Japan’s hotels—they’re truly something else.
Some are pumped with steamy onsens, some ikebana displays and others casually fare free-flowing champagne dinners because, why not? With Japan’s border restrictions easing, we think it’s about time you started planning your next trip and that all starts with your very first hotel stay.
Read on for the best hotels in Japan.
The Best New Hotels In Japan
Minimalist digs in the heart of Kanazawa, now that's something that will make your jaw drop to the floor. Korinkyo is located moments from Kanazawa's Kenrokuen Garden. Onsite, there's an aroma distillery where guests can create essential oils to be used in-room or while relaxing in the hotel's rooftop sauna and bath. Its 18 guest rooms have simple wood and stone finishes and a neutral design palette, allowing the surrounding nature vistas to take the spotlight and your gram's to absolutely pop off. Book your stay here.
Within walking distance of the Nikko Toshogu shrine, FUFU Nikko is an uber elegant retreat in a beautiful green oasis. All 24 individually designed guest suites overlook the surrounding forests and come with private indoor or outdoor onsen baths. Within easy reach of bustling Tokyo, Nikko actually feels like a different world. If you have a kink for adventure, you'll have a heap of activities at your fingertips including trekking, cycling, rafting across Lake Chuzenji and canyoning through Urami Falls. Book your stay here.
Comico Art House Yufuin
Say hello to this luxury accommodation designed by Kengo Kuma. Comico Art House Yufuin is near the coastal city of Oita in Kyushu, located within the stunning yet little-known Comico Art Museum Yufuin. It comprises the ‘Tsuchi’ house and the ‘Take’ house, both inspired by Satoyama culture, where nature and community are very deeply intertwined. Both houses boast private onsen, traditional Japanese gardens and spacious rooms with tatami mat floors. Book your stay here.
Tech-savvy hotel brand YOTEL is slated arrive in Tokyo 2024 and while that is indeed, a while away, we think you need to be well across this one. YOTEL Tokyo will be centrally located in Ginza, one of Tokyo's most vibrant neighbourhoods. The 244-room hotel is set to showcase YOTEL’s signature robotic concierge YOBOT, motorised SmartBeds and a touchless guest experience from reservation to check-out. YOTEL Tokyo is part of YOTEL’s wider expansion plans across Japan including Sapporo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe.
Club Med Hokkaido Kiroro
A new Club Med ski resort will open in Hokkaido in time for the 2023 season. As the third Club Med resort to open in Japan, Club Med Hokkaido Kiroro will be an all-inclusive winter resort, 90 minutes from New Chitose Airport. Conducted in two phases, Club Med Kiroro ‘Peak’ will open in December 2022 exclusively for guests aged 12 and over, where guests can kick back in natural open-air hot springs and spas. Open for all ages, Club Med Kiroro ‘Grand’ will follow in 2023.
The Best Hotels In Japan
This Luxury Collection Hotel is set along the ever-peaceful Hozu River. More so a retreat rather than a classic hotel, Suiran sports 39 rooms, including six speciality rooms, a restaurant and cafe. The in-house spa offers up green tea scrubs, jade stone facial treatments and collagen masks in case you feel like re-centring your spirit after a long-haul flight. Book your stay here.
Another luxury hotel in Japan (are you sensing a pattern here?) looks like The Okura. Located within Tokyo’s central Toranomon district, the hotels pays homage to the Wabi, Sabi and Miyabi aesthetic and if you don’t know what that means, just think of spaces filled with perfectly imperfect things (or just feast your eyes on that stellar image). Everything from the lobby to the Japanese garden and art museum oozes elegance, not to mention you can book free-flowing champagne dinners on the hotel’s terrace. Winning. Book your stay here.
This is one of Japan’s newest hotels. Feast your eyes on The Shinmonzen, a hidden gem (no really, it is) located in the beautifully preserved Gion Shirakawa and Shinmonzen Street. This luxury boutique hotel has been designed by one of the most talented architects in the world right now, Tadao Ando, so no detail has been glazed over. Here you’ll find nine unique suites, all accented by a different native material. Balconies overlook the Shirakawa River and you’ll be in an ear shot of Gion’s buzzing alleys and cobbled streets. Book your stay here.
Honestly, it’d be remiss to skimp out on a stay at Mandarin Oriental. This epic place is easily one of the best hotels in Tokyo, hence its long line-up of awards. Splurge on a feast at any one of its 10 restaurants and bars (yes, 10) or reset your soul at the spa (also award-winning) located within the soaring Cesar Pelli-designed tower. Book your stay here.
Inspired by Japanese design tradition, Aman Tokyo is the best of Japan wrapped up in one hotel. Decked out with ikebana displays, washi paper doors and engawa platforms, not many have walked through these halls and not had their jaw drop to the floor (honestly, try it). The rooms here are simple yet timeless, with sprawling cityscapes your TV thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows. Book your stay here.
Shiki Shima Train
Did you really do Japan right if you didn’t book a stay on the Shiki Shima Train? If you’ve got a spare few thousand lying around, this is easily one of the coolest hotels in Japan. Only hosting 34 passengers at one time (we know, fancy), suites inside this moving hotel are stocked with wooden bathtubs, fireplaces and a domes observation deck because when it comes to opulence in Japan, there are no limits. Book a stay here.
Nine Hours Hotels
On the other end of the spectrum, one of the best chain hotels in Japan has to be Nine Hours Hotels. The idea, much like the name suggests, is that you shack up inside a capsule room for nine hours. Rooms are air conditioned, there’s free WiFi around the property, you’ll have shared bathrooms to freshen up and slippers to keep your feet nice and snug. The whole design is super modern and your pod keeps futons and tatami mats. Book your stay here.
When you think of Japan, one thing springs to mind—onsens. Lucky for you, Sakaeya is the kind of hotel located smack-bam in the middle of Shibu hot-spring area (with indoor and outdoor hot spring baths). Rooms have woven-straw floors and Japanese futon bedding and you can opt in for a traditional multi-course dinner and set-menu for breakfast. Book your stay here.
Naturally, read on for the best things to do in Japan.
Image credit: Supplied, The Okra Hotel, The Shinmozen, Mandarin Hotel, Aman Tokyo, Shiki Shima Train, Nine Hours Hotels, Sakaeya
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