Nitori acquires 118-yr old ryokan in Hokkaido

Furniture company Nitori Holdings is entering the boutique hotel industry with the acquisition of a historic hot spring hotel in Hokkaido’s port city of Otaru. The sale price has not been disclosed.

Ginrinsou has long been considered one of Hokkaido’s leading onsen inns. The three-story ryokan sits on a prominent hilltop location overlooking Otaru’s port district and Ishikari Bay. An additional five-story concrete building was added to the ryokan at a cost of 400 million Yen, bringing the total floor space up to 3000 sqm. Nightly room rates at the 14-room ryokan are around 37,000 Yen per person.

1000 room hotel for Osaka’s Umeda district

On August 7, Hankyu Hanshin Holdings announced plans to open a 1,000 room hotel in Yodobashi Umeda Tower – a 35-storey redevelopment adjacent to the Yodobashi electronics store in Umeda, Osaka. The first 8 floors of the building will be retail, with the hotel located on floors 9 and above. The hotel is scheduled to open in 2020, with the lower-floor retail to open in late 2019. This will be the largest hotel based on room count in Osaka City.

Second Indigo Hotel to open in Inuyama in 2021

InterContinental Hotels Group will open their second Indigo Hotel in Japan in 2021. Hotel Indigo Inuyama Urakuen will replace the Meitetsu Inuyama Hotel located just outside of Nagoya City.

The Meitetsu Inuyama Hotel opened in 1965 with 123 rooms. The grounds include a Japanese tea house built for Oda Nagamasu (1548-1622), the younger brother of powerful daimyo Oda Nobunaga. The 400-year old tea house, called ‘Jo-an’, is considered one of the three best tea houses in Japan, and is designated as a National Treasure. It was relocated to the gardens by Meitetsu in 1972.

Kyoto City sees 4,500 new hotel rooms added in 2017

Kyoto City saw an additional 4,532 hotel/accommodation rooms added in 2017, putting the city’s total inventory above 38,000 rooms. In the past 12 months over 3,000 rooms have been opened in simple lodgings, which refers to guest houses and low-priced hostels. The growing number of foreign tourists to the former capital has been a driving force behind the new supply.

The city had 38,419 rooms as at the end of 2017, up 13.4% from 2016. Hotels make up the largest share with 23,899 rooms, up 6.5% from the previous year. Traditional ryokans dropped 0.8% to 5,273 rooms, while simple lodgings saw a 50% increase to 9,247 rooms. Kyoto City’s survey only covered licensed accommodation, with unlicensed, illegal rooms not included in the total count.

No approvals yet under new short-term letting rules in Kyoto

With less than a month until Japan’s nationwide short-term letting (minpaku) law goes into effect, applications from potential hosts in Kyoto City remain in the single digits.

The city’s application desk has received six applications, while zero have been approved. Kyoto City has the strictest minpaku rules in the country, with properties in exclusive residential zones limited to operations for up to 60 days per year between January 15 and March 15 (the winter months). Properties outside those zones that are not occupied by hosts must have a licensed property manager stationed around the clock within a 10 minute radius of each property. There are some exceptions for properties where the host lives on the premises, and for traditional machiya townhouses.

Wacoal’s Kyoto Machiya guesthouse to open tomorrow

Wacoal Holdings, a lingerie company, will open their first traditional machiya guesthouse in Kyoto on April 28. The 92-year old townhouse is located 800 meters west of Nanzen-ji Temple and 500 meters south of Heian Shrine. The two-storey wooden house has a total floor area of 91 sqm (980 sq.ft) and can sleep up to six guests. Nightly rates range from 60,000 ~ 180,000 Yen plus tax, depending on the season and number of guests.