In case you somehow missed it, Japan is having a tourism moment. Not only was it named the Travel + Leisure Destination of the Year in 2018, but its capital city is also preparing to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Indeed, Japan is the world’s fastest-growing travel destination and Tokyo is the heart of it all. And for good reason. The food is to die for (it does, after all, have more restaurants with Michelin stars than any city in the world), its culture is unmatched, and its fashion is world-class.
If you’re hoping to join the millions of people attending the next summer Olympics, there’s one very important thing to do: Book one of these five epic hotels in Tokyo while there’s still room.
For a traditional stay: Hoshinoya
If a traditional Japanese experience is what you’re after, look no further than the Hoshinoya. Located a short walk from Tokyo Station, the Hoshinoya oozes both style and culture. Upon entering the hotel, guests are asked to take off their shoes, as they would be for any traditional ryokan. Inside, every need for each guest is taken care of as if they were the only one there (don’t worry, the hotel has plenty of space with its 84 rooms). Each guest room floor comes with its own ochanoma, or lounge, stocked with coffee, tea, snacks, and late-night sake. Don’t miss out on the hotel’s multi-course dining options, or its hot springs pumped from 6,000 meters under the ground straight to the top floor. (Starting at $888/night)
For a fun and youthful experience: OMO5
For a more casual and youthful experience, check into the OMO5. Located across from Otsuka Station, the OMO5 has everything a budget traveler may be looking for and then some. The hotel itself is adorable, with compact rooms that can comfortably sleep up to three guests. Inside the lobby sits what it calls “base camp,” which is a great spot to meet up with your crew or get a little work done with a coffee at the cafe. But the real star of this show is the neighborhood itself. Just nextdoor to the hotel is a massive map dotted with dozens of “must-see” places including plenty of restaurants and bars to explore. And to help guests make the most of it, the hotel offers tours with “OMO5 Rangers” who will take people on walking tours, bar crawls, and a dining crawl that will leave you both full and satisfied. (Starting at $65/night)
For a cooler than cool vacation: Trunk Hotel
If staying in the trendiest spot in town is on your list, the Trunk Hotel is for you. The hotel is so popular that people often walk by just to take photos of its exterior. And it only gets better inside. Walking in the doors of the Trunk Hotel feels sort of like walking into an invite-only social club. On its first floor sits the check-in area, lounge, bar, and cafe. In the back is a restaurant serving up yummy plates for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
But once you head up to your room, you’ll see why the Trunk is truly unique. While the hotel does have plenty of standard rooms, splurge and upgrade to a suite, which comes in one of three themes: Living, Dining, and Terrace. The living suite is ideal for throwing a movie night in as the room comes with its own projector, bar, and surround-sound systems. The Dining suite comes with a full kitchen, while the terrace suite is just as the name implies — a room with a massive terrace perfect for the dinner party of your dreams. (Starting at $319/night)
For a luxurious Olympics getaway: Mandarin Oriental Tokyo
Perched high above the city in Tokyo’s financial district, the Mandarin Oriental is a design lover’s dream come true. The hotel features 179 stunning guest rooms and suites that come with floor-to-ceiling windows so guests can take in the epic city views below. If you’ve got a bit of change to spare, go for the hotel’s presidential suite, which has a marble-everything, spa-like bathroom and enough room for you and eight of your closest friends. Of course, you still should leave your room and head to one of the hotel’s 10 restaurants and bars. Then, relax after a meal at the award-winning spa. (Starting at $1,366/night)
For a totally new concept: ONE@Tokyo
Designed by world-renowned architect Kengo Kuma, the industrial-meets-natural design of the ONE@Tokyo will leave guests in awe. Truly, it feels more like you’re staying in an art exhibit than a hotel. Each of the rooms comes decked out with that same wood and metal design, while its suites resemble an artist’s atelier. The hotel has its own restaurant for guests to dine in, though it may be best to grab some takeout and head to the rooftop terrace. Known as the “forest in the sky,” the terrace lounge area is located on the top floor, and it’s the perfect place to open a bottle of sake, cozy up with a blanket, and watch the hustle of Tokyo’s nightlife pass you by. (Starting at $125/night)