form. Grey mortar walls; dark terrazzo floors; paper screens; wood panelled ceilings and a decorative window with stained glass are further nods to the traditional architecture of the building. Brass pendant lights by Nara-based New Light Pottery in the kitchen and dining room; marble top counters and a long, solid oak dining table inject a contemporary juxtaposition. Also on display will be an artwork featuring ceramic bowls and utensils by contemporary American artist Tom Sachs, who has created works centered on his reinterpretations of chanoyu, a Japanese tea ceremony. In the past, sounds of the “shamisen” (a type of traditional Japanese guitar) and dancing echoed widely in Kagurazaka. Now TRUNK(HOUSE) is reviving these unique sounds with the smallest (soundproofed) disco in Japan. Adults can enjoy singing, dancing in their own private space replete with their own state-of-the-art karaoke machine and customised sound-system.

    In the Edo period, Kagurazaka was situated just outside the outer moat of the Edo Castle, where rows of samurai residences were situated. Also, having prospered as an entertainment district, the town still retains the characteristics of that period and has long been favoured as a sanctuary by Japan’s artist community and legendary writers such as Natsume Sōseki, widely regarded as one of the country’s greatest modern-day authors.

    Design: TRIPSTER
    Photography: Tomooki Kengaku