Tokyo’s Trunk Hotel Invites Guests to Live Like a Local

TOKYO—Experiential travel is the new luxury. It’s all about what’s happening in the moment. Whether it is live streaming a concert or posting photos of a gourmet meal on Instagram, people are living in the now and there’s more value placed on seeing, doing and sharing.

Trunk Hotel is giving guests a taste of Tokyo through signature experiences and immersive event programming. The 15-room property wants guests to dive right into the local culture, food scene and customs by capturing the essence of what it’s like to live like a local.

“Unlike New York, Los Angeles and other major international cities, Tokyo had been very conservative in terms of hotels where no high-design, hyper-social boutique hotels ever existed. That was the first reason that we have created this hotel—an unprecedented new concept hotel never existed before in Tokyo,” said Masayuki Kinoshita, assistant GM. “Creating a cool lifestyle hotel wasn’t enough for us. We wanted to make a hotel that focuses on socializing, the ability for individuals to be able to realistically and easily make social contributions through their daily lives.”

Located in Shibuya, known as the Mecca of cultural and fashion trendsetters, the property naturally attracts guests from the fashion industry as well as socially responsible guests who understand and embrace the concept of the hotel.

Providing experiences that are at once memorable, unique and creative is a tall order. In order to be original and different from the rest, Masayuki explained that a lot of preparation and planning went into creating activities and tours.

“We have done lots of research and utilized our connections and networks to find interesting partners who can provide exceptional experiences, such as eating chanko, a special hot pot, with sumo wrestlers. We also have a tour to Tsukiji Fish Market with a special access to the tuna auction site and other ‘staff-only’ areas,” said Masayuki. “We have a dedicated team of creative designers and producers in the hotel. Many of them have no previous hotel experience; that is why we are able to come up with crazy and exciting ideas. We are the ‘destroyer of the hotel traditions and rules.’ Having these special activities and tours in our concierge’s pocket can alone differentiate from others, and people do book us because they want the unforgettable local experiences.”

Another example of an immersive experience is exploring Shibuya with a local. Guests get the opportunity to visit to a local family’s home, eat traditional Japanese home cooking and then tour Shibuya with a local.

“Luckily, we found a partner who has a list of local families who are willing to welcome and provide an authentic Japanese experience by teaching the guests how to cook Japanese family-style food and, of course, dine together,” said Masayuki. “As for the lounge parties and events, Tokyo was looking for a place where people of diverse backgrounds can gather. That is why we often organize such occasions. This lounge has quickly become the place to go for international travelers, local hipsters and socialites in Tokyo. Guests can easily meet and get to know each other.”

A pop-up dinner is also organized by the hotel team at Trunk Hotel, collaborating and partnering with various chefs from all over the world.

“Again, the idea of socializing, an important core element of Trunk Hotel, is expressed at our pop-up dinners in various ways, such as using the organic ingredients from the local farms in order to be healthy, environmentally friendly and support the locals,” said Masayuki.