Adaptive reuse of old structures is undoubtedly the best way to save both time and resources while carefully preserving a part of history and heritage that might otherwise be lost forever. Nestled in the busy Akabane neighborhood of Tokyo, Japan, Hotel ICHINICHI is a modest hostel and resting place for travelers who wish to go back to a time when Tokyo was still untouched by the modern razzmatazz. A building that once housed a beauty salon, a few offices and employee quarters was neglected for years before Aida Atelier converted it into a bold and exclusive hostel where space-savvy design holds sway.
Ingenuity and an interesting blend of the past and present is what one finds here with custom ‘sleeping huts’ inside the hostel that offer modest yet comfortable sleeping space for guests. Those seeking more exclusive rooms can pick the larger guest rooms, but the true charm of this Tokyo hostel lies in the design of these sleeping pods with drapes that offer necessary privacy along with a place to rest and rejuvenate. Things are kept simple and minimal, with original textured walls and restored finishes of this old building transporting you to a Tokyo that is pretty hard to find these days.
The entrance, though, is dramatically different from the more minimal interiors and guest rooms, with a traditional spiral staircase, a glittering chandelier and large mirrors with red frames ushering in old Japanese charm. A place that lets you see Tokyo in a whole new light! [Photography: Tatsuya Noaki]