Japan has started reopening its doors to foreign tourists after a strict border closure for two years, and ahead of speculations that visa-free travel might resume as early as October, now is the time to book that flight and secure those hotel rooms. For an experience unlike any other, here are the new hotels in Japan to bookmark.
These upcoming luxury hotels in Japan are not only architecturally beautiful, but have also been designed to provide the utmost comfort and bespoke experiences to their visitors.
Most of these hotels will be in Tokyo and Kyoto — two of the country’s biggest cities, each unique in its own way because of the distinction in their diverse attractions and cultures. However, another iconic name among luxury hotels is the world-famous Hilton, which will welcome guests on the breathtakingly beautiful island of Miyako-jima, located around 300km from the main island of Okinawa in Japan’s south.
These magnificent new hotels in Japan will also have their own set of restaurants offering signature dishes. Although details of most of these new restaurants in Japan haven’t been released yet, they are expected to be among the very best as they will be part of hotels that are renowned names in hospitality. One such restaurant, Tsuruya, will be part of Regent Kyoto, which, while isn’t new could still be a top draw for everyone, owing to its history.
The sites for the hotels have been carefully picked to ensure they are easily accessible and can become the perfect springboard for an adventurous or informed trip to nearby landmarks, cities, and other attractions.
Staying in Japan and enjoying everything the country has to offer — from cuisine to cultural sites that are known for their grandeur — is going to be much more luxurious.
(Hero and featured image credit: Six senses)
Revenge travel in Japan with these 10 new hotels
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Bulgari will open its first hotel in the Japanese capital in 2023. The hotel will be located on the top seven floors — from 39th to 45th — of an upcoming skyscraper that’s close to the Imperial Palace, Ginza, Nihombashi and the Tokyo Station. It will be designed by Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, the Italian architectural firm behind all Bulgari hotels.
The Bulgari Hotel Tokyo will have 98 rooms, including double rooms and luxury suites, alongside a unique Bulgari Suite. Like its other hotels, Bulgari will also create beautiful spaces for its guests, such as The Bulgari Bar, Fireplace Lounge, Il Ristorante, a Ballroom and Il Cioccolato store, complete with large outdoor spaces. The hotel will also have a 25-metre indoor pool.
Additionally, Bulgari Hotel Tokyo will be equipped with several facilities for grooming and fitness, including a 1,500-square-metre Bulgari Spa for the most discerning of guests.
Image credit: Bulgari Hotels
Kyoto is a city where Japan’s rich heritage comes alive through its palaces, sakura blossoms, Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples and other traditional Japanese buildings. Many of Kyoto’s architectural marvels are a part of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto.
It is in this magnificent city — in front of the Myoho-in Temple and Toyokuni-Jinja shrine — that Six Senses Kyoto will stand in 2024. As one of the most prominent upcoming luxury hotels in Japan, it’ll host 81 guest rooms, along with communal spaces such as meeting rooms with a fireplace and an Earth Lab — a special area designed for environmental engagement and innovation. The hotel will also have an all-day dining restaurant, speciality sushi restaurant, brew bar and cocktail lounge bar.
A unique feature of Six Senses Kyoto lies in its design. Planned by BLINK Design Group, it will reflect the historical landscape of Kyoto in tandem with its modern façade. A central courtyard will help connect “guests to nature through its biophilic design as a garden of seasonal landscapes,” while its interiors will have earthy organic tones contrasted by simple lines, exuding a relaxing vibe.
There will also be a spa for healing and relaxation of guests besides tea ceremonies and other unique experiences.
Image credit: Six Senses
Designed as the perfect rest and regeneration stop for skiing, snowboarding, trekking, mountain climbing, and other adventure sports enthusiasts, this hotel will be ready to receive guests heading to Niseko – situated on the island of Hokkaido – in 2024.
Nikko Style Niseko HANAZONO hotel will be one of the biggest hotels in Japan. It will have eight stories housing 234 guest rooms, each measuring 34 square metres. Among the rooms are 16 suites. The total area of the establishment will be around 14,070 square metres.
All rooms on the top two floors will have a private natural hot spring bath in every bathroom. There will also be hot spring facilities with open-air baths, from where some of the finest views of the nearby Mount Yōtei — an active stratovolcano and national park — will be visible.
Apart from baths, there will be a communal lobby, a banquet hall, club lounge and fitness centre for guests.
When it comes to food, the hotel will serve the best in local Hokkaido cuisine through its open kitchen at its all-day dining facility, which will also have private rooms and a circular bar counter. Guests at the restaurant will be able to enjoy their drinks and dishes while soaking in the breathtaking natural landscape around the hotel.
Image credit: Okura Nikko Hotels
Regent Kyoto will be Regent Hotels & Resorts’ first in Japan under the management of minority stakeholder IHG Hotels & Resorts.
The location of Regent Kyoto, which will be opened by IHG with GI Capital Management, is currently occupied by Tsuruya (pictured). It is an acclaimed restaurant situated in a garden that was originally landscaped by the illustrious Kumakichi Kato 100 years ago. According to IHG, Regent Kyoto will incorporate Tsuruya as well as the garden in its design.
This will ensure that guests are not only treated to the highest level of luxury accorded by the hotel, but also experience the finest of cuisines in an iconic restaurant that has been visited by the likes of the Japanese Imperial family, Queen Elizabeth II, and Princess Diana.
There will be 86 rooms in the hotel, which will open in 2024.
Image credit: IHG Hotels & Resorts
The Hilton Okinawa Miyako Island Resort will be opened in 2023 as one of the six hotels in Okinawa Prefecture, operating under two brands — Hilton Hotels & Resorts and DoubleTree by Hilton.
Miyako Island, also known as Miyako-jima, has some of the most beautiful beaches in Asia, including the white sandy beach of Yonaha-Maehama. The waters all around the island have a dazzling blue glitter and are among the cleanest in the region.
The Hilton Okinawa Miyako Island Resort will come up on the waterfront close to the Irabu Bridge, connecting Miyako to Irabu island. The hotel is also going to be among the biggest in Japan with 329 rooms and an array of guest recreation and socialising facilities, including meeting rooms, restaurants, spa, banquet hall and ocean-view rooftop bar.
It has become easier to travel to the island by air, too, since the opening of Miyako Shimojishima Airport Terminal in 2019. However, those who love travelling in ultra luxury might want to rent a private yacht from any popular destination in East or South East Asia for a trip on the seas to Miyako Island. A voyage, after all, has its own unparalleled charm.
Image credit: PR Times
One of the hottest new hotels opening in Japan in 2023 is also a Hilton property. The Hilton Yokohama is the first Hilton hotel in the city, which is the second-largest by population size after Tokyo.
Yokohama is a major urban city. The hotel will be located in a seaside part and will be at a distance of around 20 kilometres from the Haneda Airport. This means foreign tourists coming to Japan will find it easy to reach Hilton Yokohama.
Owing to its location, the hotel will serve as the perfect place to kick off a tour of renowned places in Kanagawa Prefecture. One such place is the Instagram-worthy city of Kamakura (pictured). The ever-busy Tokyo is also close by and so are attractions within Yokohama, such as Japan’s largest Chinatown.
A unique feature of this hotel is that it will be part of a mixed-use development project by Ken Corporation, with whom Hilton entered a partnership. According to a statement released in 2021 announcing the hotel plan, Hilton said that the plan includes the opening of a music venue named K-Arena Yokohama, which can accommodate 20,000 people. It also has an office building named K-Tower Yokohama.
Hilton had then also stated that Hilton Yokohama is part of its guest-loyalty programme named Hilton Honors, which offers members a range of benefits, including a flexible payment option and member discount, when they book via the Hilton website.
Image credit: Hilton
JW Marriott is one of the strongest hotel brands in the world. Its latest address in Japan, JW Marriott Hotel Tokyo, will be the brand’s second in the country. It will have 200 rooms and suites and is being built in association with East Japan Railway Company between the Shinagawa and Tamachi Stations.
The hotel will be located from the 22nd to 30th floor of the Station Complex Building (South) and is part of a major redevelopment project.
Set to open its doors in 2025, the hotel’s interiors will be designed by Yabu Pushelberg and will have a deep indigo colour as the main highlight.
The hotel will also provide massive spaces for events. Its amenities include a 25-metre indoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and the Spa by JW.
Two restaurants — a speciality restaurant and an all-day restaurant with a semi-open kitchen — will make the stay more memorable for visitors who can lounge at the Croissant Bar as well.
Image credit: Marriott International
The Four Seasons Hotel Osaka will be situated in a 195-metre-tall building named One Dojima Project, which has been under construction in the Kinki region of Osaka since 2020. The building is being raised by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts along with Japanese real-estate company Tokyo Tatemono Co., Ltd and Singaporean real-estate company Hotel Properties Limited (HPL).
A troika of designers — Gwenael Nicolas of Curiosity, Shinichiro Ogata of SIMPLICITY and Yasuhiro Koichi of Design Studio Spin — will lend their creative vision to the hotel. The sail-like design of the building itself comes from master architect Otani of the Japanese architectural firm Nikken Sekkei.
Located in Dojima, one of the most significant business districts in Osaka City, the hotel will have 175 spacious guest rooms. Dojima is where the world’s first futures exchange, the Dojima Rice Exchange, is situated. One of the most significant nearby attractions is Nakanoshima Art Museum Osaka, which opened its doors in February 2022.
Image credit: Four Seasons
In 2027, the world-famous high-end shopping district of Shibuya (pictured) in Tokyo will welcome a new luxury hotel under The House Collective brand of Swire Hotels. It will be the first hotel of the brand outside China and built in collaboration with L Catterton Real Estate (LCRE) and Tokyu Group.
Constructed on the site of the flagship store of Tokyu Department Store, the hotel will be part of the 117,000-square-metre Shibuya Upper West Project. According to a statement by The House Collective, the project will bring together everything — from luxury and high-quality retail to art and cultural experiences — in one place.
The House Collective was launched in 2008 and has since opened luxury lifestyle stays for travellers in Chinese cities and special administrative regions, including Beijing’s The Opposite House, Chengdu’s The Temple House, Shanghai’s The Middle House and Hong Kong’s The Upper House.
The highlight of every hotel is its unique location, which has the most distinctive features such as art and fashion.
One of the biggest news in the hospitality sector in Japan is Banyan Tree Group’s inaugural entry and immediate expansion in the country. As part of its plan, the group, which is also opening a new hotel in Bali, Indonesia, is set to open two new hotels in Japan — Banyan Tree Higashiyama Kyoto and Banyan Tree Ashinoko Hakone — in 2026.
The Banyan Tree Higashiyama Kyoto will open in 2024 as a luxury hilltop urban resort in the Gion and Higashiyama districts. According to Banyan Tree Group, it will be the “first and only hotel in Kyoto city to have a Noh stage.”
The other, Banyan Tree Ashinoko Hakone, will welcome guests to the world-famous hot springs of Mount Fuji in the Hakone region near Lake Ashino. It will open in 2026.
Banyan Tree Group has also joined hands with Terraform Capital for a newly built Cassia Hirafu resort, which will open in 2025 near the Hirafu ski slope. The resort will include one-bedroom accommodations as well as villas for sale.
Additionally, the group also opened Dhawa Yura Kyoto and Garrya Nijo Castle Kyoto (pictured) on 17 June 2022. The newly opened hotels in Japan are a result of the group’s partnership with Wealth Management Group.
Dhawa Yura Kyoto has 138 rooms and is located near the historic Sanjo Ohashi bridge. The Garrya Nijo Castle Kyoto is a 25-room hotel in front of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Nijo Castle. It has an innovative French restaurant and a Wellbeing Room, among other elevated amenities for guests.
Image credit: Garrya