To celebrate the easing of travel restrictions in Japan – the country has finally opened its borders after two years to travellers from 98 countries – there’s no better time to check out what’s new in the land of the rising sun
Sadly, the destination did not get to show off all its new properties and developments to international travellers for the 2020 Olympics, delayed to 2021, but the good news is that there are plenty of new options for planners considering the destination for events and incentives with more in the pipeline. We check out nine of the best…
Hyatt Hotels opened the newly renovated and rebranded Hyatt Regency Tokyo Bay (formerly the Hyatt Place Tokyo Bay) in summer 2021. The 350-room urban resort is in Urayasu city in the Chiba Prefecture and offers panoramic views of Tokyo Bay. It is close to premier attractions such as Tokyo Disney Resort, the entertainment and shopping district of Odaiba, and Makuhari Messe, one of Japan’s largest convention centres. The property, which is just 30 minutes by train or car from central Tokyo, offers and array of restaurants and bars including The Rooftop Bar with panoramic views of Tokyo Bay.
Conveniently set in Tokyo’s Ginza, the hip modern property Aloft Tokyo Ginza has 205 rooms, a mix of dining and social spaces including The WAREHOUSE, and a rooftop bar selling hot dogs (main image). The hotel, which opened in October 2020, is within walking distance of many Ginza highlights, including the Ginza Six and many other main Ginza Department stores and shopping centres.
Also in Ginza, The Tokyo EDITION, Ginza (right) is slated to open in 2022, following the successful launch of the first Japanese EDITION hotel – The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon in 2020. Situated just off Chuo Street, one of the largest upscale entertainment and shopping destinations in the city, the newly constructed property will include 86 guest and suites, three incredible food and beverage destinations including rooftop bar, together with meeting studio and fitness centre.
Japan’s first Bvlgari Hotel is scheduled to open in Tokyo 2023. The new Bvlgari Hotel Tokyo will occupy the top seven floors – 39th-45th – of a new ultra-skyscraper, located in walking distance to the Imperial Palace and the vibrant shopping areas of both Nihombashi and Ginza. The hotel will offer 98 rooms, a ballroom and large outdoor space, a 500 sqm BVLGARI Spa, bar, restaurant, and lounge.
Outside the capital
Outside of the capital, Ace Hotels made its debut in Kyoto in 2020. Masterminded by architect Kengo Kuma, who designed The Opposite House in Beijing and lead the Tokyo Olympic Stadium project, the Ace Hotel Kyoto (right) is minutes away from cultural landmarks including Nijō Castle, Nishiki Market, the Museum of Kyoto and Kyoto Art Center.
Although it opened in 2019, the Aman Kyoto is worth a mention. Situated in a hidden garden close to Kinkaku-ji Temple (Golden Pavilion), Aman Kyoto, with 24 rooms and two two-bedroom villas, draws on the country’s ryokan (traditional inn) and onsen (hot spring) concepts to provide an authentic yet contemporary Kyoto sanctuary. The 80-acre resort, designed by Kerry Hill Architects, has separate pavilions, for arrival, living, dining and spa, 72 acres of permanent forest and eight acres of gardens.
Meanwhile, the famed French patisserie institution Fauchon, opened its second hotel and first outside of France in Kyoto in March 2021. A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, the FAUCHON L’Hotel Kyoto (right) carries on the tradition of its incredibly popular Parisian-based sister hotel and incorporates all elements of the FAUCHON brand under one roof including a five-star luxury hotel featuring the renowned Gourmet Bar in each room and suite, Le Grand Café FAUCHON, the Fauchon Salon de Thé, a FAUCHON Patisserie and Boutique at street level, Le Spa FAUCHON, and for the first time a FAUCHON Bar.
The 70 rooms overlook the Kamo River and are within strolling distance to the historic Matsubara bridge and Shijo Kawaramachi shopping district. The hotel offers traditional tea ceremonies as well as Fauchon French goodies like millefeuille pastries by local bakery, Izutsu.
Situated beneath majestic Takagamine mountains in northern Kyoto, ROKU KYOTO is nestled within the 28.6-acre Shozan Resort Kyoto, a luxury enclave home to some of Kyoto’s most notable and idyllic Japanese gardens, historic architecture and authentic tea houses.
The hotel, located within walking distance from the famed Kinkaku-ji “Golden Pavilion” and other historic temples, such as the Koetsuji Temple and the Genkoan Temple, is the first of Hilton’s LXR Hotels & Resorts to debut in the Asia Pacific.
Over in Osaka, W Hotels made its debut in Japan with the opening of W Osaka (right)last year. Nestled in the fun-filled heart of Shinsaibashi, on Midōsuji Boulevard, W Osaka features 337 rooms, two bars and four restaurants including bistro-diner OH.LALA and TEPPANYAKI MYDO, which offers a spin on local soul food in addition to exquisite Japanese Kuroge and Akaushi Wagyu.
The new hotel has a total of four event and meeting spaces, including the GREAT ROOM, a 390-square-meter ballroom, with high ceilings, deep oak pillars, and champagne-gold metallic details.