Top News Ryokan-inspired hospitality brand Azumi to debut in Japan By TTG Asia / Posted on 26 October, 2020 16:01 Aman founder Adrian Zecha has teamed up with Japanese hospitality group Naru Developments to launch a new hospitality brand, Azumi, that aims to offer a fresh take on the Japanese ryokan by combining the personable service typical of the traditional inn with global hotel standards. The first Azumi property is slated to open on one of the islands in the Setouchi Region of Japan come spring 2021. Each Azumi property will serve as a medium of expression for each locale and its climate Zecha said that he was first acquainted with ryokans while living in Japan back in the 1950s as the Asia correspondent of TIME magazine. “My favourite ryokan was a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. It was owned and operated by one family and they were deeply rooted into the local community,” he said. “The hospitality was just right – I was treated as something in between a guest and a dear family friend. This relationship with the family who owned the ryokan made the place an extension of my own home in Tokyo.” Azumi aims to infuse the “time-honoured customs and hospitality” observed at ryokans into “a quality offering that appeals to the modern, global traveller”. This balance between tradition and innovation will be integrated into all parts of the brand, from design and service, to wellness and cultural programming. For example, the team has worked closely over the past four years with Shiro Miura, a Kyoto architect, to find the right harmony between traditional design and modernised comfort for the brand.