OSAKA, Japan--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SEKAI HOTEL, Inc., headquartered in Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture, Koichi Yano, founder and CEO, is opening SEKAI HOTEL FUSE, redeveloping the entire shopping street district that fronts Fuse Station, in a local community that is roughly ten minutes by train from the center of Osaka, Japan’s second largest city.
Disappearing Local Communities Increase a Sense of Crisis
Japan is increasingly becoming a tourist destination for visitors from overseas, in part because of the popularity of anime television programs and films, and of manga comic books. As different locations throughout Japan work to create content that will appeal to tourists, we see urban development replacing local coffee shops, where residents have gathered for decades, with large coffee shop chains, and we see small restaurants that have offered a taste of Japanese homestyle cooking over the course of many long years needing to close because there is no one left to carry on that business. There is a growing awareness of social issues that are resulting in a loss of Japan’s true culture.
CONCEPT: The ordinary is what’s worth experiencing, especially
when it comes to traveling overseas.
SEKAI HOTEL believes that there is value in experiencing culture through tourism, particularly in terms of a deeper cultural experience that can be truly found within the ordinary lives of Japanese people. There is an excitement in a true tourist experience that comes from attempts to communicate with local people, be it with imperfect language skills, or even with gestures. We are both working to create new tourism values that could be termed ordinary and are also trying to entice values from locations that are either further away from Japan’s urban centers or otherwise not known to tourists.
Our method has been to reject the amassing of regular hotel features, such as a front desk, guest rooms, gift shops, and activities, into a single gigantic building, and to instead redevelop entire communities as a hotel, reviving the now empty homes that you find, here and there, in those communities. Local empty homes are renovated and converted to guest rooms. Features you would normally find within the walls of a hotel, like spas, restaurants, and activities, are provided in conjunction with local businesses, developing a community-based hotel where guests can enjoy wandering about the community.
Ordinary Experiences at SEKAI HOTEL FUSE
We chose to open our new hotel site in a shopping district that has been a part of this community for more than fifty years, and that straddles the station to both the north and south. Such districts comprise streets that are lined with a wide variety of shops. They grew in number throughout Japan in the late 1960s and early 1970s, becoming the face of each region as the best places to shop. They played vital roles in energizing their communities, hosting festivals and contributing to the community at large as hubs of activity. For Fuse in particular, there were rows of greengrocers, fruit sellers, Takoyaki (octopus dumplings) shops, stalls with freshly fried croquettes, and butchers, some of which have histories that extend back more than a century. SEKAI HOTEL FUSE saw not only this shopping district, but the ordinary lives of Japanese people that were centered around this district. Experience the ordinary of Japan through this community by not just staying here, but with visits to all the different shops that surround you.
The location is also superlative in terms of transportation access, with direct bus service from Kansai International Airport, and direct train lines to famous tourist destinations that include Universal Studios Japan, Dotonbori, and Nara. Enjoy a visit to Japan that encompasses not just Fuse, but all the surrounding attractions and destinations as well.
A Recommended Tourism Plan
- Arrive at Kansai International Airport around noon.
- Take the 70 minute bus directly to Fuse Station, which is nearest to SEKAI HOTEL FUSE.
- Check in at SEKAI HOTEL FUSE.
- Spend the evening exploring Nanba, the southern center of Osaka, only ten minutes away by train.
- Eat as you walk around Dotonbori, and enjoy a river cruise.
- Have a late dinner at an old-fashioned Japanese izakaya pub in the Fuse Station Shopping District.
- Rise a little early, and have breakfast in a retro coffeeshop in the Fuse Station Shopping District.
- Leave for Universal Studios Japan, thirty minutes from Fuse Station by train.
- After a fun day there, return to Fuse to relax at Ebisuyu, an old-fashioned Japanese public bath.
- On the third day, travel to historic Nara, thirty minutes by train from Fuse Station.
- Visit Todaiji, a Buddhist temple with more than 1200 years of history, and feed the wild deer at Nara Park, among the many options available for sightseeing, before returning to Fuse.
- Relax for a bit at a coffee shop in front of the station, and wait for the bus.
- Take that bus directly back to Kansai International Airport.
Taking Examples from Japan to Destinations Abroad
Sharing the SEKAI HOTEL concept of experiencing the ordinary to the whole world highlights our involvement in the significant issues that impact Japan’s non-urban communities, including an aging population, the flight of young people to urban centers, and the increasing number of abandoned homes. We are also seeing these issues, so prevalent in rural Japan, beginning to surface in various other countries in East Asia. SEKAI HOTEL is therefore planning to take successes experienced in our involvement here in Japan to similar locations overseas.
The original source-language text of this announcement is the official, authoritative version. Translations are provided as an accommodation only, and should be cross-referenced with the source-language text, which is the only version of the text intended to have legal effect.