Why we love it: a haven for cool creatives, just around the corner from Cat Street, the heart of Harajuku’s famed street fashion
- The lounge doubles as a coworking space and buzzy bar
- Upcycling abounds, from reclaimed timber to sailcloth cushions and repurposed denim in the staff uniforms
- Pop-up space and also a wood-and-glass chapel on the roof terrace (the hotel’s parent company has specialized in all-inclusive wedding packages for two decades)
The review: Drawing inspiration from the Ace brand, this hip boutique hotel has big ambitions, namely starting a new “socializing” movement, encouraging people to live true to themselves “without undue pressure but with life-sized social purpose.” Whether the revolution starts in the lounge or not, The Trunk remains a great choice for travelers who are conscientious about the environment, sustainability and supporting local talent, but still enjoy a DJ set and craft cocktails. The property also hosts pop-up stores and hosts events like meditation sound baths. It welcomes non-residents, so expect to rub shoulders with local hipsters.
Modern and stylish, the property lies in Tokyo’s sparky Shibuya district, a short stroll away from Cat Street, the darling of the fashionista world. The four-story, two-building complex is anchored by a spacious terrace and its towering, vase-shaped zelkova tree. The décor leans into high ceilings, concrete floors, metro-tiled bathrooms, contemporary wooden furniture and abstract art made from washi (an exquisite Japanese paper). Sourcing locally is key at the Trunk Hotel from the recycled-rubber slippers to a fleet of abandoned Tokyo bicycles that have been given fresh life.
The 15 guestrooms range from singles to a bunk-bedded family suite and a two-story extravaganza with a plunge pool that sprawls over 1,500 square feet. All share a contemporary Japanese aesthetic and custom-made furniture from Osaka cult designer Truck and bathrooms. Minibars are stocked with artisanal sodas and dried fruit, but guests also have easy access to a concept shop with local wine and organic snacks, salads and onigiri rice balls, alongside branded swag. The complex also has a takeaway shop called Kushi (skewer) after the popular Japanese street food. Its main restaurant, also called Trunk, celebrates local ingredients from Wagyu beef to Shibuya-made burrata and the capital’s only rum, distilled on Ogasawara Island.