Completed in 1908 and over a century old, the Nara Prison in Japan will be renovated and made into The Hoshinoya Nara Prison Hotel. Helmed by Hoshino Resorts Group, the compelling project will be unveiled by spring 2026, unrolling the luxury hotel’s carpet to visitors.

Designed by Azuma Architect & Associates, The Hoshinoya Nara Prison Hotel will house a luxury hotel and museum. Alongside an exciting facelift, iconic features like its red brick-walled architecture and star-shaped layout with a high central tower remain. 

The site covers 100,478.80 square metres, with 1,762 – 2,168 square metres allocated for the museum. Besides that, there will be 48 hotel rooms and several facilities like a restaurant and lounge. Other than that, the Nara Prison name will be preserved as a tribute to its history and culture. 

Nara Prison, a Japanese Important Cultural Property, was one of Japan’s major prisons designed by the Meiji government to meet international standards. Recognising its historical significance and architectural excellence, it was designated an Important Cultural Property of Japan in 2017. The prison closed that same year.

The iconic main entrance of the former Nara Prison Image source The Former Nara Prison

After its closure, the site remained unoccupied until secured by Hoshino Resorts Group. An agreement was signed between the Former Nara Prison Preservation and Utilisation Co., Ltd and the government’s Ministry of Justice for the prison-turned-hotel. After that, the group began seismic retrofits of the buildings and set up a historical archive.

Besides The Hoshinoya Nara Prison Hotel, the planned public museum will share the history and facilities of the prison. Moreover, non-hotel guests can visit to encourage further knowledge of the landmark and as a tourism initiative. 

Hoshino Resorts was established as a Japanese ryokan (inn) in 1914 and eventually grew into an influential hotel management business. The group focuses on highlighting Japan’s local charms across its prefectures, and comprises five distinct categories with Hoshinoya as its luxury hotel brand.

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