1. VOL. 21 | SPRING 2024



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The cherry blossoms are back for residents and tourists alike — ready to be enjoyed by all in an annual celebration of all things sakura (cherry blossoms).

Enjoy Tokyo’s cherry blossoms together with hotel promotions and events this spring. GETTY IMAGES

The history of hanami (cherry blossom viewing) dates back to the Heian Period (794 to 1185). Peaches and plums came to be highly valued in imperial court culture, which was followed by a wider public appreciation of the ubiquitous and familiar tree that developed during this period.

Sakura were first mentioned as a symbol of spring in the “Kokin Wakashu” (“Collection of Japanese Poems of Ancient and Modern Times”), and came to be used in ceremonies and events, becoming a spring pastime for people in all levels of society.

Today, while people can enjoy hanami starting as early as in January, Tokyo is ranked as one of the public’s favorite locations. Tourists can also enjoy the cherry blossoms from various angles during their stay at a hotel.

Whether it is a splendid view from afar through the window of a modern, luxurious hotel or up close in the garden of one of the capital’s top-notch inns, cherry blossom viewing will surely add a special touch to one’s stay in Tokyo, where many different varieties of cherry trees can be admired.

Combined with spring promotions and gastronomic events that include gourmet lineups ranging from extravagant sakura and strawberry buffets and afternoon teas to sakura cocktails, guests can indulge in the festive spirit of spring both inside and outside, enjoying the fantastic world of cherry blossoms to the fullest, wherever they venture throughout Japan.

Grand Hyatt Tokyo

This spring, Grand Hyatt Tokyo is offering a vibrant afternoon tea buffet in collaboration with the “Henri Matisse — Forms in Freedom” exhibition at the National Art Center, Tokyo. Held at The French Kitchen, this eye-catching afternoon tea is an homage to the master of color and offers the perfect complement to a day at the exhibition.

The afternoon tea will have two editions. The first revolves around sakura and strawberries in alluring shades of pink and red, while the second features luscious green matcha and pistachio.

Both editions are led by a Flower Mousse Cake — inspired by Matisse’s “Flowers and Fruits” — with an indulgent mix of vanilla mousse, jelly and edible flowers. Other dishes include Paris-Brest, cremet d’Anjou and pate de Provencal, which combine seasonal ingredients into colorful treats that are sure to charm any gourmand.

The sakura and strawberry edition is available until April 15, with matcha and pistachio following until May 27. Both plans are priced at ¥5,940 (weekdays) or ¥7,590 with a glass of Champagne. When making a reservation, guests can also purchase an exhibition ticket to set up a memorable day out.

Additionally, a selection of sakura sweets, cakes and breads are available at the Fiorentina Pastry Boutique in celebration of the return of the cherry blossom this spring.

Address: 6-10-3 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032
Tel: 03-4333-1234

Hotel New Otani Tokyo

To commemorate its 60th anniversary this year, the Hotel New Otani Tokyo will offer cherry blossom events and experiences in its beautiful 400-year-old Japanese garden and throughout the hotel until April 14 to welcome the joy of spring.

The 58 cherry trees in the 10-acre (four-hectare) garden span 19 varieties and bloom at slightly different times.

These trees will be illuminated at night in a themed lighting display until April 14, starting from about 30 minutes before sunset.

For the Sakura Garden Lantern Stroll, hand-held lanterns will be provided exclusively to staying guests, allowing them to view the blossoms while lighting their way with the lanterns.

Additionally, the bar on the top floor of The Main building (inside View & Dining The Sky) will turn into a “sakura bar” on Friday and Saturday nights, allowing guests to enjoy the capital’s panoramic skyline with illuminated cherry branch decorations creating the feel of a rooftop lounge.

Cherry blossom cocktails will be on offer, along with chic club music mixed by a live DJ. The event will be held from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. until April 6.

Address: 4-1, Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8578
Tel: 03-3265-1111

Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo

The Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo in Shinjuku Ward has opened Sky Plaza Ibasho, a luxurious 1,100-square-meter facility on its top floor that offers spectacular views of Tokyo.

Set atop the hotel’s 47th floor, the vast space is divided into six zones with different features that allow guests and visitors to spend their time based on the concept of finding one’s ibasho (literally meaning “where one fits in”).

The Lounge Zone offers free cafe lattes, cappuccinos and other soft drinks, whereas the Library Zone is recommended for work, thanks to seating equipped with power outlets and USB ports.

The Park Zone’s hammocks, lanterns and large windows mimic an outdoor atmosphere, while the Hall Zone will be used to host events.

The Multipurpose Zone meanwhile has private rooms that can be used for online meetings and karaoke (for a fee), and the Garden Zone allows guests to relax amid greenery and subdued lighting.

Each of the six zones is designed with the U.N. sustainable development goals in mind, including chairs made of reused cork and artwork from Heralbony Inc., an organization that supports Japanese and foreign artists with disabilities.

Address: 2-2-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8330
Tel: 03-3344-0111

The Tokyo Station Hotel

The Tokyo Station Hotel has a rich history dating back to 1915, when it opened in the Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building, which has been designated as an Important Cultural Property.

After closing in 2006 as part of preservation and restoration work for the building, the hotel reopened in 2012 sporting 150 guest rooms and suites, balancing the refined elegance of classic European decor with the modern comfort and technology of Japan.

Sustainability is a strength of The Tokyo Station Hotel. It launched a carbon dioxide offset program last June that subjects all bookings placed through its website to an initiative that effectively offsets carbon emissions to offer net-zero stays. From April, all bookings will be subject to this program.

The hotel’s restaurants also reflect its strong dedication to sustainability. Executive chef Masahiro Ishihara says that to provide the best cuisine, they “explore ingredients from all over Japan in pursuit of the best flavor.”

The aim is to draw out the hidden potential of the ingredients and add a distinctly Japanese sense of seasonality, while making a sustainable effort to use such ingredients daily rather than for promotions only.

Address: 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005
Tel: 03-5220-1111