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Korea and Japan

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Seoul, South Korea
If you don’t know that Korean beauty products are the Next Big Thing, chances are you’ve been living under a rock, you’re a non-Korean man, and/or you’re over age 50. For everyone else, K-Beauty is an of-the-moment trend that’s popping up...
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52 Myeongdong 8-gil, Chungmuro 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Excitable employees hawk two-for-one creams and thrust shopping baskets at unsuspecting passersby, but their annoying antics don’t diminish the fact that Nature Republic is one of Korea’s most popular skin and beauty stores. Purveying candy...
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53 Myeongdong-gil, Myeongdong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
K-Beauty is big business, and Olive Young, one of Korea’s most popular beauty shops purveys products not only from Korea, but France, the US, and Japan among many other locales. This cavernous emporium sells lip balms, nose hair scissors and...
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83-21 Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Perhaps the most medically-minded of Korean beauty brands (or at least with packaging and stores that look that way), Mediheal products are said to promote clean and healthy skin, and are supposedly recommended by primary care physicians. The...
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If you’re looking for a way to while away a rainy afternoon, head over to Mapo-gu and pop into the quaint boutique Object. This whimsical store is a shopper’s delight, and offers a wide array of stationery and jewelry designed by local artists,...
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Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Celebrity florist Nicolai Bergmann’s famed flower box is the number one seller at his shop in the Four Season’s Seoul. The Danish floral designer’s shop in Tokyo has been dedicated to European and Japanese floral design principals for the last 10...
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Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The trendy shopping street of Garusogil is the epitome of Korean fashion, as evidenced by the supremely stylish 20-somethings walking the streets in sky-high heels, off the shoulder tops and red lipstick, their perfectly coiffed hair bouncing just...
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Samseong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Notebooks and markers and pencils, oh my! Art Box offers a kaleidoscopic array of school supply fun, a favorite among Korean students of all ages. Found in various locations around Seoul, this colorful stationery shop sells everything from...
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511 Yeongdong-daero, Samseong 1(il)-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The COEX Complex in Gangnam is more than just a mall, convention center, and exhibition hall. It’s a few city blocks filled with cool buildings that will thrill those who have a penchant for unique architectural design. Perhaps the most iconic of...
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662 Gyeongin-ro, Sindorim-dong, Guro-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Located in southern Seoul at the Sindorim Subway Station is D-Cube City. This retail monolith houses scores of shops and restaurants. There are the ubiquitous H&M, Zara, and Uniqlo, but also trendy Korean labels such as Bean Pole, Codes...
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Euljiro 6(yuk)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Dongdaemun, the old East Gate of Seoul, has been the site of a market for generations. Today, the double-roofed stone arch no longer marks entry into the city, but the capital's residents still come here to haggle over everything from shoes to...
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Hangangno 3(sam)-ga, Seoul, South Korea
If you do not know what K-pop is, you will after visiting the electrified gallery inside of the Lotte Department Store in Myeongdong, Seoul. Constantly changing digital displays adorn every inch of wall space, allowing you to admire extremely...
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11 Dosan-daero 45-gil, Apgujeong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
In Seoul’s swank Gangnam district, books are the new black. Upscale book publisher Assouline has various concept stores around the globe, with the Gangnam location being the brand’s first foray into Asia. The lounge provides highbrow customers...
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21 Cheonho-daero 4-gil, Sinseol-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Seoul's Folk Flea Market is a place where you can buy anything, I mean anything! This scary contraption looks like an invention of a comic book super-villain, but for the small price of 5 dollars you could be tightening those crow's feet and...
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Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Korea isn't only about K-Pop, kimchi and computer technology. It is also a haven for antiques and, in Insa-dong, Seoul has the perfectly quaint neighborhood in which to shop for them. The focal point of Korean traditional culture and crafts,...
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21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Namchang-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Among the biggest and most chaotic markets in Korea, Seoul's Namdaemun Market is the capital's oldest, dating to the 1400s. Today you can find ANYthing here, if you're willing to brave the crowded alleyways tucked in behind skyscrapers:...
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688 Nodeul-ro, Noryangjin 1(il)-dong, Dongjak-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Korea puts its own spin on sashimi at the Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market. Bargain for a piece of raw fish (hoe, pronounced “hway”) amid the lanes of fishmongers, then head upstairs to have one of the in-house restaurants garnish your prize...
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Insa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tucked away in the heart of downtown Seoul is the quaint Insadong district, where a Korea of yore comes to life in the form of traditional artists and musicians, shops selling Korean crafts and souvenirs, and street performers dressed in native...
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52-3 Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Koreans are masters of skin care, and Korean beauty products are sweeping the globe. One of the most popular beauty brands is a label called Skin Food. The brand takes natural ingredients such as celery, broccoli and coconut (basically a salad for...
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Yeongjung-ro, Yeongdeungpo-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Department stores in Korea have a special kind of glamour, and of the three major players—Lotte, Hyundai and Shinsegae—Shinsegae is the most glamorous. Bursting with designer bags, shoes and clothes, the glittering interiors and constant crowds...
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South Korea, Seoul, Jongno-gu, 계동길 49-23
Meaning “a place where one can enjoy the traditions of times past and rest one’s soul,” Rak Ko Jae certainly lives up to its name. Styled after a Chosun Dynasty–era house, the 130-year-old hanok (traditional Korean house)...
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10 Gukjegeumyung-ro, Yeoeuido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Located on Yeouido Island in the middle of the mighty Han River, the Conrad Seoul is a relatively new addition to the South Korean capital’s futuristic skyline. Opened in 2012, the hotel is situated in the bustling Yeouido business district...
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527-2 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Situated along the bustling, tree-lined avenues of Gangnam, Hotel La Casa is a concept hotel created by one of Korea’s most popular lifestyle and furniture stores, Casa Mia. Known for clean lines and modern touches, the brand is the South...
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606 Teheran-ro, Daechi 2(i)-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Standing tall in Gangnam—one of Seoul’s most exclusive neighborhoods—is the glass-encased structure that is the Park Hyatt. The hotel’s east-meets-west atmosphere was created by the Japanese design firm Super Potato, using...
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527-2 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
In the center of Seoul, the natural haven of Mt. Namsan and its namesake tower rising over Korea’s capital is the focal point of the city. Nestled amid the trees yet overlooking the sprawling urban landscape is the exclusive Banyan Tree Club...
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177 Walkerhill-ro, Gwangjang-dong, Gwangjin-gu, 서울특별시 South Korea
Starwood’s W Hotel chain is known for its contemporary style and design, and the W Seoul-Walkerhill is no exception. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Mt. Achasan—a popular hiking destination in the area—and overlooking the...
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Japan, 〒100-0004 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Ōtemachi, 1 Chome−5−6 大手町タワー
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The first true city property for the minimalist luxury hotel brand, this 84-room hotel occupies the top six floors of the Otemachi Tower, in the Otemachi financial district. The design uses traditional Japanese materials like camphor wood, washi...
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1 Chome-23-4 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 105-0001, Japan
The progressive, multiuse business and lifestyle building Toranomon Hills is the setting for this one-year-old property with no front desk, no bell desk, and no concierge. Designed following a collaboration between New York’s Tony Chi and ...
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Japan, 〒107-0052 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Akasaka, 1 Chome−12, 港区赤坂1丁目12−33
In the ARK Hills development at the intersection of the Akasaka, Roppongi, and Kasumigaseki districts (hence the name ARK), this 37-story tower offers fine views of the city and Mount Fuji. Interiors meld clean, simple design with touches of glam,...
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Japan, 〒150-8512 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku, Sakuragaokachō, 26, 渋谷区桜丘町26−1
This property in Shibuya City, the Silicon Valley of Tokyo, opened in 2001 in the area’s tallest skyscraper. Interiors mix Western and Japanese aesthetics. Simple, unfussy guest rooms are located on floors 19 through 37 of the 184-meter,...
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1 Chome-3-18 Chūōchō, Meguro-ku, Tōkyō-to 152-0001, Japan
Following a renovation of an old local hotel, Claska opened in 2003 as the first design-style property in Tokyo. Masterminded by architect Tei Shuwa, who also designs furniture and home appliances, the Claska was renovated in 2008 and promises...
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1 Chome-9-1 Higashishinbashi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 105-7337, Japan
Climbing above Shiodome Station and connected to Shimbashi Station, the Conrad reflects contemporary Japanese design. Traditional symbols and motifs like the gate and Japanese brush painting feature throughout the property. Each high-ceilinged...
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2 Chome-10 Sekiguchi, Bunkyō, Tokyo 112-0014, Japan
The flagship property of Japanese hospitality company Fujita Kanko, this 23-year-old hotel was run for two decades by Four Seasons before returning to its owner’s management in 2013. It sits in the garden of Chinzanso (meaning “villa...
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Japan, 〒100-6277 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi, 1 Chome−11, 千代田区丸の内1丁目11−1 パシフィックセンチュリープレイス
Guests arriving by train can expect a memorable welcome: staff of this hotel located right by Tokyo Station, the terminal for Shinkansen, Narita Express, and all major Bullet trains, will meet visitors on their arrival platform and escort them to...
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Japan, 〒111-0034 Tōkyō-to, Taitō-ku, Kaminarimon, 2 Chome−16−11
Opened by a Japanese real-estate developer in August 2012, Gate Hotel is located in the district of Asakusa, a few steps from the historic Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) of Sensoji temple, the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo. Asakusa has developed as...
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Japan, 〒100-8558 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Uchisaiwaichō, 1丁目1−1
This year marks the 125th anniversary of the Imperial Hotel. It first opened in 1890 as an unofficial state guesthouse, the country’s first fully western-style property built for the aristocracy to welcome the increasing number of foreign...
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Japan, 〒103-8328 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Nihonbashimuromachi, 2 Chome−1, 2-1-1
Filling the top nine floors of the Cesar Pelli–designed Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower, the Mandarin Oriental explores the themes of woods and water. It’s designed as a large, living tree, with the entrance at the bottom of the tower...
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1-1-1, 1丁目-1 丸の内 千代田区 東京都 100-0005, Japan
Opened in May 2012, and the anchor of a $1.2 billion mixed-use development, the 23-story Palace Hotel was built from the ground up, and it succeeds Hotel Teito and the Palace Hotel that occupied the same site from 1947 and 1961, respectively....
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Japan, 〒105-7227 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Higashishinbashi, 1 Chome−7−7−1 汐留メディアタワー フロント25F
This hotel in the Shiodome area opened in 2003 under the concept of ART—atrium, restaurant, travel. It occupies 10 floors of the sleek, triangular Shiodome Media Tower, and pays homage to local traditions of nature with a 10-floor glass...
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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 property spreads across the upper floors of the three connecting granite, steel, and glass columns of Shinjuku Park Tower. The 770-foot building rises in a succession of...
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Japan, 〒107-6245 JP-13Minato-ku, Akasaka, 9 Chome−7, Tokyo Midtown 9-7-1 Akasaka Minato-ku Tokyo
This 248-room hotel in one of the city’s tallest skyscrapers—Roppongi’s glass-sheeted Tokyo Midtown—opened its doors in 2007. The property starts on the 45th floor and espouses classic European interiors. Four colorful...
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Japan, 〒100-8283 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi, 1 Chome−8, 丸の内1-8-3 丸の内トラストタワー本館
The Hong Kong–based hotel company’s only property in Japan opened in 2009, occupying the top 11 floors of the Marunouchi Trust Tower Main Building. It offers direct access to Tokyo Station, the terminus of the Shinkansen bullet train...
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Japan, 〒100-0006 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Yūrakuchō, 1丁目8−1
Unlike most luxury hotels in Tokyo built inside mixed-use towers, the Peninsula is freestanding. In fact, it was the only stand-alone high-end hotel to be built in Tokyo for a decade, opening in 2007. The 24-story hotel is situated in the...
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Japan, 〒100-0005 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi, 1 Chome−9, 千代田区丸の内1丁目9−1
Here’s a property with a fascinating history. A year after Tokyo Station opened in 1914, this European-style hotel with 58 rooms and banquet facilities welcomed its first guest. The destruction of the station roof by bombing during World War...
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6 Chome-11-1 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo 106-0032, Japan
In recent years the construction of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower and Tokyo Midtown has made Roppongi a high end shopping destination. Tokyo Midtown and Mori Tower combine art and fashion. Tokyo Midtown tauts stores like Pleats Please Issey Miyake,...
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6 Chome-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 106-0032, Japan
Kapital is a really cool clothing chain known for its denim. They have two shops in Roppongi Hills—Kapital Duffle and Kapital Legs. I always pick up tabi, these handmade split-toe socks. They are split between the big toe and other toes and are...
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104-0061, Japan
The Ginza district is home to Tokyo's oldest and most prestigious shopping department stores and high-high end luxury retailers. Chuo-Dori, the main artery in the tony shopping district of Ginza, is worth a walk-down if you're drawn to streets...
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1 Chome-19-7 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 151-0053, Japan
A lovely window-shoppers paradise, this is a great area to stroll and watch the world go by (or buy).