From the leather ‘Do Not Disturb’ signs hanging on the doorsto the smooth wood hangers in the wardrobe and the artisan notepads by the bed, it’s all about local design and craftsmanship at Tokyo’s new Nohga Hotel Ueno.
Located just a few minutes on foot from Ueno Station, the property is rooted in east Tokyo not only in geographically but also in its DNA, with the work of a string of east Tokyo designers, artists and artisans showcased throughout the ten-storey property.
There is the angular concrete check in desk flanked by abstract installations by artists from the nearby arts centre Chiyoda 3331 (the hotel’s artworks are curated by Idée design store founder Teruo Kurosaki); intricately-cut glass tumblers by Kimodo Glassware; and room key cards designed by Studio Kyo-gen, a generations-old company specialising in traditional family crests.
The main Lobby Lounge is filled with smoothly-curved wooden furniture and splashes of orange textiles by Stellar Works, while the artisan theme continues in each of the 130 guestrooms with wooden shoehorns and hangers by the east Tokyo design studio, SyuRo, and bedside memo pads by the 80-year-old company Ito Bindery. Not forgetting the fleet of 20 Tokyobikes, crafted with burgundy paintwork, brown leather fixtures and metal number tags.
The theme can also be found in Bistro NOHGA, which serves up French-inspired dishes complemented by seasonal Japanese ingredients (including pickled dishes, konbu seaweed and bonito fish flakes from local food specialists) alongside craft beers and natural Japanese wines.
Coming soon are a string of hotels across Japan with whispers saying the next opening will be in Tokyo’s neon-lit Akihabara next year. §