For all the bookworms out there that are thinking of making a visit to Japan, specifically a trip to the hot spring area of Hakone (箱根), there will be a new kind of hotel opening in the spring of 2018 which will be perfect for you. Check it out!
— モデルプレス (@modelpress) June 23, 2017
Hakone Honbako is a “book hotel” produced by the company ASHIKARI. It is an attempt to remedy the trend of young people no longer reading as many books as generations in the past had. The hotel is going to be made with the hope that it will provide a meeting space for people and books. Under this ideology, two companies created a project team to consider what kind of methods they could use to bridge the gap between modern people and books. Their answer was to create a new kind of accommodation experience that was based around books.
The new hotel is going to be built on what is now the grounds for one of the company’s recreational facilities in Hakone, and the hotel is planned to be a complex centered around the “book hotel,” accompanied with a bookstore, restaurant, cafe, shop, and a coworking space. Each room within the “book hotel” will be designed to look like a study or reading room and will have an original bookshelf, which will make it extremely comfortable for the guests to relax and read, work, study, etc.
The bookstore and restaurants located around the hotel will be available for non-hotel guests as well, so if you already have a place to stay but are interested in experiencing the intensive book culture at Hakone Honbako, you can always drop by.
All of the books that are on the shelves around the complex are available for purchase, so if you are in a restaurant and happen to find a book that interests you, you can just grab it and purchase it to take home with you or start reading straight away. It is planned for there to be over 20,000 books located around the facility – from old classics to new favorites – so you are sure to find a book that intrigues you.
Considering that the hotel’s location is one of the most famous and popular hot spring areas within Japan, it might be nice to plan a day trip to both Hakone Honbako and one of the nearby hot springs. Many of the hot springs are located in the hills and valleys of Hakone as well as along the shores of Lake Ashi (芦ノ湖).
You can either get to the Hakone area by bullet train from Tokyo (東京), Shinagawa (品川), and Shin-Yokohama (新横浜) Station, or by Odakyu’s (小田急; a Japanese train company) limited express train called the “Romancecar,” which operates directly between Hakone-Yumoto (箱根湯本) and Shinjuku (新宿). The difference between the bullet train and the Romancecar is that the latter is cheaper but has more stops than the former. The larger number of stops does mean that the trip takes a bit longer, but for some people, that might be an okay sacrifice for the cheaper price.
If you are a book lover planning a trip to Japan in 2018, be sure to check out this new book hotel! You can enjoy the relaxing hot springs of Hakone with a new favorite book in hand.