Hotel Why opened in May 2020 and is shaped like a question mark

The beautiful mountains and lush nature are not the only things that attract people to the town of Kamikatsu in Japan’s western prefecture of Tokushima. The town also has a zero waste policy and residents are known to recycle waste in 45 categories, which helped them achieve over an 80% rate of recycling. The town’s investments in broadband infrastructure have also made the destination a popular spot for tech satellite offices. Now the town also has Hotel Why: one of the first zero waste call-to-action hotels in the world.

Hotel Why opened on May 31, 2020 and was designed by architect Hiroshi Nakamura, who was also responsible for the town’s eco-friendly micro brewery five years ago. Hotel Why was designed in the shape of a question mark because its very mission is to help us question and think about our relationship with waste. Not only is the hotel committed to a zero waste circular economy but they also invite guests to participate in workshops and other learning experiences as a call-to-action.

The layout of the hotel is also interesting. The ball of the question mark serves as the hotel while the lobe houses a lab for workshops, laundromat and restrooms and a thrift shop. The loop serves as a large recycling facility. Staying true to the town’s philosphy, the building is built from local cedar, discarded furniture, doors, and windows and was constructed with great consideration towards the environment.

You can learn more about Hotel Why and book your stay through their website. Rooms range between 11,000 yen (about $100 usd) and 16,500 yen (about $150 usd) per person.