The Best Luxury Hotels to Book in Japan

Luxury accommodation options in Japan range from traditional ryokans to contemporary spas
Luxury accommodation options in Japan range from traditional ryokans to contemporary spas | Courtesy of InterContinental Osaka / Expedia
Mara Curechian

Junior Production Assistant

Japan is a destination famous for its hospitality and style, so it makes sense that you would find so many innovative luxury hotels here. For the well-heeled traveller, accommodations are as varied as they are ground-breaking, ranging from private suites in a Tokyo skyscraper to a blissful resort spa with steaming onsens. Here are the best luxury hotels in Japan.

1. Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi, for contemporary cool

Hotel

Room at Four Seasons Hotel Marunouchi with two beds and large windows
Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Marunouchi / Hotels.com
For an intimate boutique experience in Tokyo, book a stay at the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi. Each of the 57 light-filled rooms features a clean-lined contemporary design in a cream-toned colour palette. The hotel’s central location is another plus; if you’re arriving via Tokyo Station, book the complimentary platform pick-up service to help you navigate your way to your room. The spa is small, but offers indulgent treatments such as 24-carat gold facials, and the on-site Michelin-starred French restaurant, Sézanne, features seasonally updated menus designed by Chef Daniel Calvert and classical desserts by pastry chef Elwyn Boyles.

2. Shima Kanko Hotel the Bay Suites, to find serenity

Hotel, Luxury

Large, luxurious room at Shima Kanko Hotel the Bay Suites with a bed, patterned carpet and cushioned headboard
Courtesy of Shima Kanko Hotel the Bay Suites / Expedia

Bordering Ise-Shima National Park, on the shores of Ago-Wan Bay, Shima Kanko Hotel blends traditional Japanese style with luxury amenities and a sense of serenity. Find your Zen in the first Clarins Spa in Japan, Eau Spa, or embark on a culinary voyage at one of the two restaurants. Michelin-starred La Mer serves the best sunsets in the region, best enjoyed at a table next to the floor-to-ceiling windows. If you’re feeling restless, swim a few laps in the outdoor swimming pool or enjoy a game of tennis at the on-site courts.

3. Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, for an Insta-worthy stay

Hotel

A room with a view, a bed and a flat-screen TV at the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo
Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Tokyo / Hotels.com

​​As you’d expect from one of the best-known luxury hotels in Japan, you’ll find sky-high levels of sophisticated luxury at the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo. Located in the financial district, off the tourist radar but close enough to all the bustling hot spots to be convenient, the hotel features carefully appointed rooms with a grown-up aesthetic and unique amenities such as washi, in-room bonsais and Bottega Veneta toiletries. The 38th-floor sauna and spa feature one-way windows and unobstructed city views, and there are 12 on-site restaurants – the Tapas Molecular Bar is our top choice for an Insta-worthy experience.

4. The Prince Park Tower Tokyo, for gorgeous views

Hotel

Room at the Prince Park Tower Tokyo with double bed, wooden flooring and a city view
Courtesy of the Prince Park Tower Tokyo / Hotels.com

Exuding modern elegance on every one of its 33 floors, the Prince Park Tower stands alongside Tokyo Tower and offers panoramic views of the city. For the ultimate all-out experience, book one of the three types of suites on the Royal Floor (the 32nd) and make the most out of the exclusive butler service, then head down to dinner at one of the seven on-site restaurants. Other special amenities include a natural hot spring, a state-of-the-art relaxation spa, a bowling alley, an indoor pool and a fitness centre.

5. Hotel La Neige Higashikan, for a mountain retreat

Hotel

Exterior of Hotel La Neige Higashikan surrounded by snowy trees
Courtesy of Hotel La Neige Higashikan / Expedia

In the mountain village of Hakuba, Hotel La Neige Higashikan blends in with its verdant surroundings. Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, the 25 rooms and their ensuite bathrooms look out onto the surrounding forest. Offering a range of activities in every season – in winter, the Hakuba Valley Ski Area and Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort have ski-in/ski-out access and during the warmer months, hiking and mountain biking are popular activities – Hotel La Neige is the perfect place for a tranquil retreat.

6. Aman Tokyo, for remarkable views in Tokyo

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

A large plant in the lobby of the Aman Tokyo hotel
Courtesy of Aman Tokyo / Expedia

The 38-storey Otemachi Tower is one of the most iconic skyscrapers in Tokyo, and Aman occupies the final six floors. That means views encompassing the largest city in the world, the Imperial Gardens and Mount Fuji. Enjoy them from your spacious private suite, which offers a stylised idyll of traditional Japanese design – think light woods and washi paper. And if the serene cityscapes don’t make you feel completely relaxed, the in-house spa with Japanese-style hot baths and a modern strip-lit lap pool certainly will.

7. Sowaka, for a fantastic location in Kyoto

Luxury

A traditional Japanese style room with large windows a sofa and a bed at the Sowaka in Kyoto
Courtesy of Sowaka / Expedia

In the historic Gion district of Kyoto, where geisha walk in pairs down the cobbled streets, Sowaka represents the pinnacle of luxury. Once a Japanese restaurant, it’s now a 23-room boutique hotel with a serene private courtyard. The spacious suites boast a traditional design, featuring shoji screens and tatami mats, as well as carved-wood furnishings and garden views.

8. Zaborin, for a traditional ryokan stay in Hokkaido

Ryokan, Luxury

Exterior of Zaborin surrounded by grass and trees
Courtesy of Zaborin / Expedia

The traditional Japanese travellers’ inn, known as a ryokan, lives on in the form of Zaborin, which offers a contemporary approach to the iconic formula. This Hokkaido resort provides guests with private villas and forest views that change dramatically with the seasons. Enjoy them from your private open-air bath filled with hot volcanic spring water. After your soak, visit the in-house restaurant, which serves a northern version of kaiseki, a meticulously prepared and beautifully presented multi-course meal.

9. Hoshinoya Tokyo, for luxurious bathing

Boutique Hotel, Ryokan

A traditional room at the Hoshinoya Tokyo hotel with a bed and glass doors
Courtesy of Hoshinoya Tokyo / Hotels.com

Disguised as another sleek tower in the financial district of Tokyo, Hoshinoya hides in plain sight. But this is a retreat that combines the intimate hospitality of ryokan with the amenities and attention to detail of a luxury hotel. The flashy facade belies a tranquil hotel, and the top floor includes two bath halls supplied with hot-spring waters. Rooms are equally tranquil, with a classic yet contemporary Japanese design.

10. Jozankei Tsuruga Resort Spa MORI no UTA, for a resort spa

Resort, Spa Hotel, Luxury

Rock pools at Jozankei Tsuruga Resort Spa MORI no UTA
Courtesy of Jozankei Tsuruga Resort Spa MORI no UTA / Expedia

Mori no Uta means “tales of the forest”, perfectly encapsulating the splendour of this resort spa in snowy Hokkaido. With steaming onsen for bathing, and views of the forest that can be enjoyed from the warmth of the lounge, MORI no UTA represents the height of serenity. The private cottages even come with their own onsen.

This is an updated version of an article originally by Jessica Esa.

Why not stay in the biggest city in the world? Book one of the best hotels in Tokyo and get exploring. Alternatively, for a modern stay that’s also etched in history, check out the best hotels in Hiroshima, bookable with Culture Trip.

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