Source: Hanare

This Entire Town In Japan Is Actually A Hotel

Hanare(離れ) means to be separated or removed from something. That makes it a fitting name for this hotel, which aims to spread its services throughout an entire town for a unique lodging and traveling experience that lets you mingle with locals and have an adventure within your hotel.


Source: Hanare

Hanare is located in Yanaka, Tokyo, and is not your usual hotel as it considers the entire town itself to be your hotel. The hotel uses the reception area as a base hub, and spreads services such as restaurants, bars, sento (Japanese hot baths), and lodgings throughout the town--this encourages visitors to have an active experience within the "confines" of their hotel, and gives them an opportunity to support local businesses as well.

The lodgings themselves are also a departure from standard hotel rooms. They are old apartments renovated by Mitsuyoshi Miyazaki Pinpin Co (HAGI STUDIO) in order to offer lodgings that blend in with the local housing of the the town.

Local house lodging.


Source: Hanare


Source: Hanare

Cafes and restaurants where locals dine as well.


Source: Hanare

The staff will give you a map of the town with some tips for fun.


Source: Hanare

So you can explore local shrines.


Source: Hanare

Or play games with the townsfolk.


Source: Hanare

How about an impromptu shamisen lesson?


Source: Hanare

Or craft one of these flutes and take it home.


Source: Hanare

Quite telling is how Hanare pitches the experience on their website, not selling visitors on five star accommodations and luxurious service, but the hospitable and charming nature of Yanaka itself.

Day breaks to the gentle swish of monks sweeping the streets, as they exchange greetings with neighbors. Noontime, the roads are enlivened with people, while children play with a cat off in a quiet alley. Dusk is accompanied by the calling of many temple gongs reverberating through the air, as houses on the slope become aglow with ruddy lights. In the evening, small shops signal their welcome by hanging their shop curtains, as fragrant scents trail behind the public bath patrons passing by.

This quaint atmosphere is mundane yet somehow unique. Travelers can find themselves in a place without pretense. Let's stay here, a town worth experiencing.

This video shows the interactive hotel experience that Hanare is hoping to create.

While it may seem gimmicky or bold to claim that the entire town is part of the hotel, Hanare is putting in efforts to make sure that guests get a rewarding experience out of actively exploring the local community, giving away tickets to local bath houses and promotion cultural activities at shrines, parks, and encouraging shopping at local souvenir shops.


Source: Hanare


Source: Hanare

So if you're looking to experience the charm and culture of a local community in Japan without technically leaving your hotel, we think Hanare offers a unique opportunity to travel and live as a local at the same time. You can visit their English website here, and find their contact information below.

HAGISO, 3-10-25 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0001

03-5834-7301 Check in 15 : 00 ~ Check out ~11 : 00

The best journeys aren't in a guide book.


Source: Hanare

By - grape Japan editorial staff.