Former Japanese Prison to be Reborn as Luxury Hotel Operated by Hoshino Resorts

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The former Nara Prison

The former Nara Prison in the city of Nara will be reborn as a luxury hotel in the spring of 2026. The building, designated as an important national cultural property, was built in 1908 and had been used as a juvenile prison until 2017. About 500 prison cells will be renovated into guest rooms by means such as combining some cells. There will also be a facility to learn about the history of the former prison.

The former Nara Prison is one of five major prisons established by the Meiji government, which were also in Chiba, Nagasaki, Kagoshima and Kanazawa. The Nara Prison was closed due to the aging of facilities and other reasons. It was decided that the former prison would be turned into a hotel by a concession method, in which the ownership of the property remains with the central government and the management rights are sold to the private sector.

Hoshino Resorts Inc. will operate the new hotel under the company’s most luxurious hotel brand of Hoshinoya. The hotel will have 48 guest rooms and a total floor space of about 10,000 square meters. Room rates have not been decided yet. Yoshiharu Hoshino, president of Hoshino Resorts, said, “The hotel will offer a luxurious stay while retaining the air of a prison cell, which will create a distinct atmosphere.”

Courtesy of Hoshino Resorts Inc.
An artist’s impression of the Hoshinoya Nara Prison, scheduled to open in the spring of 2026