A journey to Tokyo, Kyoto and Okinawa

Traverse Japan’s urban and pastoral ways of life, from sprawling Tokyo to seaside Okinawa.

As dynamic as it is timelessly beautiful, Japan offers a journey from city to mountain to beach in a relatively small country geographically. From vapor-light powder on its northern slopes to the dazzling sprawl of its megalopolises to the soft breezes and endless sunlight of its southern shores: Japan has a bit of everything. A suggestion to start your Japanese adventure: An immersion into one of the world’s biggest–and most awe-inspiring–cities: Tokyo. Then take the train to Kyoto, where history and nature work in tandem to create what many consider the “cultural heart of Japan.” Finish your travels on the subtropical island of Okinawa and settle into the easygoing rhythm of island life.

Tokyo: Urbane and Unmatched

Tokyo is, no doubt, Japan’s coruscating crown jewel. It is world-famous for its infinite neon grid, its impressive efficiency, its unmarked yet mouthwatering sushi counters, its vast heritage and its blade-sharp modernity. Tokyo alone has almost everything to satiate one’s wanderlust (cat cafés, robot shows, luxe spas, thousands of bars and more, all included). 

Yet while the megalopolis satisfies niches galore, there are standout everyday and evergreen attractions. See the liveliness of daily fresh catches at Toyosu Market (formerly Tsukiji Fish Market), where tuna auctions are held at dawn, every day (these fish can sometimes fetch more than $1,000,000). Explore the neighborhoods of Roppongi or Akihabara for hyper-colorful sights and knicknacks, or Harajuku for distinct street styles. If luxury shopping is on the agenda, look no further than Ginza, where high end global brands often create Tokyo-specific concepts for their retail stores. And then, as the day winds down, there are few things tastier than a Suntory whiskey highball–the drink is popular, and can even be purchased in vending machines.

Few lodgings in Tokyo provide a bird’s eye view–of all the above, quite like Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a Luxury Collection Hotel, which stands in the city’s Downtown. From the moment the elevator doors open into the hotel’s Sky Lobby, it becomes clear just how vast and varied the capital really is. As a result, a favorite guest activity at Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho is to enjoy cocktails at Sky Gallery Lounge Levita. There’s something thrilling about nursing, say, a custom martini while taking in the hundreds of thousands of lights below, fanning out to the mountain-ridged horizon. Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho has spacious rooms designed in a classic-yet-modernized Japanese style, an 18+ wellness center called SPA KIOI, an indoor pool, a heated bath, and contemporary local cuisine, courtesy of Washoku Souten, an Art Deco-style jewel-box restaurant in the sky. Think of Prince Gallery, then, as a hidden gem–albeit one floating in the clouds. 

Quiet Reverence in Kyoto

Next up: Take a high-speed train to Kyoto, considered by many to be Japan’s cultural capital. It is one of the oldest municipalities on the island nation, and it abounds with Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples, pristine and seasonal nature, and UNESCO World Heritage designated palaces. Here, take in the reddish glow of Fushimi-Inari Taisha Shrine, the head shrine for the kami (Shinto deities) of fertility, agriculture, industry–and foxes (it holds many fox sculptures). Or, behold the halcyon light of Kinkaku-ji (known at “The Golden Pavilion”), a temple dating back to 1397. Even just a stroll through Kyoto’s streets yields beauty at every corner, often in the manner of traditional Japanese architecture. It is a truly peaceful, almost palpably reverential city.
Two Luxury Collection hotels in Kyoto provide a broad–and luxe–portal to the city and its history: HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO, a Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa and Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto. At the former, discover an immersion into both tradition and nature in tandem. Notably, HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO holds a thermal spring–ideal for restorative moments–and hallmark restaurants including Forni (Italian) and Toki (Franco-Japanese). Guests also love The Garden Bar, which is set against the quietude of Kyoto’s flora. 

Suiran is built on the banks of the tranquil Hozu River. With only 39 rooms, and its bucolic setting, there’s one word that defines it: serene. Be sure to dine at Kyo-Suiran, a former summer residence overlooking the Hozu serving French-inflected Japanese dishes.

Okinawa: An Ocean Idyll

The best way to conclude an activity and culture-packed Japanese getaway is with a little rest and relaxation. Set your sights on Okinawa, the southernmost of Japan’s primary islands. This semi-tropical retreat is sometimes called the “Hawaii of Japan.” Long blue seas, clean white sands, and delicious local cuisine make Okinawa entirely unique. 

Make IRAPH SUI, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Miyako Okinawa homebase for soaking up Okinawa’s singular vibe. The hotel is located on an island a bit south of Okinawa proper: Miyako-jima. At this remote corner of paradise, IRAPH SUI offers brightly liveried guest rooms (59 of them, to be exact–the space never feels crowded), a world-class spa and an infinity pool overlooking the twinkling Philippine Sea. Another in-the-know highlight? Stop by the Lobby Bar at sunset–the view is one-in-a-million levels of lovely and soothing. 

Any and every which way, Japan’s experiences are rich, unforgettable, and unlike anywhere else.


Tokyo, Japan

The Prince Gallery

The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a Luxury Collection Hotel welcomes you to Japan’s capital city with a seamless blend of historic elegance, modern style and exquisite service. This 5-star hotel is superbly located in Tokyo’s bustling downtown district,just steps from the iconic Akasaka Prince Classic House. Immaculately designed hotel rooms and suites feature unparalleled views of downtown Tokyo.
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Kyoto, Japan


Since ancient times, visitors to Japan have sensed and seen the exquisite beauty of Kyoto’s natural world, where four seasons come and go in balanced succession. This luxury hotel harmonizes with nature, climate and history. From architecture and crafts to food and service, Kyoto culture and local customs shine through everything in the hotel. Experience the onsite natural spring water in the full-service thermal spa.
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Okinawa, Japan


Retreat to beachfront luxury on Irabu Island at IRAPH SUI, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Miyako Okinawa. Located on Irabu Island, southwest of Okinawa, the hotel is surrounded by lush forests, an alluring sea and the rich culture of Miyakojima city. After exploring the islands, return to the hotel restaurant and dine on gourmet dishes or spend your day at the on-site spa that incorporates the sand, sun and waters of Miyakojima and Okinawa. 
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Kyoto, Japan


Set along the peaceful Hozu River, an authentic Japanese-style experience awaits at Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto. The luxury hotel is perfectly poised to offer access to some of Japan’s most important national treasures, a harmonious blend of a relaxing haven and the modern conveniences of a vibrant city. 
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