Intercontinental Hotels: Eat, Pray and Fall in Love with Japan
Japan: an Asian paradise that has something to offer every traveler around the world. A nation that is home to the latest modern innovations and technologies is also a nation steeped in centuries-old traditions.
Whether it was the blinding lights of Tokyo that caught your eye, the healing powers of ancient rituals, or the ever-popular cuisines, this destination was on to-do lists even before Japan took center stage. the stage to host the Olympics.
While it is not possible to travel to attend the games this year, Japan is an epic destination to visit when the time is right. So IHG Hotels & Resorts has put together an itinerary of the best things to do, where to stay and what to do. eat.
Let’s go to tokyo
Japan’s bustling capital is lined with neon lights, lavish skyscrapers, and the world’s busiest intersection – the Shibuya Crossroads. 30% of the country’s population lives in Tokyo, making it one of the most populous urban areas in the world.
Something not to miss is the nightlife in Shinjuku. Known as Japan’s greatest nightlife district, Golden Gai’s Shinjuku slum bars are a must-see, renowned for writers and creatives alike.
Traditionally, after work in Tokyo, colleagues often visit an izakaya in Shinjuku-sanchome, an old-fashioned Japanese pub, to relax.
With nightly karaoke, jazz spots, and hip cocktail bars, this neighborhood is to add to the bucket list.
Will stay Kimpton Shinjuku Tokyo located in the heart of Shinjuku. As with all Kimpton hotels and restaurants around the world, Kimpton Shinjuku Tokyo offers a morning kick-off and daily evening social hour, where you can mingle with other hotel guests while having a drink. All rooms and suites offer the option of pampering, with in-room Lululemon yoga mats, Atelier Bloem by La Bottega toiletries, and a Japanese Yukata – a relaxed kimono designed by Hiroko Takahashi, famous for his kimonos abstracts and is also a permanent exhibitor at the V&A in London.
There is also a 24-hour fitness room, as well as a personal workout and rooftop yoga classes on request.
Rates start from US $ 490 per night and all pets are welcome – as long as they fit in the elevator.
The mountains of Hakone Gora
Japan is home to some of the most striking landscapes in the world – and hiking the volcanic mountains or strolling through an array of Japanese gardens can be one of the best ways to relax.
Easily accessible via the Japanese high-speed railroad network, Hakone Gora is not only home to an array of natural hot springs on the hillside, it is also home to the most beautiful parks with greenhouses and gardens. You can also find tea houses and attend a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
The Japanese tea ceremony is an ancient ceremonial act of preparing and serving matcha green tea to guests. The whole presentation is more than just a tea service – it represents harmony, respect, purity and tranquility among hosts and guests. Every aspect is unique, from the equipment used to serve the tea, to the manufacturing process, to how it is consumed – it’s all part of the traditional Japanese meaning of omotenashi, which translates to “looking after the guests wholeheartedly”.
Will stay Indigo Hakone Gora Hotel, located in the mountainous enclosure of Kanagawa Prefecture. The hotel has 98 rooms and suites, each offering its own Onsen –a natural hot spring bath –in the bedroom or on the balcony. Design is an integral part of the customer experience, drawing inspiration from the neighborhood to influence its interior. Motifs from the local Yosegi-zaiku (a type of marquetry developed during the Edo period in Hakone) inspired wood designs in the hotel lobby, parquet woodwork adorns the ceilings and rooms, while contemporary artwork brings the nature of Hakone inside through ukiyo-e paintings, fireflies, fallen leaves and mountainous landscapes.
Rates start from US $ 450 per night when you book directly through ihg.com
Eat your way through Osaka
You can’t go to Japan without eating food – and Osaka is the place to do it. Often called Tenka no Daidokoro, the cuisine of the country, Osaka is a bustling metropolis that is home to some of Japan’s most famous street food.
Whether it’s around street corners, back alleys, train stations, or even the backs of shops, Osaka’s food scene is one of the best in the world. Some favorites include; Okonomiyaki, a tasty Japanese pancake filled with cabbage and then topped with just about anything; Tako-yaki, grilled octopus dumplings in special round molds; and Kaiten-sushi conveyor belt sushi invented in Osaka in the 1950s.
In addition to the street food, don’t forget to try the famous food courts. From traditional rice dishes to ramen, food courts are the place to go when looking for an affordable meal.
Stay at the new Holiday Inn & Suites Shin Osaka, which features suite-style rooms with full kitchens and washer / dryers to help cater for family travelers. As with all Holiday Inn properties, children 12 and under stay and eat free.
In partnership with the famous local restaurant chain, Ganko Sushi, the hotel offers a coupon of 2000/18 $ US per person with each room reserved for use in the restaurant. The offer is available for stays until the end of March 2022.
Rates start from US $ 105 per night if you book by December 22, 2021.
Ultimate Zen in an Onsen
When you’ve had your fill of city life, head to Beppu and visit the country’s finest onsens.
An onsen is a natural hot spring that is geothermally heated by volcanic activity underground, allowing hot water to rise to the surface and create a natural jacuzzi effect. Sacred to the Japanese, the onsen is considered a purification ritual that helps to purify the soul and to be at peace. It is a common practice for the Japanese to bathe all together in one onsen because they believe that there is a special bond that is created when not hiding behind clothes – this relationship is called hadaka no tsukiai.
Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has pioneered luxury travel to new and established destinations since its launch. At ANA InterContinental Beppu Resort & Spa enjoy two large outdoor onsens – each meticulously crafted with the selection and arrangement of Beppu stones placed to create a waterfall effect. Private onsen rooms offer a modern experience in an exclusive space featuring a luxurious day bed, en-suite bathroom and minimalist design. The heart of the resort is the iconic infinity pool, designed to unite the sky with the view of the Beppu hot springs below.
The hotel has an exclusive HARNN aromatic stay in the BEPPU package offering a selection of HARNN amenities to take home, including a personalized in-room diffuser, a 90-minute spa treatment for two of your choice, breakfast and access to the Onsen, sauna, to the fitness room and to the infinity pool – all included in the price.
Fares start from US $ 1,270 and are available until December 31, 2021.