In October this year, historic Tokyo Station Hotel will reopen after a 6-year closure and a massive renovation. Situated in a near century-old redbrick railway station building, the hotel captures the heritage of the building in a modern space that reflects the future of hotels in Tokyo.

Hg2 were lucky enough to chat with Mr. Hitoshi Fujisaki, General Manager of the Station Hotel and veteran of the Tokyo hospitality industry, about the new property, his city and where he stays when travelling the world.

The Tokyo Station Hotel has a long history in Tokyo. Tell us a bit about that.

Back in 1914, Tokyo Station, which was designed by Kingo Tatsuno, a pioneer of modern architecture in Japan, opened. (King Tatsuno is also well known for designing the Bank of Japan Building in 1896). Since then, Tokyo Station has been a precious heritage asset with dignity and nostalgia symbolising the city of Tokyo. The Tokyo Station Hotel was the first hotel to be integrated with this station and has been cherished as a classic hotel for nearly a century. After a colossal restoration project, the hotel will re-open its doors this October.

What can guests expect from this historic site’s 6-year renovation? 

The Tokyo Station Hotel is the only hotel in Tokyo which has been assigned as An Important Cultural Property in Japan.

What will set the Station Hotel apart from other hotels in Tokyo? Any special restaurants or spas?

The Station Hotel will feature a full range of services and facilities, such as unique accommodation with station ticket window views, various signature restaurants and bar venues with French, Japanese (sushi), Chinese, Italian, yakitori and other cuisines, and our main Oak Bar, where guests can enjoy the historic brick interior. Banquet rooms will accommodate weddings, parties and various meetings. Fitness & spa centres will be perfect spaces for relaxing and unwinding.
 HSIA and Wi-Fi covers the entire hotel and we’ve applied the latest technology against earthquakes.

You’ve worked for several notable hotels in Japan. Can you tell us how has the hotel industry changed in recent years? What do guests expect from their hotels in Tokyo now?

In recent years, world investors have poured a lot of money into the hotels in Japan under the assumption that the presence of professional hotel management companies will increase apart from hotel asset companies. Guests can expect more unique hotels, eventually.

As a prominent figure in the Japanese hospitality industry, you must know some of the best places in Tokyo. What are your favourite restaurants and places to go?

Hard question! 
As I love yakitori, I would say Ukai Toriyama or Gonpachi Nishi-Azabu, which former U.S. President George W. Bush visited.

If you had international guests visiting, where would you take them in the city?

Tokyo has many different faces in one city, which makes it so unique compared to other major cities in the world. This means that very much depends on the guest’s needs. Popular for foreign visitors are Akihabara, the Asakusa district [home of the Sensoji Temple], Roppongi [a famous Tokyo nightlife district], Harajuku for shopping and Ginza (near Marunouchi and the Station Hotel).

Do you have any favourite hotels around the world? Where do you stay when you travel?

The Waldorf Astoria in New York, Boca Raton Resort & Club in Florida, Nikko Bali in Indonesia, the Phoenician in Arizona, the Fullerton in Singapore and the Westin Sydney are among my favourites!

Check out Hg2 Tokyo for more travel inspiration.