New hotel to be symbol of reconstruction(復興のシンボルとなる新ホテル)

A rendering of the new hotel to be built in the town of Futaba in Fukushima Prefecture(福島県双葉町に整備されるホテルの完成イメージ図)

 Daiwa LifeNext Co., a Tokyo-based company belonging to Daiwa House Group, plans to build a new hotel in a district designated as an industrial reconstruction base in Fukushima Prefecture's town of Futaba.
 The hotel will be built in the town's Nakano district and will include one of the largest conference rooms on the Pacific coast area of the prefecture.
 The town and Daiwa LifeNext are planning to revitalize the local economy and increase the number of people coming to the region by using the hotel to draw international conferences, bring tourists from Japan and abroad, and host study tours run by educational organizations and companies. The hotel is planned to open in fiscal 2025.


 The hotel will be north of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Disaster Memorial Museum in Futaba and west of a new park which will also be completed by the prefecture in fiscal 2025 on the border of Namie and Futaba towns. Based on the prefecture's idea of "hope tourism," which involves learning about the Great East Japan Earthquake by visiting places hit by the disaster, the hotel wants to bring in families and foreign tourists while coordinating with surrounding facilities to increase the number of people visiting the area.


 The five-story hotel will have a total floor space of about 6,000 square meters. The largest conference room will be more than 400 square meters and will be able to accommodate more than 300 people. Under the plan, there will be 100 guest rooms as well as restaurants and shops with local food, a spa, and a library with books about areas hit by the disasters. A subsidy from the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry will be used to pay for construction costs, which will amount to several billion yen. The hotel is expected to create jobs for more than 30 local people. An expansion of the hotel is under consideration, depending on demand after the opening.


 The hotel has been tentatively named Futatabi Futaba Fukushima. The word "futatabi" means "once again" or "repeat." The name embraces a wish that the hotel will bring many revivals, reunions and revisits to Futaba. The hotel's exterior has been designed to express gentle sea waves.

 ホテル名は「FUTATABI FUTABA FUKUSHIMA(ふたたびふたばふくしま)」(仮称)。再生、再会、再訪など、双葉にたくさんの「ふたたび」をもたらすホテルになることを願い名付けた。外観は海の波の柔らかさをイメージした。

  In October, Daiwa LifeNext Co. President Keitaro Takebayashi and Mayor Shiro Izawa of Futaba met in Tokyo to exchange letters of agreement on the business location plan.
 "I'd like to offer Futaba new forms of security and safety, as well as a great future," Takebayashi said.
 The Nakano district was devastated by the tsunami that hit the prefecture immediately after the 2011 earthquake.
 "You can never develop and build [a hotel] without consideration and respect for the place," Takebayashi said. "I hope this hotel will not only be a place for leisurely activities, but also a place of study and rest where people can quietly absorb themselves in their own thoughts."


 In August last year, the evacuation order was lifted from the town's Specified Reconstruction and Revitalization Base, and people started living there for the first time in 11 years. The town hopes that the opening of the hotel will help further speed up the reconstruction efforts that started later than any other places.
 "I'm sure it will become a place where we can let the world know about the reconstruction of Fukushima, the reality of life in Futaba and how its reconstruction is going specifically," Izawa said, holding high hopes for the project.

( Translated by The Japan News )


 【 2023年11月1日付・福島民友新聞掲載 】