Experience the Magic of Sakura Season at These Stylish Hotels in Japan

Culture

Cherry blossoms are a must-see when visiting Japan, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy hanami (“viewing flowers”) during Sakura season. Traditional experiences include strolling the Philosopher’s Path, which cuts through the beautifully preserved Higashiyama District in Kyoto, to riding the Sagano Romantic Railway that passes through a tunnel of sakura trees along the Hozugawa River between Arashiyama and Kameoka east of the city.

For edgier alternatives, the Unko Museum Tokyo is hosting a special emoji exhibition during its Sakura Festival, while sakura-themed digital art inspired by the Kano School of Painting and projection-mapped at World Heritage Site Nijo-jo Castle in Kyoto by art collective NAKED will make it possible to see cherry blossoms after dark. Top hotels in Tokyo, Kyoto, and beyond are leaning into Sakura season, too, with themed stays, specialty cocktails, and spa treatments. Here are some of the best places to consider.

HOSHINOYA Tokyo

Hoshino Resorts

The ultra-exclusive Spring Warmth Hanami Boat experience at contemporary hot spring hotel HOSINOYA Tokyo in Chiyoda City is limited to just one private charter per couple per day and priced at 140,000 Japanese yen or around US$930, including tax and service charges. Part of Hoshino Resort’s Spring Journey series, the experience is reminiscent of the Edo period cherry blossom viewing tradition. While aboard, guests can sit back and admire cherry blossoms that adorn the banks of Sumida and Ooyoko Rivers while dining on a traditional Hanami bento lunch box featuring seasonal bites like seabream and bamboo shoots and sipping sake.

Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi

Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi

With panoramic views of the Imperial Palace Gardens and Mount Fuji on a clear day, Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi is one of the finest stays in town and its themed experiences provide a suitably superlative level of sakura immersion. Guests can marvel at real in-room cherry blossoms with the Blossoms in My Room package and head to glitzy nightclub style bar VIRTÙ to sip on specialty cocktail Someiyoshino crafted with cherry blossom liqueur, sake, citrus and premium rice shochu. At THE SPA, the Sakura Purity Enhancement treatment promises to revitalize the senses with a therapeutic foot bath, facial massage and full-body massage using fragrant sakura oil, volcanic basalt rocks, jade stone and rose quartz crystals.

Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi

Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi

Sister property, Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi near Tokyo Station, has a duo of seasonal experiences with its Flower Afternoon Tea, taking guests on a sensory journey through blooms and blossoms from around the world. Served at Parisian-style bistro MAISON MARUNOUCHI, the limited-time menu features flower-inspired delicacies, like Sakura & Matcha Choux from Japan, among other international sweets. For charming and cuddly sakura season souvenirs, The Spa Boutique has handcrafted Four Seasons bears dressed in hanami-themed outfits for sale. 

The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon

The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon

With numerous hanami spots within easy walking distance – including Agato Shrine near Tokyo Tower and Zojoji Temple in Minato City – The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon is celebrating spring with a special Sakura Stay Package. Available to book from March 16 through April 7, it includes breakfast at the dining space, The Blue Room, a sakura cocktail at the Lobby Bar, plus an exclusive sakura-inspired room amenity each night. Guests at the stylish 38-story Tokyo skyscraper by hotelier Ian Schrager and architect Kengo Kuma also receive a digital Urban Hanami map to use during stays.

HOSHINOYA Fuji

Hoshino Resorts

One of Japan’s most breathtaking glamping experiences, HOSHINOYA Fuji, is perched on the hillside next to Lake Kawaguchi at the base of Mount Fuji, where guests can explore renowned local cherry blossom spots on morning canoe trips and afternoon bike rides. Another prime place to see flowering sakura is along the lake’s north shore walking trail, where one of Japan’s best cherry blossom festivals is also held. Featuring vendors selling local food, drinks, and crafts – and backdropped by impressive views of Mount Fuji – this year’s Fuji-Kawaguchiko Sakura Festival will take place near the Kawaguchiko Music Forest Museum from March 30 through April 14.

Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

The Hanami Suite Package at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto is a genuinely immersive sakura experience that not only allows guests to soak up prime sakura views from a private balcony in their first-floor Residential Suite but also includes special access to a private courtyard overlooking cherry blossom trees in the 800-year-old heritage pond garden. A sakura sweets gift box, bottle of Champagne, and Sakura Afternoon Tea served in-suite are package perks too. Non-package guests can book the same Sakura Afternoon Tea at the atmospheric Fuju lounge, sample seasonal cocktails at The Lounge & Bar, and enjoy access to spectacular cherry blossom viewing spots within 15 minutes of the hotel around Japan’s former capital city, including the gardens of Chishakuin Temple.

HOSHINOYA Kyoto

Hoshino Resorts

The serene riverside setting at teahouse-style HOSHINOYA Kyoto, which spans several century-old traditional Japanese buildings, makes its Cherry Blossom Viewing Stay even more atmospheric. Between March 25 and April 9, guests can privately rent the Hanazakura Terrace to view the blossoms, which show various expressions throughout the day. The overnight night package is priced at 109,091 Japanese yen or around US$725 for two people and includes welcome cocktails and sweets, a special breakfast and dinner, plus a private Hisui boat charter along the Oigawa River. Guests can also venture out to celebrate seasonal festivals, like Girl’s Day, on March 3, and Hanatoro (“flower and light road”) in Kyoto’s Higashiyama District.



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