Osaka Hotel Lures Foreign Tourists With Local Flavors

Osaka hotel lures foreign tourists with local flavors

OSAKA--A new waterfront hotel here aims to attract foreign tourists by packing all things Osaka into one spot.

The Sakishima Cosmo Tower Hotel in Suminoe Ward will start operation with 109 of its 371 rooms on Jan. 29 before it fully opens in May 2020.

The lobby features stone walls inspired by Osaka Castle. A display recreates the golden team room of feudal warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598).

One of the guest rooms even comes with patterns themed on sauce for "okonomiyaki" Japanese pancake--considered soul food in the nation’s third largest city--on the ceiling and walls.

The hotel, with a maximum capacity of about 1,000 guests, will occupy the seventh through 17th stories of the Osaka prefectural government's 55-story Sakishima building.

A double occupancy room will cost about 18,000 yen ($163) per night, excluding tax.

"It’s been decided that the 2025 World Expo will be held in Osaka," said Osaka Governor Ichiro Matsui. "We really hope many people will use the hotel and it will serve as a base for the revitalization of the bay area."

The Sakishima building is struggling with an occupancy rate of about 64 percent, with maintenance costs straining the budgets of the prefectural government.

But the rate is expected to jump to about 84 percent after the hotel is completed.