After taking in the fashion-forward Tokyo neighborhood of Shibuya as a curious teenager and graduating from that city’s Meiji University, Yoshitaka Nojiri went on to establish his Take and Give Needs wedding business, which he guided to global heights by pioneering a so-called “private house wedding” style that was new to Japan at the time. Now moving into hospitality with Trunk Hotel Cat Street, Nojiri lets us in on how he’s transforming Tokyo’s most fashionable corner.
I grew up in Shibuya, which has always been one of Tokyo’s most on-the-pulse neighborhoods in terms of music, food, fashion, and cultural output. It’s less lively now compared to old times, though, which is part of the reason I decided to open a hotel. In my teenage years, I witnessed the explosion of hip-hop and the so-called “Shibuya Casual” street style that I also played a part in creating—and I want to reignite the neighborhood’s creative embers with Trunk.
When we started work on Trunk, we decided not to have manuals for services and operations. I understand that manuals make everything easier, but I trust our employees and encourage them to solve problems by themselves. That requires high skills and a vivid imagination. It is difficult to find people with such talents but so far it seems to be working well.
Well, weddings are always very special events, and it often requires perfectionism. Our wedding planners usually have between five and ten meetings with the couple, and it’s this idea of really listening to what people want that has guided the ethos at Trunk. The wedding industry is also a competitive one, so it’s imperative to stand out. We created our own “private house wedding” style that was new to Japan back in the day and has proven very successful. I’m trying to cultivate fresh demand.
On my days off I spend a lot of time with my family. I have a son and daughter and I enjoy traveling with them, playing games, cooking, and doing sports together. My son just started surfing and kickboxing and it’s fun to explore new things with him as he gets bigger. I think keeping a good relationship with one’s family requires a certain kind of creativity and imagination.