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Japan, 〒100-0004 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Ōtemachi, 1 Chome−5−6 大手町タワ
The first true city property for the minimalist luxury brand, this 84-room hotel sits within the top six floors of the Otemachi Tower. A mix of traditional materials like camphor wood, washi paper, and stone create a Zen experience, not least in...
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1 Chome-23-4 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 105-0001, Japan
A collaboration between New York interior designer Tony Chi and Tokyo-based Shinichiro Ogata, this sleek Andaz property incorporates natural materials like washi paper and walnut wood high atop the multiuse business and lifestyle Toranomon Hills...
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1 Chome-12-33 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 107-0052, Japan
In the ARK Hills development at the intersection of the Akasaka, Roppongi, and Kasumigaseki districts (hence the name ARK), this 37-story tower is geared toward business travelers, but there’s plenty to keep leisure vacationers entertained....
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26-1 Sakuragaokachō, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-8512, Japan
Located in Shibuya City, aka the Silicon Valley of Tokyo, Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel is a laid-back lodging close to Meiji Jingu Shrine and Tokyo Tower. Western and Japanese aesthetics mix in simple, unfussy guest rooms with calming colors and...
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1 Chome-3-18 Chūōchō, Meguro-ku, Tōkyō-to 152-0001, Japan
Tokyo’s first design hotel, Claska is a fitting choice for creative types. Not only is it located on a street known for its second-hand furniture stores, its 20 individually decorated rooms—all masterminded by architect Tei Shuwa,...
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1 Chome-9-1 Higashishinbashi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 105-7337, Japan
Arguably one of the city’s most elegant stays, the Conrad sits on floors 28 through 37 of the Tokyo Shiodome Building and reflects contemporary Japanese design, not least in the wood-and-brass lobby, where a bright-red abstract sculpture...
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2 Chome-10 Sekiguchi, Bunkyō, Tokyo 112-0014, Japan
Despite its address in the bustling heart of Tokyo, Hotel Chinzanso feels like a remote retreat thanks to its location in a 17-acre oasis with historic pagodas, 1,000 camellia trees, and 120 cherry trees; even the locals take refuge in the...
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Japan, 〒100-6277 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi, 1 Chome−11−1 パシフィックセンチュリープレイス丸の内
With just 57 rooms, the smallest Four Seasons in the world offers outsize luxury on arrival. Guests approaching by rail at nearby Tokyo Station—the terminal for Shinkansen, Narita Express, and all major bullet trains—can expect a...
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2 Chome-16-11 Kaminarimon, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 111-0034, Japan
As locations go, the Asakusa entertainment district’s Gate Hotel couldn’t be better situated. Just a few steps from the historic Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) of Sensoji, the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo, the hotel is also only a...
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1 Chome-1-1 Uchisaiwaichō, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-8558, Japan
Opened in 1890 as an unofficial state guesthouse, the country’s first Western-style property built for the aristocracy to welcome an increasing number of foreigners, the Imperial Hotel has had a momentous history. Ravaged by a fire in 1922,...
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2-1-1, 2丁目-1 日本橋室町 中央区 東京都 103-8328, Japan
Occupying the top nine floors of the Cesar Pelli–designed Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower, the Mandarin Oriental was designed to evoke Japan’s relationship with nature. The property itself resembles a tree, with its entrance at the bottom of...
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1 Chome-1-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-0005, Japan
Anchoring a $1.2 billion mixed-use development, the 23-story Palace Hotel sits opposite the ancient Otemon Gate of Edo Castle and was designed to juxtapose tranquil green space and vibrant concrete jungle, with all guestrooms featuring views of...
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Japan, 〒105-7227 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Higashishinbashi, 1 Chome−7−1 汐留メディアタワ フロント25F
If you’re looking for a chic lodging with personality to spare, Park Hotel is it. Designed under the concept of ART—atrium, restaurant, travel—it occupies 10 levels of the triangular Shiodome Media Tower and pays homage to...
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3-7-1-2, 3丁目-7 西新宿 新宿区 東京都 163-1055, Japan
Immortalized on celluloid in the film Lost in Translation, the modernist Park Hyatt may have the sexiest cocktail bar in all of Tokyo. The rest of the property—set on the upper floors of the three connecting columns of the 770-foot Shinjuku...
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9 Chome-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 107-0052, Japan
This 248-room hotel in one of the city’s tallest skyscrapers—Roppongi’s glass-sheeted Tokyo Midtown—offers some of the best views in the city, but the interiors are just as eye-catching. The property starts on the 45th...
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Japan, 〒100-8283 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi, 1 Chome−8−3 丸の内トラストタワー本館
Like most of Tokyo’s luxury lodgings, the Hong Kong–based hotel company’s only property in Japan occupies the top 11 floors of a prominent skyscraper, this time the Marunouchi Trust Tower Main Building. It offers direct access to...
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1丁目-8-1 Yūrakuchō, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-0006, Japan
Unlike most luxury lodgings built inside Tokyo’s mixed-use towers, The Peninsula was the only freestanding high-end hotel to be erected in the city for a decade. The 24-story property is situated in the Marunouchi financial district,...
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1 Chome-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 100-0005, Japan
If Tokyo is just the first stop on your Japanese cultural immersion tour, you could do no better than a stay at this stately hotel. Opened in 1914 and restored after bombings during World War II in 1951, the European-style property’s 58...
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14 Chidori, Urayasu, Chiba 279-0032, Japan
I am high above Tokyo at night in a helicopter somewhere near Roppongi. Excel Air Service offers a number of excellent helicopter cruising packages that allow you to experience Tokyo and Yokohama in a way no other method of transportation can—...
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5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0045, Japan
The Toyosu Market (formerly the inner market at Tsukiji) is the world's largest wholesale seafood market, with more than 2,000 tons of seafood moving through it daily. At its new (and far more modern) location, there's also a separate building for...
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7 Chome-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 106-8558, Japan
For some travelers, what comes to mind first when they think of Japan is tales of samurai and shoguns, centuries-old temples, and the tea ceremony and kabuki. For others, however, what makes the country most exciting is its contemporary art,...
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3-chōme-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda City, Tōkyō-to 100-0005, Japan
The Tokyo International Forum is a stunning architectural masterpiece of glass and steel truss designed as a multipurpose convention and event space by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly. It was completed in 1996 on the site of the former Tokyo...
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The Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel (首都圏外郭放水路), also known as the G-Cans Project, is an underground water infrastructure project in Kasukabe, Saitama. It is the world's largest underground floodwater diversion facility, built...
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2301 Sannai, Nikkō-shi, Tochigi-ken 321-1431, Japan
Nikko Tosho-gu is a large Shinto shrine in Tochigi Prefecture just north of Tokyo. It is dedicated to the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, Ieyasu Tokugawa, whose remains are entombed within. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it can be reached in...
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6-chōme-10-1 Roppongi, Minato City, Tōkyō-to 106-6108, Japan
Watching the sunset from Roppongi Hills was my favorite Tokyo experience. We bought tickets to the Mori Art Museum, which included entrance to the observation deck on the 52nd floor of Mori Tower. We payed 1500 yen ($17) for the museum and...
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104-0061, Japan
This glitzy shopping district in the city center is home to department stores and shopping malls like Ginza Six and Tokyu Ginza Plaza. There are many Michelin-starred restaurants for sushi, tempura, and kaiseki, as well as classic bars such as...
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Japan, 〒150-0033 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Sarugakucho, 17−5 DAIKANYAMA T-SITE蔦屋書店 1号館、3号館、2号館1階
A short walk from Daikanyama Station is one of the metropolis's iconic bookstores, Tsutaya at T-Site. Designed by Klein Dytham Architecture, the Tsutaya bookstore is celebrated not only for the beauty of its three buildings but also for the...
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Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Shibuya is a center of Japanese fashion, culture, color, noise, and light. Harajuku girls? They're in Shibuya. Manga? Find it in Shibuya. Biggest scramble crossing in the world? Sit at the Starbucks in Shibuya and marvel at the madness below. You...
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Japan, 〒101-0025 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Kanda Sakumachō, 1 Chome−1−6−5 アキバ・トリム 3F
Muji reigns supreme in clean Japanese design. Muji sells clothes, home goods, and furniture and has a deliberately simple approach to the way they design their products. The clean and pure design of Muji products has made it a beloved brand both...
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1 Kinkakujichō, Kita-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 603-8361, Japan
Built in the 14th century as a villa for a powerful shogun, Kinkaku-ji temple, commonly referred to as the Golden Pavilion, is an easy bus ride from the main bus terminal in Kyoto. The temple is one of the most popular buildings in...
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Arashiyama Genrokuzancho, Ukyō-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 616-0007, Japan
In western Kyoto, there is a very large forest of bamboo. As you can see in the photo, the shoots grow very tall, making those who stroll by look quite small. I'm sure there are times when this road is crowded, but when we were there, people were...
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294 Kiyomizu 1-chōme, Higashiyama-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 605-0862, Japan

Kiyomizu-dera on Mount Otowa is one of the most famous temples in Japan, a place that appears in every sequence of Japanese travel photos. The landscape is all cherry trees and forest; it is among Kyoto's loveliest spots. The current structure...

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68 Fukakusa Yabunouchichō, Fushimi-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 612-0882, Japan

Fushimi Inari Taisha on Inariyama mountain is dedicated to the Shinto gods of rice and sake, but Inari is also the god of merchants and that brings a lot of businesspeople to worship here. Everyone else stops by to see the thousands...

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Japan, 〒604-8054 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Nakagyō-ku, Higashiuoyachō, 富小路通四条上る西大文字町609番地
Nishiki is Kyoto's main food market and it is a delight for foodies. I spent a week in Kyoto and visited every day (sometimes more than once)! Inside the market is a temple, and before refrigeration, the temple was the source of cold water....