It’s official! Our popular travel destination, Japan, has finally reopened to international tourism. Read on to find out where to stay, where to eat, and what to do on your next visit.
Japan opens its doors and have lowered restrictions for visitors this week after more than two years of pandemic isolation. While the world has waited patiently to return and experience the country’s famed hospitality and culture, the hot springs, temples and neon-bright enchanting cities; a lot has changed in two and a half years.
Visitors returning to the nation will find an impressive array of bars, fresh hotels, quirky restaurants, adventurous theme parks, and unique experiences that are just a handful of the new things to discover.
Best Hotels To Stay In
If you haven’t yet decided where in Japan to go and stay, then we’re here to help. Tokyo, Japan’s busy capital, is the best city to stay in with modern, unique vibes that will have you exposed to the creative side of Japan. There are incredible places to stay in all of the Tokyo districts! But few of our favourites include luxurious options such as Park Hyatt and Ritz Carlton.
Park Hyatt Tokyo
Conveniently close to Shinjuku Station is Park Hyatt Tokyo, a haven of elegance and calm. Park Hyatt Tokyo is perfectly located in one of Tokyo’s most exciting areas; an electric hub of retail and nightlife, with hundreds of bars that offer a chance to meet and share a drink with the locals.
The hotel occupies the top 14 floors of the gleaming 52-storey skyscraper, with a snazzy New York grill and jazz bar, a highly acclaimed day spa for relaxation, and 177 chic guest rooms and suites.
The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo
The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo will make you feel like royalty, reaching high above the museums, eateries and boutiques of the Tokyo Midtown precinct.
It begins on the 45th level of Midtown Tower, one of the city’s tallest buildings, offering elegant luxury high above Tokyo’s busy streets and breathtaking views to Mt Fuji.
The hotel has floor-to-ceiling windows that perfectly frame the skyline. As guests settle in, they can discover luxury amenities that are just as impressive as the view over Tokyo, as well as seven incredible restaurants, Club Level accommodations, reimagines meeting spaces, and a floor dedicated to health and wellness.
Fine Dining Restaurants and Bars
Reward yourself with the most incredible eating and drinking experiences in Japan. There is a bounty of restaurants and bars waiting for you to stop, sip and savour.
The Gold Bar
The Gold Bar is located in The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon hotel – it is a high-end social space with atmospheric black and gold interior. Gold Bar at EDITION is a social playground that brings another dimension to Tokyo’s overall bar scene.
It’s an intimate cocktail destination, inspired by the golden age of classic cocktails but incorporating Japanese spirits and select local ingredients. If you stop by, you must try their Nippon Pale Ale cocktail.
Swrl Wine Cocktail & Kitchen
Swrl is a laid-back Brooklyn-inspired bar in Shibuya, Tokyo, where you will find an array of wine-infused cocktails. The bar is hidden behind a fake wall of lockers and is accessed via a staircase underground.
Not only do they serve cocktails, Swrl also operates a restaurant serving Latin American cuisine. Here you will find classic tacos, carnitas, and guacamole, as well as bold and punchy flavours like grilled prawns, roasted cauliflower, fried chicken, and spareribs.
Feel like Italian food? One of the world’s most celebrated chefs, the Italian Massimo Bottura has brought his signature style to the heart of Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district with Gucci Osteria. The restaurant is the first Japan venture with a menu that offers a fusion of refined Italian cuisine and local produce, including one of the most popular Italian dishes, ‘Parmigiana’.
The restaurant speaks alone for itself with dishes like Parmigiana, Ramen or Milanese Wagyu which allows diners to experience the best of two worlds.
E Vino Spaghetti
Looking for something quick and easy? You can head to E Vino Spaghetti at Tokyo Station. This restaurant is designed for those who are short on time. There is a robot that makes up to 90 meals per hour and even washes the pans on its own.
The pasta robot uses AI-based image recognition technology to understand the status of pasta ingredients and plating up one tasty meal in just 45 seconds.
Another high-tech theme is Dawn, an Avatar robot cafe in Tokyo where coffee is served by robots that are operated by remote workers with severe disabilities.
This cafe is shaping a better, more inclusive future with robot waiters controlled remotely by disabled workers.
This groundbreaking approach act as a solution for those who are struggling with isolation at home, which also helps create a city that’s more open and accepting.
Unforgettable Experiences in Japan
A popular destination for visitors from Tokyo is the beautiful town of Nikko where you can discover beautiful shrines and temples. The UNESCO World Heritage Site Toshogu Shrine is incredibly stunning. Few of the key sights within this shrine are the five storied pagoda located at the entrance of the Toshogu Shrine, and the Three Wise Monkeys – both draw tourists from all around the world.
Afterwards, you can refresh your body, mind and spirit at one of Nikko’s Natural Hot Springs (Onsen) that offer different atmosphere and effect. Each onsen has a distinct color, smell and feeling, but provide minerals with different health benefits, great for the body and mind.
About 100km away from Tokyo is the tallest mountain in Japan, Mt Fuji and is one of the most famous landmarks in the country. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is an amazing tourist attraction that offers visitors an unforgettable experience with spectacular scenery. There are various trails available and climbing takes around 4-8 hours one way. You can do a beginner’s trek and climb Mt Fuji, then pick a natural Onsen hot spring afterwards. You can read more about Japan Onsen Tours in our upcoming blog.
Exciting New Things To Do In Japan
Japan is one of the most unique and captivating countries in the world, with fascinating heritage and interesting history. During your visit, you will get to see old temples, breathtaking gardens, hot springs, royal palaces, and even quirky fun attractions. Check out these exciting news things to look forward to in Japan 2022/23.
Get ready to immerse yourself in borderless art in this three-dimensional 10,000 m2 world. TeamLab Borderless will soon reopen in central Tokyo. This immersive art attraction has been very popular which broke a record for being the world’s most visited museum.
There has been a lot of speculations as to where in Tokyo will teamLab set up its new permanent museum. However, they have finally revealed that the new teamLab Borderless Museum will launch in 2023 as part of the Toranomon-Azabudai Project.
Cross the world in style with luxury train travel. The Japanese Shika-shima luxury train suite is all about the journey on the tracks. It comes with a fully equipped bar, two-storey suites, a lounge, dining room, and bathtubs made from cypress trees.
The Shika-Shima luxury sleeper train is the fanciest way to travel as you can experience Japan’s rich, beautiful nature at a comfortable and leisurely pace that only a luxury train can provide.
Nakanoshima Museum of Art
Osaka’s Nakanoshima Museum of Art finally opened this year in February, after nearly 30 years of planning. This museum houses one of Japan’s largest collections, including works by Dali and Magritte, and Japanese painter Jiro Yoshihara.
You will find the new cultural hub located on the island of Nakanoshima, right in the heart of Osaka.
Super Nintendo World
Located near Universal Studios Osaka, Super Nintendo World is the first interactive Nintendo Park in the world, dedicated to the Mario series.
The thematic attraction becomes the playground that every adult had imagined of as a child. Super Nintendo World allows visitors to step inside the world of Nintendo, featuring several attractions complete with rides, merchandise, food vendors, life-sized recreations, and characters from the iconic game.
After several delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Ghibli Park has announced its opening on November 1st. The official theme park represents the world of Studio Ghilbi and is currently under construction, being built on and within grounds of Expo 2005 Aichi Commermorative Park.
With attractions, stores and cafes based on the animation studio’s iconic films, Ghibli Park will provide park-goers with an immersive experience into the world of Ghibli films.