Discover Japan's Hidden Gems: 4 Must-Experience Luxury Hotels & Resorts by Iconic Japanese Brands!

Japan Luxury Hotel & Resort

Who hasn't dreamed of a luxurious hotel stay? Japan offers a rich tapestry of accommodations, from traditional inns exuding Japanese charm to beautifully renovated historic houses and globally renowned resort hotels. Each establishment focuses on enhancing guest experiences, placing utmost importance on ensuring a delightful stay. As you plan your visit to Japan, why not stay at a highly-ranked inn and immerse yourself in the essence of Japanese hospitality?

About Luxury Hotels and Resorts in Japan

Japan boasts an array of upscale luxury hotels and inns, particularly in popular tourist destinations. Many of these establishments belong to extensive chains with nationwide presence. In this article, we shine a spotlight on four Japanese resort hotel brands that have been making waves in recent years: Hoshino Resorts, FUFU, HIRAMATSU HOTELS, and NIPPONIA. Whether it's their prime locations, meticulous restoration of historic buildings, or culinary excellence, each brand operates with a distinct concept. With the current favourable exchange rates, why not treat yourself to the luxury experience of a Japanese hotel or inn?

In the following sections, we'll delve into the unique concepts and allure of each hotel within these four esteemed groups.

Hoshino Resorts: Crafting Travel Experiences that Spark Joy and Adventure

HOSHINOYA Karuizawa Photo Credit:Hoshino Resorts

"Hoshino Resorts" specialises in creating accommodations and day trip destinations that revolve around the theme of "making travel enjoyable". Established over a century ago, the company commemorated its 110th anniversary in 2024, tracing its origins back to the opening of a Japanese inn in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture.

Under the umbrella of "Hoshino Resorts" are five distinct sub-brands. For instance, "HOSHINOYA" is a luxury hotel embodying the true characteristics of land, history, and culture; "KAI" is a leading brand of hot spring ryokan where every establishment offers a contemporary take on traditional Japanese inn whilst keeping Western comforts. Then there's "RISONARE", a countryside resort hotel with food culture unique to the landscape. "OMO" presents a fresh concept of a city tourism hotel, fostering collaboration between passionate staff and local communities to deliver an exciting city experience.

As of April 2024, Hoshino Resorts boasts a portfolio of 68 facilities spanning across both domestic and international locations.

Enhancing Your Hotel Experience: A Range of Services to Elevate Your Stay

HOSHINOYA Karuizawa Guest Room
HOSHINOYA Karuizawa Photo Credit:Hoshino Resorts
HOSHINOYA Karuizawa Hot Spring
Hoshino Onsen Tombo-no-yu Photo Credit:Hoshino Resorts

Let's start by introducing "HOSHINOYA Karuizawa", often regarded as the birthplace of the "HOSHINOYA" concept. What sets this destination apart is its unique layout, with guest rooms resembling individual houses scattered across a picturesque valley along a flowing river. Adding to the allure are two natural hot springs including one in the Hoshino Area, directly sourced for an authentic bathing experience. The room design prioritises a sense of spaciousness, transforming them into inviting living areas rather than mere sleeping quarters.

Throughout the hotel, guests can discover numerous tranquil spots to unwind. In the lounge area, they can indulge in a selection of beverages, ranging from coffee and herbal teas to fruit liqueurs and whiskey, perfect for unwinding in the evening. Additionally, we highly recommend the nutrient-rich breakfast, featuring a hearty vegetable broth infused with various vegetables, promising a wholesome start to the day.

Immerse Yourself in Local Japanese Culture: Exciting Activities Await!

HOSHINOYA Kyoto Sakura
HOSHINOYA Kyoto Photo Credit:Hoshino Resorts

HOSHINOYA Kyoto Guest Room
HOSHINOYA Kyoto Photo Credit:Hoshino Resorts

At "HOSHINOYA Kyoto", your arrival via private boat from Togetsukyo Bridge sets the stage for an enchanting hideaway experience. Dive deep into Japanese culture with a myriad of activities, including "Incense Ceremony", participating in rituals like Morning Zen Meditation at local temples, exploring Kyoto in traditional kimono attire, and enjoying seasonal "Boat Play" aboard houseboats. These immersive experiences enrich your stay, creating lasting memories.

RISONARE Yatsugatake Photo Credit:Hoshino Resorts
KAI Ito Photo Credit:Hoshino Resorts

Moreover, nestled amidst the expansive beauty of Yatsugatake, "Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Yatsugatake" offers a plethora of outdoor activities. From horseback riding to forest aerial walks, there's no shortage of adventures to enjoy amidst the stunning natural landscape. Meanwhile, at "Hoshino Resorts KAI Ito", immerse yourself in the hot springs as the knowledgeable hot spring concierge shares insights into its history, quality and proper bathing techniques. Also, you can delve into local culture with hands-on experiences like crafting camellia oil from seeds, a cherished tradition of Ito. Each facility promises a wealth of engaging activities, ensuring a truly memorable experience.

FUFU: Your Intimate Luxury Retreat in the Perfect Setting

FUFU Kawaguchiko Mount Fuji

The intimate luxury retreat "FUFU" graces Japan's renowned tourist hotspots, including Hakone, Atami, Karuizawa, Nikko, Kawaguchiko, Kyoto, and Nara. Embracing the concept of "savouring time", each facility stands out for its exceptional location. For instance, "FUFU KAWAGUCHIKO" offers stunning views of Mount Fuji, while "FUFU KYOTO" is nestled near Nanzenji Temple along the tranquil banks of the Lake Biwa Canal, both immersing guests in the rich tapestry of seasonal changes and historical heritage. Despite its modest size, typically featuring 20 to 40 rooms, every FUFU retreat promises a fulfilling experience, complete with rejuvenating hot springs, delectable gourmet cuisine, and immersive nature experiences.

Discover Exquisite Room Interiors: Indulge in Hot Springs Across Many Facilities

FUFU Karuizawa Youkou-no-Kaze Room
FUFU KARUIZAWA, Wind in the Sunshine

FUFU Kawaguchiko Room Mt. Fuji

FUFU Nikko Room

They boast a total of 8 facilities across the nation, bur in this article, we'll spotlight "FUFU KARUIZAWA, Wind in the Sunshine", a gem unveiled in December 2023. All 24 rooms burst with vibrant colours, adorned with lush houseplants and accents, cultivating a serene ambiance. For dinner, indulge in a Japanese French culinary journey featuring Shinshu's finest ingredients, savoured in intimate settings like private rooms or cozy counters.

Meanwhile, tucked away amidst the tranquil forest near Kumoba Pond lies "FUFU KYU-KARUIZAWA, Restful Forest", another recent addition. Here, every room is a sanctuary, boasting floor heating and fireplaces for ultimate comfort. Step onto your private balcony and feel as though you're in your own villa retreat. Beyond relaxation, unique activities beckon, from a scenic "Jinrikisha tour" winding through historic Karuizawa forests to professional photoshoots capturing Karuizawa's essence, all designed for you to truly savour every moment.

Elevating Hospitality: Exceptional Dining and Services Redefine Luxury

FUFU Kawaguchiko Restaurant

FUFU Nikko Dinner
FUFU NIKKO Dinner (example)

The dining experiences are equally remarkable. At "FUFU KAWAGUCHIKO", where every room offers stunning views of Mount Fuji, dinner is a fusion of Japanese kaiseki cuisine and local Kawaguchiko flavours. Expect dishes crafted from seasonal ingredients sourced locally and prepared using traditional methods like firewood, flames, and lava stones. Breakfast delights include fluffy hearth-cooked rice, hearty "kenchinjiru" vegetable soup, and farm-fresh eggs, offering a taste unique to this locale.

Across all facilities, complimentary beer and soft drinks await in the minibar, while English-speaking staff and English-translated menus ensure seamless communication and dining experiences for international guests.

Moreover, every room at FUFU boasts its own private hot spring, complemented by "SLEEPLEASURE" mattresses—a collaborative innovation between sleep expert "Simmons" and "FUFU"—ensuring a restful and rejuvenating stay.

HIRAMATSU HOTELS: Renowned for Stunning Settings and Exquisite Cuisine



Renowned for its upscale French restaurants both domestically and internationally, "Hiramatsu" extends its expertise into the realm of hospitality with "HIRAMATSU HOTELS". Drawing from over four decades of culinary excellence, they curate "memorable days" characterised by top-tier cuisine, locally sourced delights crafted by skilled chefs, breathtaking local landscapes, invigorating hot springs, and personalised service that strikes the perfect balance of warmth and discretion.

As of April 2024, "HIRAMATSU HOTELS" proudly boasts seven establishments in Ise-Shima, Atami, Hakone, Okinawa, Kyoto, Karuizawa Miyota, and Nara. Each property stands out for its exceptional location and captivating views. From the picturesque shores of Sagami Bay in Atami to the serene surroundings of Hakone Sengokuhara, where the majestic Hakone Gairinzan (outer rim of a crater) dominates the scenery, every location promises a unique and unforgettable experience. Under the umbrella of "HIRAMATSU HOTELS", guests can choose from three distinct brands: "THE HIRAMATSU", "THE HIRAMATSU HOTELS & RESORTS", and "L’AUBERGE DE PLAISANCE".

Elevating Interior Design to Showcase Local Charm!


THE HIRAMATSU Kyoto's 'Deluxe Premier' room
THE HIRAMATSU KYOTO's 'Deluxe Premier' room

Let's delve into two remarkable facilities highlighted in this article.

First up is the urban oasis of "THE HIRAMATSU KYOTO". Nestled along Muromachi Street in Nakagyo Ward, this luxury hotel is a lovingly restored traditional Kyoto townhouse. As you step inside, you'll be captivated by the intricate lattice and lead walls, evoking the essence of Kyoto's rich heritage. Despite its central location, even the coziest rooms boast ample space, spanning over 54 square metres, and feature indulgent jet baths for ultimate relaxation.

Special room 'Matsu no Ma' with an open-air hot spring bath in the Sukiya building 

Next, we have "THE HIRAMATSU HOTELS & RESORTS ATAMI", a breathtaking retreat perched in a prime spot overlooking Hatsushima, Izu Peninsula, Oshima, Miura Peninsula, and Boso Peninsula. This haven comprises 13 rooms, preserving the elegant sukiya-style architecture envisioned by Koichi Kinoshita, a modern master renowned for his portrayal of Japan's beauty. Each room offers panoramic vistas of Sagami Bay and includes a rejuvenating hot spring bath, ensuring a truly restorative experience.

THE HIRAMATSU HOTELS & RESORTS Sengokuhara Private Hot Spring Open-Air Bath
Private Hot Spring Open-Air Bath

Meanwhile, at "THE HIRAMATSU HOTELS & RESORTS SENGOKUHARA" in Hakone, guests are treated to natural hot spring baths in both the main building and residence. Here, the Italian restaurant serves up artful dishes that reflect the seasonal splendour of Sengokuhara, promising a culinary journey that's as visually stunning as it is delicious.

Indulge in Exceptional Dining: Proudly Serving High-Quality Breakfasts

THE HIRAMATSU Kyoto breakfast (Western style)
THE HIRAMATSU KYOTO breakfast (Western style)

Prepare your taste buds for a culinary delight at "Hiramatsu" restaurant, where every meal is a masterpiece. At "THE HIRAMATSU KYOTO", breakfast options abound with both Western and Japanese delicacies. Indulge in freshly baked homemade bread and Danish pastries, alongside egg dishes, soups and salads crafted from Kyoto's finest vegetables. Alternatively, savour a traditional Japanese-style breakfast featuring freshly cooked rice, miso soup, pickles, and a healthy kaiseki-style dish showcasing an array of Kyoto-grown vegetables.

Meanwhile, at "THE HIRAMATSU HOTELS & RESORTS ATAMI", you'll find a diverse array of dishes featuring fresh seafood from Sagami Bay and locally sourced ingredients. The menu also highlights seasonal delicacies handpicked from various regions across Japan, ensuring a culinary experience that's both fresh and flavourful.

NIPPONIA: Immerse Yourself in Japanese History and Culture at a Traditional Japanese House

NIPPONIA Sawara Merchant Town Hotel
NIPPONIA Sawara Merchant Town Hotel

NIPPONIA Hotel Nara Naramachi

NIPPONIA is a unique initiative that breathes new life into Japan's old houses, transforming them into guest rooms and restaurants. These revitalised spaces serve as immersive accommodations where guests can delve into the rich culture and history of the region. With a vision to offer guests a blend of nostalgia and novelty, NIPPONIA aims to provide experiences that go beyond those found in traditional hotels and inns.

As of March 2024, NIPPONIA boasts 31 accommodation facilities scattered across Japan, spanning from Hokkaido to Okinawa. The Kansai region boasts the largest number of facilities, with a total of 15. When establishing new facilities, NIPPONIA prioritises the restoration, preservation, and utilisation of historical buildings, including cultural properties that hold significance to the local community. The aim is to transform these spaces into experiential hubs rather than mere exhibits, offering guests truly memorable experiences. Furthermore, inn staff, well-versed in the history and culture of the area, serve as knowledgeable concierges to enhance guests' journeys.

Pricing varies depending on the facility and amenities offered. For instance, "NIPPONIA Sawara Merchant Town Hotel" offers accommodations starting from 49,830 yen per person for a room for two with two meals, while "NIPPONIA HOTEL NARA NARAMACHI" starts from 53,570 yen per person.

Community-wide Hospitality: Exploring Distributed Hotels Across Entire Towns

NIPPONIA Sawara Merchant Town Hotel (AOI Building)
NIPPONIA Sawara Merchant Town Hotel (AOI Building)

NIPPONIA Sawara Merchant Town Hotel (YATA Building)
NIPPONIA Sawara Merchant Town Hotel (YATA Building)

NIPPONIA Sawara Merchant Town Hotel
NIPPONIA Sawara Merchant Town Hotel

Introducing the "NIPPONIA Sawara Merchant Town Hotel", nestled in Katori City, Chiba Prefecture—a distinctive concept where the entire town serves as your hotel. Embracing the rich history and culture of the area, this dispersed hotel repurposes buildings scattered throughout the town, housing reception areas, guest rooms, and restaurants in each one. Experience unparalleled privacy as you rent out an entire building, immersing yourself in the charm of this unique accommodation space.

Step into a world where history comes alive. Each accommodation, from the meticulously restored "YATA" building, once a bustling cotton spinning warehouse during the Meiji period, to the captivating "SEIGAKU" building, resonating with the echoes of its past as a grain merchant and pawnbroker, emanates an aura of timeless elegance.

Designed for tranquility, guest rooms eschew modern distractions like TVs and clocks, allowing you to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. Indulge in culinary delights at the French restaurant housed within a sake brewery dating back to the Edo period. While the cuisine may be French-inspired, it celebrates local flavours with dishes featuring sake lees and fermented foods, perfectly paired with sake straight from the brewery.

Transforming a Sake Brewery into a Sake-Themed Hotel

NIPPONIA Hotel Nara Naramachi Guest Room

NIPPONIA Hotel Nara Naramachi

NIPPONIA Hotel Nara Naramachi Meal

Experience the essence of Nara's rich brewing heritage at "NIPPONIA HOTEL NARA NARAMACHI", nestled within the historic Naramachi district. Formerly the renowned Nara Toyosawa Sake Brewery, this charming inn seamlessly blends modern comforts with traditional charm. Embracing the theme of "SAKE", the NIPPONIA HOTEL NARA NARAMACHI offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of sake. In collaboration with Nara Toyosawa Sake Brewery, guests can indulge in a sake lees bath and brewery tours, while the restaurant serves up exclusive sake varieties only available here.

Savour the finest local delicacies, including traditional Yamato vegetables, succulent Yamato beef, and sake lees sourced directly from Nara Toyosawa Brewery. A highlight of your dining experience? Witnessing the chef's culinary mastery firsthand as they prepare your meal right before your eyes!


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