At Hoshino Resorts, we have a tradition of building our resorts from elements that are indigenous to their remote locations. By doing so, we have been able to subtly communicate the charms of these specific locations to our guests, bringing them to an understanding of why we built the resort there in the first place. This gives guests the feeling that the long journey they made to stay with us was worthwhile. When I was first given the opportunity to build a resort in Tokyo, I found myself at a loss. After all, the charms of the city are already well known to so many people around the world.
After toiling to formulate one concept after another to no avail, I switched gears and followed a new line of thought. Instead of focusing on what we could offer our guests, I began to think about what we could offer Tokyo. That was how I arrived at the idea of a tower ryokan. There are many elements of traditional Japanese culture that are slowly disappearing from Tokyo. The modern Tokyoite does not see a place for ryokan in the city. In my thinking, if one ryokan manages to remain in Tokyo years from now, it will be for one reason: Because it has evolved to become even more accommodating and intuitive than the Western hotel.
Our first HOSHINOYA in Karuizawa was built on the theme of "an alternative Japan." We envisioned a country that had kept all of its best elements, seeking to continually modernize them instead of dismissing them as obsolete and tossing them out. In that vein, HOSHINOYA Tokyo is a manifestation of an imaginary Tokyo where the ryokan culture has continually evolved instead of fading away. This is the "alternative Japan" that we are presenting to the world in 2016.