Considered by many to be one of Tokyo’s two best neighbourhoods (the other being Shinjuku), Shibuya combines cutting-edge fashion and old-fashioned fun with parks, cultural experiences and tourist attractions. Shibuya’s Center Gai is one of the best places to see Japanese youth culture and Shibuya’s scramble crossing is one of the most photographed sights in Japan. At the very center of this fashion-focused district and just seconds from the epicentre of Harajuku’s famed street fashion culture, Cat Street, TRUNK offers a resolutely “made in Japan” experience that draws from both the traditional and trendsetting aspects of Tokyo life.
Located on a small lane amidst aromatic herb gardens, expanses of recycled woods, grey stone, greenery and tiered balconies adorn the two four-storey buildings which house the hotel and set the slick, contemporary tone.
Designed by Mount Fuji Architects to appear more like a modern home than a place to rest one’s head, fifteen guest rooms designed by Jamo Associates – of differing size, layout and furnishings – create a contrasting conceptual dialogue. Upcycled materials overtly meet Japanese craftsmanship throughout the property. Monochrome bathroom tiling, organic Japanese toiletries and vintage-style Roland radio speakers sit side-by-side with warm custom-made wooden furniture (by cult Osaka designer Truck), patchwork wall hangings and contemporary Japanese artworks. The sprawling Terrace Suite can sleep up to 14 people.
Quite apart from the guest accommodations, the hotel’s epicentre is its super social restaurant cum bar TRUNK (KITCHEN), which overlooks a terrace and feels more like an elegant home than hotel. The food combines elements of Japanese food culture with many other diverse food cultures to create multinational fare. Think Wagyu hamburgers and Shibuya-made burrata. It you want to make a night of it, book the chef’s table which overlooks the kitchen.
There is also a traditional local kushiyaki grilled food outlet TRUNK (KUSHI), an event space and onsite store. All-in-all, TRUNK is a welcome and creative addition to Tokyo’s hotel scene.