In Japan, luxury comes easy.
Innate attention to detail and an ability to anticipate the needs of others make exceptional experiences an everyday occurrence. Otherworldly landscapes and cosmopolitan cities provide the perfect backdrop to a culture where tradition is revered and aesthetics are deeply appreciated.
With the news of further travel restrictions being lifted, there’s never been a better time to plan your next trip to Japan. All travellers can now book non-guided package tours from all countries. Japan will allow more than double the number of people – to 50,000 – to enter daily. Plus, the need to show a negative Covid-19 result for triple vaccine travellers has also been removed.
Whatever your chosen itinerary in Japan, world-renowned Japanese hospitality will make you feel pampered and relaxed, helping you enjoy your travels to the fullest. Here’s a guide to the latest luxury must-dos in Japan.
Japan’s first Ritz-Carlton Reserve-label hotel has opened in Niseko
Higashiyama Niseko Village is nestled on Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido, at the base of Mount Niseko Annupuri, a favourite winter sports destination. 50 elegant guest rooms and suites feature natural polished marble, fragrant cedarwood and flame-brushed finished granite in a nod to its mountainous setting. Its a stunning ski-in/ski-out property that interweaves the highest level of personalised service. Along with the charm of Japan’s local history, Niseko’s adventurous mountains and renowned gastronomy.
Higashiyama Niseko Village interweaves the highest level of personalised service
W debuts in Osaka with its first-ever Japan hotel
Making its debut along vibrant Midosuji Boulevard, W Hotel Osaka has redefined the local hotel scene with the brand’s spirited spin on luxury. Working with Osaka-born, world-renowned architect Tadao Ando, the hotel’s minimalist exterior conceals exuberant interiors with its 337 guestrooms and suites. A nod to the Edo period when excessive displays of wealth were prohibited. Design is a contrast between Japanese minimalism and the limitless excesses of urban life. All illuminated by Osaka’s bright neon lights at night.
W Hotel Osaka has redefined the local hotel scene
Trunk arrives in Tokyo
It only seems fitting that the hip Trunk Hotel Tokyo would open in Shibuya, a neighbourhood known for its trendsetting culture and effortless style. The rooms, of which there are just 15, are all individually designed and vary from small quarters to loft-style suites. Some even have balconies, a rare feature in the busy metropolis.
Trunk has opened in the s trendsetting neighbourhood of Shibuya
A one-of-a-kind meditation retreat in Awaji Island
Jutting above the treetops of Awaji Island in Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture, the recently opened Zenbo Seinei meditation retreat is striking. Designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Shigeru Ban, 18 temple lodgings and a stunning 100m long wooden deck of Japanese cedar overlook the Awaji Island mountains. From day trips to stay overs and Zenbo cuisine that has its inspiration drawn from the four seasons, this is latest wellness retreat ticking all the Zen boxes.
Gucci Osteria is dishing up in Japan
After Florence, then Beverly Hills, Massimo Bottura has brought his creative take on Italian cuisine to Japan. With the chef Antonio Iacoviello at the helm, Gucci Osteria is dishing up a crossover of refined Italian dishes and local Japanese produce, to create intriguing plates like ‘Parmigiana that wants to be a ramen’.
Peruvian heights in Tokyo’s financial district
If you like to combine your love for travel with unique food experiences, add Maz to your dining list. Peruvian star chefs, Virgilio Martinez and Santiago Fernandez – behind Kjolle and Mil in Lima – have opened their first fine-dining restaurant in Tokyo. Their vision is born at 4,000 meters above sea level in the Andes, with Maz offering a set menu will take you on a culinary journey through nine altitudes.
The set menu at Maz will journey through nine altitudes
Gold Bar is the new luxe cocktail spot you need to try
Nestled next to the hotel entrance on the ground floor at EDITION, Gold Bar is a ‘social playground’ that brings another dimension to Tokyo’s bar scene. Inspired by the Golden Age of cocktails, they serve up the classics. Yet it’s the creative craft concoctions incorporating local Japanese flavours that standouts. Like a Nippon Pale Ale, made with local chardonnay from Nagano, pisco, grappa, pineapple, IPA and nutmeg.
Gold Bar brings another dimension to Tokyo’s bar scene
Iconic island-hopping arts festival returns
The Setouchi Triennale takes place within the annual Art Setouchi. It connects with local communities to create unique artworks within the Setouchi. Split over three ‘seasons’ from April to November, Setouchi Triennale includes the islands’ permanent site-specific art installations and exhibitions that will only be on show for a single season.
A new luxury sightseeing train through Kansai has arrived
The sumptuous new train between Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto is made from four original carriages built in the 1960s and 70s. These have been completely remodelled with window-facing lounge seats to help make the most of the stunning views. The Kintetsu Aoniyoshi express has lounge seats, picture windows, and a restaurant and bar bringing luxury back to the tracks across Japan.
Read more: Is this Japan’s ultimate train trip?