Hyatt and Kiraku announce plans for new luxury hot spring ryokan brand ATONA in locations across Japan in 2026

Images by Hyatt

Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Kiraku, Inc. (“Kiraku”) today announced that ATONA, the modern hot spring ryokan (Japanese-style inn) brand, will open properties in Yufu, Yakushima, and Hakone. The ATONA brand was announced in 2022 under a joint venture between a Hyatt affiliate and Kiraku, a Japanese company dedicated to preserving valuable assets for future generations. The first ATONA ryokans are slated to open in 2026 across some of Japan’s top hot spring destinations and areas of natural beauty.

Hyatt and Kiraku also announced the first close of Atona Impact Fund, a real estate fund that will actively invest in ATONA ryokan development projects, securing an initial funding of 10 billion yen (approximately 64 million US dollars). First round investors include affiliates of Hyatt and Kiraku, as well as Takenaka Corporation, a leading Japanese construction firm. The fund is aiming for a final target of 20 billion yen (approximately 128 million US dollars).

“Hyatt is a leading global hospitality company that is synonymous with elevated contemporary luxury. Aside from reaching valuable guests through World of Hyatt, the industry’s fastest growing loyalty program, this collaboration enables us to leverage Hyatt’s global expertise to deliver high operational efficiency and exceptional guest experience and focus on long-term capital appreciation and substantial investor returns,” said Kou Sundberg, founder and chief executive officer of Kiraku. “We are delighted to have identified prime locations for the first ATONA ryokans and successfully secured funding for the Atona Impact Fund. Having already partnered with Takenaka Corporation to restore a heritage sake brewery in Nagano, we are excited to expand our collaboration with more regional revitalization projects.”

“Through the ATONA brand, we look forward to introducing Japan’s hot springs and new destinations to our World of Hyatt members, and international and domestic travelers alike. With Kiraku’s expertise in deal sourcing, asset management and business development, the ATONA brand is poised to meet the rising demand for high-end ryokans,” said Sam Sakamura, Hyatt’s vice president, Japan and Micronesia. “At Hyatt, we believe business is personal. We are excited to work with Kiraku and are grateful for the trust from Takenaka Corporation, with whom we have nurtured a long-standing relationship through various global projects, as we introduce fresh hospitality experiences to Japan.”

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In 2022, Kiraku and a Hyatt affiliate formed Atona Co., Ltd., a strategic joint venture to develop a new luxury onsen (hot spring) ryokan business targeting sophisticated global travelers. Atona, led by chief operating officer Satoshi Watanabe, is comprised of seasoned professionals in international hotel management and operations who have a deep understanding of Japanese culture. The joint venture leverages Kiraku’s experience in regional business development and private equity investments in combination with Hyatt’s expertise in global hospitality.

“ATONA” is an expression of deep connection – a combination of two old Japanese words (吾汝) that means “me and you.” It embodies the joy of spending time with loved ones, away from the bustle of everyday life, providing guests with bespoke experiences that connect them to the land through meaningful encounters with the local culture, nature and activities. Each ATONA ryokan will embrace a “small luxury” concept focused on hot springs and unique destinations, with wellbeing and culinary experiences unique to their locales. Featuring modern design grounded in Japan’s rich cultural heritage and history, ATONA properties will typically have 30 to 50 guestrooms, and will feature restaurants with open kitchens and bars showcasing seasonal ingredients.

Kenya Hara, one of Japan’s leading designers, serves as brand director of ATONA and brings extensive knowledge of Japanese traditions and aesthetics. Joining him are architects Shinya Kojima and Ayaka Kojima of kooo architects – a Tokyo and Shanghai-based practice dedicated to crafting spaces that foster community, rejuvenate human connections and preserve local craftmanship.

The ATONA brand will be a core addition to Hyatt’s global portfolio and the first brand in the Hyatt portfolio to originate from Japan. Honoring the traditions of ryokan culture, ATONA ryokans will be poised to offer worldly travelers an authentic experience with contemporary comforts as they discover the quintessential charms of Japan.

About Atona Impact Fund
With a final target size of 20 billion yen, the Atona Impact Fund is a real estate fund dedicated to investment in development and renovation projects for ATONA-branded ryokans. Amidst a recovering tourism market and growing interest in regional travel in Japan, the fund aims to invest in unique and untapped quality assets, and ultimately contribute to enhancing the long-term value of regional areas of Japan.

According to the Japan National Tourism Organization, Japan welcomed a record level of nearly 32 million international visitors in 2019 and aim to increase by 60 million visitors by 2030. Moreover, from 2016 to 2019, there was a 45% surge in the number of international visitors to regional areas of Japan, surpassing the 19% increase seen in visits to the three major metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya.

Through the fund’s purposeful investments and driven by a seasoned team of diverse backgrounds, the ATONA brand will serve as a bridge to connect Japan’s regional areas with the world.

Tags: ATONA, Hyatt, Japan in 2026, Kiraku


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