【Hotel become the purpose of your trip x GM Interview】“ The history of Ginza tells its own story. A hotel that connects the city and its guests” – Mercure Tokyo Ginza

Away from everyday life, you will not only spend luxurious time and be healed. It is a hotel where your stay will refine your sensibilities and enrich your body and soul. We interview the GM (general manager) and delve deeper into the charms of such hotels that are suited to the purpose of your trip.

This time, we interviewed Mr. Sasaki, General Manager of the Mercure Tokyo Ginza, an Accor hotel that has been watching over Ginza since 2004.

▲Profile of Hiroshi Sasaki

General Manager of Mercure Tokyo Ginza. After graduating from hotel school, he worked as an intern in the food and beverage department of a hotel in Zurich, Switzerland. After returning to Japan, he worked in the accommodation department of a foreign hotel in the Maihama area and a hotel in Tokyo before joining the team of Mercure Tokyo Ginza, which opened just after 2004. In 2014, he joined ibis Tokyo Shinjuku, a sister hotel of Mercure Tokyo Ginza, as deputy general manager. Manager position. Over the years, he has continued to monitor the lodging scene in the Tokyo area from the hotel’s perspective. Born in Tokyo, Japan.

–I believe you have been with Mercure Ginza Tokyo since its opening. Can you tell us again about your career?–

Hiroshi Sasaki (Mr. Sasaki): 

This hotel opened in October 2004, and I joined the company about two months later after opening. At first, I was the night manager, which means that I was in charge of responding to any problems that guests may have during the night, but I eventually moved to working during the daytime and gained experience while being in charge of the overall operations of the hotel. During that time, I was blessed with experience outside of the hotel where I worked, such as assisting with the opening of the Mercure Hotel, which opened in a location other than Ginza. I then worked at the Ibis Tokyo Shinjuku of the same group, but returned here as general manager in March 2019. Although I left once, I have been involved with this hotel for a total of 15 years!

HafH:You know Mercure Ginza Tokyo best!

Mr.Sasaki: When we first opened, there were not as many Accor hotels in Japan as there are now. Therefore, it was not easy for domestic guests to understand what kind of hotel it was. However, even back then, the design of the hotel was unique, and I myself loved the hotel. Many overseas guests were familiar with Accor hotels, but at that time, before Japan’s location attracted as much attention as it does now, the ratio of domestic and overseas guests was about the same. Hotels often change the guests they welcome as the world moves on. Now, similar to before the Corona, we are seeing a return of overseas guests. At that time, there were only a few hotels in Ginza, but now there are enough hotels to welcome many people.

–You have many brands as Accor hotels, what is unique and different about Mercure compared to other brands?–

Mr.Sasaki: Since that time, Mercure has had a free concept to match the hotel’s location and building. So I had the impression that each location had its own unique characteristics.

HafH: I certainly have the image of reflecting the culture and things rooted in each place.

Mr.Sasaki: We now have an even more distinct “locally inspired hotel” concept that reflects the story and lifestyle of the location. Some hotels have prepared presentations that focus on the unique local ingredients and flavors in food and beverages.

–You mentioned “foreign visitors from abroad” earlier. Have the demographics of the visitors changed compared to the past?–

Mr.Sasaki: In the past, most of the guests staying in Ginza were from Japan, but now we receive many overseas guests. Even walking down the streets of Ginza, it is bustling with people from overseas, isn’t it?

HafH: That’s right. Sometimes I wonder if I am in Japan. Sometimes I wonder if I am in Japan.

Mr.Sasaki: Japan has many tourist attractions and resources, not just in major cities like Ginza and Tokyo, which are becoming more attractive to foreign customers. I feel that we have a role to play not only in introducing Accor hotels to people in Japan, but also in introducing Japan to our overseas guests.

Mr. Sasaki: The hotel opens its lounge area in the afternoon to guests who are staying with Accor members. Sometimes I also take the opportunity to mingle with the guests there. Some guests enjoy not only sightseeing, dining, and shopping, but also the opportunity to exchange words with people in the local area where the hotel is located. I sometimes tell them stories about Ginza, and sometimes we enjoy very private chats together (laughs). (Laughs) In this way, I also learn about the interests of our guests and the background behind their decision to stay with us.

*Lounge service is currently operating on limited days of the week.

*Accor’s “ALL” loyalty program membership. Free enrollment. Registration also available at hotels

–Could you tell us  some of your favorite ways to spend time at Mercure Tokyo Ginza?–

Mr.Sasaki: The design of a hotel is woven into the story of each location. The Mercure Tokyo Ginza is designed based on the origins of Ginza, where a silver coin mint in the Edo period in the 1600s became the city’s prosperity. We hope that everyone will enjoy walking around the city and answering the different inspirations they feel while staying at the hotel.

HafH: The opportunity to learn more about the history and story of the district is valuable, isn’t it?

Mr. Sasaki: Today, Ginza is recognized as a place for shopping, dining, and trendsetting, but if you know that Ginza began as an important place for making money in the Edo period and flourished as a place where various merchants and traders gathered as the economy developed, your perspective may change, don’t you think?

Sasaki: Also, our hotel brand name, Mercure, is said to be derived from the name of the god of commerce and travel depicted in Roman mythology!

▲The inspiration for the silver coins can be felt from this brand wall at the hotel’s first floor entrance

Mr.Sasaki: Ginza is very accessible, and Tsukiji, Hibiya, and Shimbashi are all within walking distance. If you have any questions about how to enjoy walking around the area, please ask us. We also have a global staff who are eager to enjoy conversing with you. We hope to become friends with our customers and share with them how to enjoy Ginza and the history of the district.

▲Reception counter

–Finally, what does HafH mean to Mercure Ginza Tokyo?–

Mr.Sasaki: I think that HafH users are a little different from those who make hotel reservations in other ways. For those who make hotel reservations based on their own needs, any other reservation method may be fine, but I imagine that many HafH users want to fulfill their purpose of staying at a hotel. For this purpose, they earn and accumulate coins that can be used for hotel stays on a monthly basis. I am sure that many of these users have been looking forward to actually staying at a hotel for a long time. They are the kind of guests we would like to welcome. It is a very simple hotel, but we want them to enjoy their wonderful time in Ginza.

▲左)General Manager Sasaki ,and  HafH interviewer Inoue (right)

My career at Accor Hotels has been here at the Mercure Ginza Tokyo,” said General Manager Sasaki. As a locally inspired hotel, Mercure Ginza Tokyo will continue to deepen its ties with the city, and will continue to be a source of information about the hotel and Ginza’s hidden charms.

Mercure Tokyo Ginza

2-9-4 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

1650~1700 coins

Click here to register as a favorite and make a reservation

This article was created based on the information available at time of publication.