While your Japan travel plans may have been delayed, an influx of hotel debuts makes planning ahead for a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun even more compelling.
The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon
Officially opening on October 20th, this is the first EDITION hotel to open in Japan and the first of two highly anticipated locations to arrive in Tokyo. Exhibiting impressive design credentials, the 206-room hotel was designed in partnership with renowned architect Kengo Kuma, who is also behind the design of Tokyo’s Olympic stadium, and created through a collaboration between Marriott International, Ian Schrager and Mori Trust. Overall, the new property combines influence taken from Japanese culture and tradition with EDITION’s drive to create something that’s never been seen before. Inspiration taken from Buddhist temples can be seen in the two-story lobby and dining space such as The Jade Room + Garden Terrace led by Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens. Stay here for views of Tokyo Bay and Tokyo Tower from your room and to relax in the spa with swimming pool.
Kimpton Shinjuku Tokyo
October 2nd saw the debut of this new Kimpton hotel in Shinjuku, Tokyo, marking the brand’s entrance to Japan. This 151-room property is distinguished by its bold and playful design-led interiors and focus on art. The hotel collaborates with local artists for its level 16 art gallery and guests have use of yukata exclusively designed for the hotel by Hiroko Takahashi, a permanent exhibitor at London’s V&A. New York design firm, Rockwell Group, conceived the hotel’s striking façade and the celebrated Japanese artist designed its impressionism wall. The lifestyle offering inside this property encompasses a series of New York inspired drinking and dining venues including an outdoor terrace for cocktails in an open-air setting. These venues are complemented by a lifestyle programming ranging from yoga lessons to Kimpton’s Social Hour.
Just as Japan eased its way out of lockdown, Zentis Osaka made its grand debut. This July-opened hotel in the riverside area of Dojimahama is the first property of a brand-new label under the Palace Hotel Group umbrella. The 16-story new-build features the interior architecture and design of UK designer Tara Bernerd and the dining concept of a team with Michelin-star track record including executive chef Shinya Otsuchihashi. Japanese design influence defines the modular suites, which are inspired by bento boxes, and the public space pays homage to Osaka’s urban landscape through features including a central staircase carved out of blue limestone. This is all surrounded by a garden giving the hotel the feel of an urban oasis. The all-day dining venue, Upstairz, takes up much of the second floor with a main dining room and open-kitchen, while the lounge offers small plates and afternoon tea and the bar serves Japanese whiskies and seasonal cocktails.
Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi
The brand new Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi opened at the beginning of September, just steps from the Imperial Palace and at the heart of the city’s financial district, on the highest floors of a new 39-story building by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The new property promises next-generation luxury through its service, design, wellness and culinary experiences. Acclaimed designer Jean Michel-Gathy of Denniston led the creation of the interiors to reflect Japanese inspiration and the hotel’s views, which on a clear day include Mount Fuji. Four new restaurant and bar concepts are within this space, including three venues envisioned by SPIN Design Studio and several rooftop terraces with a culinary team led by executive chef Marco Riva. Dine at restaurants led by chefs Kigawa and Guillaume Bracaval, try cocktails in Paris-meets-Tokyo bar, Virtu, and unwind in the top-floor spa with Japanese baths and a 20-meter indoor pool.
Higashiyama Niseko Village
Higashiyama Niseko Village, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve is due to open on December 15th as the first Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Japan. Located within YTL Hotels’ Niseko Village, this 50-room resort lies at the base of Mount Niseko Annupuri where panoramic views take in Mount Yohei and the surrounding mountain ranges. From here, guests have access to 2,191 acres of skiable terrain as well as extensive backcountry skiing and the culture, traditions and gastronomy of this part of Japan. The resort itself will have two distinctive restaurants along with a lounge and spa with onsen and fitness center. Among the experiences on offer here is the Kachou Fuugetsu inspired offering, which focuses on appreciating the beauty of each season and ranges from mountain excursions to wellness therapies and gastronomy.
Ace Hotel Kyoto
This new design hotel tentatively opened to its first guests in June. The 213-room property was built in homage to Kyoto’s creative spirit and takes up a building that’s part historic structure—the 1926-built former home to Central Telephone Company designed by the Japanese architect Tetsuro Yoshida—and part new-build designed by award-winning architect Kengo Kuma. This is a part of the SHIN-PUH-KAN Redevelopment Project incorporating a marketplace directly connected to the Kyoto subway line. The interiors exhibit an east meets west aesthetic, pairing traditional craft and local materials with art by local and U.S. artists. In terms of its food and drink offering, the hotel houses the first Stumptown Coffee Roasters in Japan, along with Piopiko cocktail bar and taco lounge and Mr Maurice’s Italian. Both of these restaurants opened in June and are to be followed by a third restaurant located adjacent to a garden courtyard.
The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company announced the opening of its new Nikko property on July 15th. This serene lakeside retreat is set amid a Unesco World Heritage Site of Northern Kanto that’s celebrated for its cultural significance as well as natural riches. From its location on the shore of Lake Chuzenji, this resort places you within easy reach of Nikko’s famous temples and shrines and areas of natural beauty such as Nikko National Park. The hotel takes cues from these picturesque surroundings through modern Japanese design incorporating earthy materials such as wood and stone in space that makes the most of its impressive views. A stay here provides access to the Spa at Ritz-Carlton with authentic hot spring experience and four distinct dining experiences: The Japanese Restaurant, Lakehouse, The Bar and The Lobby Lounge. Hotel excursions from here include cycling through wetlands and meditating under waterfalls.
Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto
A hotel embracing Japanese wellbeing, design, gastronomy and garden artistry, Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto promises to stand out for its celebration of both traditional and contemporary Japan. A part of The Luxury Collection by Marriott International, this hotel is due to open on November 3rd. This design-focused property comes with the guest room and lobby design of Andre Fu, landscape design of Shunsaku Miyagi and spa and restaurant design of Yohei Akao. This team of acclaimed designers was led by the master design advisor, Akira Kuryu. While you’re here, dine at signature French-Japanese restaurant TOKI and all-day Italian dining spot FORNI and look out at the landscaped grounds in The Garden Bar. Notably, Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto is the only luxury property in Kyoto city center to have its own natural spring water source, making its spa with Thermal Onsen Spring an integral part of the experience.