There is a magnificent yet serene oasis filled with breathtaking greenery right in the middle of Tokyo, one of the busiest metropolises on the planet. Called “Chinzanso,” and meaning “villa on a mountain of camellias," it’s a special place cherished by Tokyoites and travelers alike. Today, this glorious oasis is a one-of-a-kind urban resort, Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, offering the ultimate in luxury and natural beauty to jetsetters from around the world. Boasting 267 elegant guest rooms and suites, nine top-rated restaurants, Tokyo’s largest hotel spa and 38 meeting & banquet facilities, it’s no wonder the hotel caters to a global who’s who of royals, state leaders, rock stars, and business tycoons.
Standing in the lobby, it’s clear that anyone with an interest in Japanese culture and history will enjoy staying at this hotel. The grounds are a magical place, rich with historical monuments and architecture, and the authentic Japanese hospitality that they offer makes it clear that this is not just another luxury hotel.
There are good reasons the hotel is called a “Japanese gem,” the first of which is its unique history. Due to its abundant camellias (the hotel still has 1,000 camellia trees), the property has been known as a scenic Tokyo hillside spot for hundreds of years. Art lovers may know the scenery in Hiroshige’s ukiyoe wood block prints from the 17th century. The property originally came into the possession of the Fujita family in 1918 when a nobleman, Baron Heitaro Fujita, acquired it from Japan’s Prince Aritomo Yamagata, who gave it the name “Chinzanso.” After World War II, the estate was opened to the public so people could enjoy the natural greenery and escape the destruction caused by the war. Fujita Kanko, a hospitality company founded by the Fujita family, built banquet facilities on the property first and added a hotel in 1992. Known for 20 years as “The Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Chinzan-so,” Fujita Kanko rebranded its iconic flagship hotel and on New Year’s Day 2013 “Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo” made its debut. Within six months of rebranding, Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo was awarded five Red Pavilions by The Michelin Guide.
If history wasn’t enough, the garden sets it apart. No other hotel in Tokyo owns such a vast expanse of nature, and no other hotel will ever have the chance to do so. The Japanese people have a special appreciation for the changing of the seasons and a lot of the hotel’s offerings center around the garden, from views offered by guest rooms and restaurants, to seasonal events including cherry blossoms in the spring, dancing fireflies in the summer, breathtaking foliage in the fall and camellia trees blooming against
he snow in winter. The garden has numerous historical monuments and to this day remains one of Tokyo’s beloved treasures.
Of all the seasons, spring is possibly the best time to visit Japan. Celebrating cherry blossoms, called “sakura” in Japanese, is a centuries-old Japanese custom and sakura festivals take place throughout the country. Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo is one of Tokyo’s most popular cherry blossom viewing spots and is home to 120 cherry trees representing 20 species. Until April 10th, guests can enjoy special dining options prepared with seasonal ingredients, including cherry blossoms themselves!
What else is special about Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo? Knowing that jaded jetsetters are increasingly looking for authentic experiences, the hotel has increased its emphasis on one of its most important assets, Japanese hospitality and culture. The hotel has launched a series of new activities, including the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, which has a 1,400-year history, and etiquette and language classes where guests can learn Japanese table manners and other practical lessons. One-hour tea ceremonies are performed at the hotel’s historic, authentic tea house in the garden, a tangible cultural asset of Japan.
Another unique, quintessentially Japanese experience offered to guests is kimono fitting and rental. The kimono, Japan’s traditional garment for over 1,000 years, represents Japanese culture and spirit and is mainly worn on special occasions. Kimono are incredibly complicated to put on (even for Japanese people!), but the hotel has made it possible for international guests, both men and women, to have a kimono expert come to their room (with an appointment) and dress them in a kimono which can be returned the next morning. Guests can enjoy an unforgettable outing or dinner while dressed in one of these pieces of “wearable art.”
The hotel offers a variety of dining options, but to sample a little bit of everything, it’s good to try the “Experience Japan” package, created especially for international guests, which includes accommodation and a six-course dinner at one of the hotel’s Japanese restaurants. The special dinner menus accommodate a popular request from international guests who wanted to enjoy sushi, tempura and teppan-yaki all at once.
The hotel offers a variety of unique suites such as the “view bath suite,” which features spa-like luxury overlooking the garden. You can also visit the hotel’s spa, Yu, The Spa, which has a traditional Japanese “onsen,” or hot spring.
With the wide range of facilities and activities offered at the hotel, it’s hard to leave once you arrive, even though you are in one of the most exciting cities in the world with endless shopping, dining and entertainment options!
Please visit www.hotel-chinzanso-tokyo.com, for more information.