The Future Has Arrived with Japan’s Robot Hotel

Japan is well known for being called ‘The Land of the Rising Sun’, but a new name could be on the agenda with its high technology leading many people to call it ‘The Land of High Tech Wonders’.

Japan has always been at the helm of technological advancements leading such sectors as home and consumer electronics, and the automotive industry. The country itself is a high tech mecca with toilets that rise to greet you and trains that travel over 300 km an hour.

It is also an innovator when it comes to robotics, unleashing a robot revolution in recent years with classics such as the humanoid robot, ASIMO manufactured by Honda, a four-legged robotic dog called AIBO, and Softbank’s Pepper, an intelligent robot designed to live with and aid humans. Pepper is a social robot, who is an emotional companion able to converse with you, as well as recognise and react to your emotions.

Japan has recently taken the next step in robotics with the world’s first hotel run by robots, called ‘Henn-na Hotel”. The name is an interesting one with henn meaning ‘strange’ or ‘weird’ in Japanese. The hotel which opened this summer is staffed by robots and is located in Huis Ten Bosch.

Huis Ten Bosch is a theme park located in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture that celebrates all things Dutch. The name ‘Huis Ten Bosch’ translates into English as ‘House in the Forest’. It is a beautiful name and the theme park beautifully creates a distinctly European atmosphere with its brick buildings, picturesque canals, iconic windmills, beautiful gardens and architecture.

Photo : gtknj on Flickr

The theme park is a nice reflection back to the Edo period when Japan and the Netherlands began their historical relationship based on trade near Hirado, which is not far from Sasebo.

The aim of ‘Henn-na Hotel’ is the ultimate in efficiency to make your stay as fun and comfortable as possible. Single rooms are priced at around ¥7,000 per night, while a twin room will cost you ¥9,000.

The hotel’s cutting-edge technology includes:

Robot Cloak Room

A robot cloak room to store your bags before or after check-in. Simply place your bag in the baggage handling door and the robotic arm will automatically store your bags in a locker for you.

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Front Desk

A front desk staffed by friendly and welcoming robots. Upon arrival you are greeted by friendly robots including a dinosaur for English speakers, who will handle your check-in and check-out.

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Robot Porters

A friendly robot is at hand to help you transport your bags to your room with as little effort on your part as possible.

Facial Recognition

The hotel rooms use facial recognition technology to enter your room instead of the traditional room key. Perfect for those of us who hate carrying around hotel keys or tend to often misplace them.


Churi-chan is your personal concierge, there every minute of the day for all your needs. Churi-chan is a pint-sized pink and green cartoon like character that sits on the bedside table and assists you with tasks such as adjusting the lighting, checking the room temperature, setting your morning wake-up call and finding the latest in weather information.

Other cool tech on offer includes a system that detects body heat to auto-adjust room temperatures, and the use of tablets to control room facilities and call for room service.

If all this technology freaks you out a little, rest assured that there is in fact real flesh and blood behind the scenes should you require any human contact and support to fix any techno blips.

If you love all things robotic and want a cool and interesting place to stay on your next visit, definitely check out the “Henn-na Hotel” in Nagasaki.


Address: Huis Ten Bosch, Hausutenbosu-machi, Sasebo 859-3243, Nagasaki Prefecture
Tel: 0570-064-110


From Hakata Station take the ‘Huis Ten Bosch” Limited Express train to JR Huis Ten Bosch Station. The journey takes around 100 minutes and costs 3,800 yen.

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