12 of the Best Luxury Hotels in Japan

Ditch your westernised definition of luxury that is reduced to size and ornamentation; when it comes to Japanese hotel design, luxury is embodied by elegance and sleek minimalism. Found in Tokyo, Kyoto, Niseko and beyond, these are 12 of Japan's best luxury hotels.

From high-rise hotels to quaint ryokans, these are the best places to stay in Japan…

hotel

Park Hyatt Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan

Park Hyatt is one of Tokyo’s original luxury hotels, whose frills cascade from the grandeur of the lobby to each of the en suites’ Aesop amenities. Impeccably attentive staff and views of Mount Fuji add extra pizazz. Thought you recognised the hotel? Scarlett Johanssen and Bill Murray graced the hotel when filming Lost in Translation.

Address

3-7-1-2 Nishi-Shinjuku Shinjuku-Ku Tokyo 163-1055

This image is on holiday

hotel

The Celestine Kyoto Gion

Kyoto, Japan

A delicate balance of time-honoured and contemporary Japanese design features occupies the interior of The Celestine Kyoto Gion. Peppered with conscientious details such as gift-wrapped cloths and yukata robes, the hotel exudes unassuming luxury. Guests are even presented with (incredibly) Handy mobile phones, so the complications of data roaming will not prevail.

Address

572 Komatsu-cho Higashioji-nishiiru Yasaka-dori Higashiyama-ku Kyoto 605-0933

hotel

Sankara Hotel & Spa Yakushima

Kagoshima, Japan

On the idyllic Unesco World Heritage Site of Yakushima island, Sankara Hotel & Spa Yakushima is perfectly placed for nature lovers. Here nature is a theme that permeates hotel, with locally grown botanicals and Thai herbal treatments being used in the spa. The hotel’s finer dining provides a French-Japanese fusion cuisine, which is prepared for guests in a sleek open kitchen.

Address

553 Haginoue Mugio Yakushima-cho Kumage-gun Kagoshima 891-4402

hotel

Amanemu

Shima, Japan

Another hotel from the Aman family is this collection of spacious villas amid the arboraceous landscape of Mie Prefecture. Low-hanging tiled roofs and shōjis (Japanese sliding doors) nod to traditional Japanese design while its spa, with treatments such as hot-stone therapies and reiki, bring the extra touches of Zen. Indulge in the outdoor hot-spring onsen or perfect your downward dog in the hotel’s yoga studio.

Address

2165 Hazako Hamajima-cho Shima-shi Mie 517-0403

This image is on holiday

hotel

Palace Hotel

Tokyo, Japan

The historic Palace Hotel offers guests a lavish stay with views over the gardens and skyscrapers of Tokyo. Hotels in the Japanese capital seldom offer guests balconies, so the addition of these adds a rare luxury to the white and pale-green rooms. Forget wading through dossiers of leaflets about local activities: Palace Hotel offers its own carefully curated selection of experiences and activities, including sumo-wrestler lunches and expert-led tours of local architecture.

Address

1-1-1 Marunouchi Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-0005

hotel

Zaborin

Niseko, Japan

The purpose of a visit to Zaborin is to do absolutely nothing other than relax. The resort is comprised of 15 secluded detached villas set around an onsen in a small forest. Our favourite touch is the library, stacked with best-selling books and films waiting to be taken back to your room.

Address

76-4 Hanazono Kutchan-cho Abuta-gun Niseko Hokkaido 044-0084

hotel

Aman Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan

The preservation of Aman’s signature serenity is flawless in its first city location of Tokyo. The incredible use of space in each bedroom makes you forget that you’re in a hotel; the airy rooms designed by the Australian architect Kerry Hill are filled with natural wood, stone and paper, echoing traditional, sleek Japanese homes. Enjoy the sweeping views of Tokyo while honing your folding skills with the delightful origami paper provided in each room.

Address

The Otemachi Tower 1-5-6 Otemachi Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-0004

hotel

Gôra Kadan

Hakone, Japan

Gôra Kadan is one of Japan’s most elegant and chic ryokans (a traditional Japanese inn), situated in Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Each room is a retreat of tranquility with minimal design and a palette of warm wood which exudes natural comfort. Private dinners are served in your room, and your dinner wardrobe is provided for you in the form of a comfortable kimono.

Address

1300 Gora Hakone-machi Ashigarashimo-gun Kanagawa 250-0408

hotel

HOSHINOYA Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan

Cosy ryokan inn vibes meet luxury hotel at the 18-storey HOSHINOYA Tokyo, which benefits from a hot-spring onsen. The overall feel here falls somewhere between peaceful traditions and a casual modern attitude, exemplified in the cotton-jersey kimonos provided for guests.

Address

1-9-1 Ōtemachi Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-0004

This image is on holiday

hotel

Trunk Hotel

Tokyo, Japan

There’s an emphasis on “made in Japan” at the eco-conscious Trunk Hotel, a perfect choice for the green-minded traveller. High-ceilinged rooms (some of which sleep up to 14) foster contemporary Japanese design with minimalist clean-cut lines – we recommend booking one with a terrace or balcony. There’s a wood-and-glass chapel on the terrace if you fancy getting hitched, too.

Address

5-31 Jingumae Shibuya-ku Tokyo 150-0001

hotel

Asaba

Izu, Japan

At Asaba you don’t need to lift a finger. Banquets and breakfasts are served in your timelessly minimal room in which futons unrolled each night by attentive staff. Soak in the onsen baths while taking in views across the Izu Peninsula.

Address

410-2416 Shizuoka 3450-1 Shuzenji Izu-shi Shizuoka 410-2416

This image is on holiday

hotel

Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel

Tokyo, Japan

With all rooms located above the 19th floor (and up to the 37th), Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel wows guests with breathtaking panoramic views across Tokyo. Opt for the Executive levels at the top of the hotel – just try not to steal all the L’Occitane amenities.

Address

Sakuragaokacho 26-1 Shibuya-ku 150-8512 Tokyo

Discover More
Japan: The Ultimate Itinerary