This year is an exciting one for Japan’s capital Tokyo, so we take a look at what hotels and activities you need to know about in 2019
Since Japan appointed a new Emperor on 1 May 2019, the country has entered a new era named Reiwa. This time of change merges with the ever-developing tourism market in Tokyo, with new hotels, transportation and shopping outlets popping up every month. But it’s not all new in this Japanese metropolis, as the city is home to a number of traditional temples and practices that give the destination an eclectic mix of old and new.
Tokyo recorded 162 hotels opening their doors in 2018, increasing the number of accommodation options to 1,646, a 10% rise on the previous year. And this rate of growth shows no sign of slowing down as the city has a number of new hotels in the pipeline. One of these new establishments is the luxury Hotel Okura, which has had the majority of its rooms off-sale and under construction since autumn 2015. On 12 September 2019 it will be reborn as The Okura Tokyo and become the flagship of The Okura Heritage brand that encompasses Japan’s traditional, cultural and historical legacy. The hotel will span two buildings: The Okura Heritage Wing and the 41-storey Okura Prestige Tower. Both will feature rooms, restaurants and a bar.
Getting around Tokyo doesn’t need to be complicated for visitors. The Japan Limousine Service offers an elegant and easy way to explore the city, providing a guided private tour for international travellers. Experienced drivers will assist with transporting visitors to everything from a Kabuki or ninja show and flower arranging experience to districts such as Harajuku and Shibuya to get a flavour of Tokyo’s thriving fashion scene and entertainment. The city is also proud to offer the “universal design taxi” service, which caters to travellers of all needs, including wheelchair users.
Photo: KANZE NOH THEATRE
If visitors are hopping in a limousine or taxi, recommend they take it to Ginza, Tokyo’s best shopping district. Some of the world’s biggest brands can be found here, among showrooms and glitzy department stores. The newest shopping complex is Ginza Six, which opened in 2017 and offers six floors featuring Fendi, Yves Saint Laurent and Vivienne Westwood, to name a few. In the basement, visitors can discover the art of Japan’s traditional theatre performances in Noh Theatre. Based on a tradition that’s been passed down for around 700 years, this experience truly highlights Tokyo’s unique combination of old and new.
Take a look at some of Tokyo’s attractions that highlight the city’s old vs new nature in this video:
For more information about Tokyo, visit timelesstokyo.com