Tokyo is known to be a concrete jungle, a metropolitan area with 38 million people and a vast public transportation system to navigate through the maze of concrete.
There are some green spaces with the garden around the Imperial palace being one of the most prominent green areas right in the middle of Tokyo but generally Tokyo is still dominated by the grey color of most buildings and skyscrapers.
In this post I will present the recently opened hotel and apartment services by Hamacho Hotel. The hotel is located in the Tokyo Nihonbashi district, a very centrally located and modern area next to the Sumida River.
The hotels' architecture has a strong biophilic component which is very prominent in the architecture and design of buildings we know from Singapore. If you stand in front of the building it looks like the hotel is the entrance to a jungle. There is a lot of plants at the bottom level as well as on the terraces and inside the hotels' restaurant and lobby which give the hotel a very unique view.
All this is part of the Hamacho style. The hotel's website describes the Nihonbashi Hamacho area as a tranquil atmosphere of the Sumida riverside, combined with Hamacho Park's abundant nature that makes it a delightful area to live in. The hotels' goal is to become a nucleus of an ongoing effort to vitalize the Hamacho area in Eastern Tokyo. According to the hotel "Bold visual expressions of "Greenery and Craftsmanship" became the principal design theme, while the development aimed to become a social hub for locals, as well as becoming a destination for diverse hotel guests seeking a new cultural experience and local engagement."
What is biophilic architecture and design?
Biophilic design is an approach to architecture that tries to bring back nature to the city and connect the building with its original natural environment. Biophilic architecture is measured in the so called green plot ratio. A 100% green plot ratio would be the equivalent amount of green spaces incorporated in the building compared to having no building at all and use the space as a garden or park. Some buildings around the world even exceed the 100% ratio and achieve values of 1100% like the Oasia Downtown Hotel in Singapore.
photos by https://hamachohotel.jp/en/restaurant/
Hamacho combines the biophilic architecture with the simplicity and stylish design of japanese buildings. The rooms look really nice with a focus on clean and wooden decor in combination with very well placed lighting inside the rooms. Each terrace is again covered with plants which gives you a very comfortable and homy feeling from inside the rooms. I can also highly recommend their breakfast buffet with has both westerns and japanese style dishes. It is a set fee for the buffet and you can chose from Salmon, Fruits, Miso Soup, Potatoes, fruits and several hot and cold drinks. The breakfast buffet is definitely worth the money in my opinion.
If you plan to visit Tokyo I can definitely recommend to stay at Hamacho Hotel. They sometimes have great deals on weekdays and have a simple booking process on their website in English available. Alternatively you can also find them of course on expedia.com and booking.com or any other Online Travel Agency.
photos by Nozomi Kobayashi
In case you want to find more places like this you should definitely check out Todorokikeikoku Park. In the middle of Tokyo city you can explore a space that you would never expect in the middle of a city. A jungle like park where you can hear the buzzling voice and the city and the cars from the highway above and at the same time you can feel like you are in the middle of a jungle in the Amazonas area. You can reach this place conveniently from Hamacho Hotel. Simply take the Hanzomon line (purple) from Suitengumae Station to Futako-Tamagawa Station and change to the Oimachi Line for another two stations until you reach Todoroki Station. The entire trip only takes 50 minutes and costs 400 Yen (around 4USD).