Minimal, essential, functional, quality. These are some of the characteristics that have made MUJI a beloved and known reality all over the world. It's 1980 when the story begins. While Japan is experiencing an intense economic boom and the brands compete for the attention of customers with items that are all the same, bright, appealing, Kazuko Koike and Ikko Tanaka, in complete contrast, conceive the idea of opening a chain of shops that pay more attention to the object sold than to the packaging. The philosophy behind the project is contained in the name, MUJI, which derives from the Japanese expression "Mujirushi Ryohin", which means "quality products without a brand" and has its roots in Kanketsu, or the concept of simplicity, which aims to " bring a sense of calm to the chaotic life of our day": buying products not for their brand but for their quality and functional design with which they were made. Horiguchi Kenta, president of MUJI Italia explains it well:

"Muji's vision is to offer simple, functional and uniquely designed products, designed to adapt perfectly to the daily needs of each person. Simplicity is based on three operational pillars: the selection of materials, the optimization of production processes and the simplification and reduction of packaging".

Founded as a supplier of objects for 40 stores in the chain of department stores The Seiyu (the first independent store opened in 1983), the company has become a giant with a turnover exceeding two billion dollars a year and sells over 7,000 different products, from furniture to household items, from clothes to design objects, from stationery to technological accessories. Not paying for the success achieved by Koike's creature and Tanaka is determined to become a true lifestyle brand and, afterwards, the removable houses MUJI hut, the flagship store of fruit and vegetables, MUJI entered the world of hotellerie. After opening in January 2018 in China, in Shenzhen and Beijing, the first MUJI HOTEL in Japan will be inaugurated on April 4th. Located in Ginza, this space defined as a sort of oasis of peace in the luxury shopping district of Tokyo, will occupy the floors from the sixth to the tenth of the brand's new Global flagship store, a facility that will also house a gastronomic area with fresh fruit and vegetables. Inside the hotel there are 79 rooms, divided into nine categories and varying in size, from singles of around 15 square meters to doubles of 52 square meters. Guests can choose between different types, including rooms with tatami mats and bunk beds, up to large open plan suites with reading nooks and bathtubs. All are obviously equipped with MUJI products such as the bath set (toothbrush, toothpaste, cotton buds and slippers), aroma diffusers and kettles. If the items supplied are not enough, others can be rented directly from the MUJI store.

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MUJI opens the first MUJI HOTEL in Japan  Minimalist, sustainable, anti-gorgeous and anti-cheap | Image 1
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The interior design, curated by Ryohin Keikaku, reflects the brand's "no-logo, anti-gorgeous, anti-cheap" philosophy thanks to minimalist furnishings made of natural materials such as wood, stone and earth. Sustainability is central and explains the choice to use ancient coatings in common areas, such as the paving stone of old trams and waste products from ships. The offer of the MUJI Ginza Hotel is completed by a diner that offers dishes based on seafood, meat, vegetables and tofu; the WA Restaurant on the sixth floor and, at the same level, an Atelier, a multi-purpose structure dedicated to design and culture. The latter includes a cafeteria; a library; two galleries dedicated to craft and design exhibitions; a lounge for events and workshops. Please note that the hotel will open on April 4th, but reservations are already possible on the site.