When it comes to hotel options in Japan’s sprawling capital, the sky’s the limit—literally, as many of the city’s most coveted bookings are tucked into the tallest skyscrapers. Yet no matter how high in the clouds they are, the best properties showcase deep-rooted cultural connections that reveal an age-old reverence for hospitality called omotenashi, the hard-to-translate Japanese concept of selfless hospitality cultivated from tea ceremony traditions. From vertiginous suites to contemporary retreats inspired by ryokans (traditional inns), these are the best places to stay the next time you’re in Tokyo.
- What to Expect: A true urban resort with unmatched service in the heart of the city
- Neighborhood: Otemachi
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Known for its matchless hospitality in sublime natural settings, Aman Resorts made its urban debut in 2014 with the Aman Tokyo, which delivers the transporting cultural experiences and superlative service it’s famous for to the center of Japan’s sprawling capital. Elevators open onto a 33rd-floor lobby with a soaring atrium that’s close to 100 feet high. The focal point is a show-stopping, seasonally inspired ikebana flower arrangement, reflected to dazzling effect in a shallow pool and anchored by rock gardens.
The 84 ryokan-inspired guest rooms, designed by Kerry Hill Architects, are among the city’s largest entry-level accommodations in Tokyo. They’re a minimalist’s dream, with chestnut floors, sliding shoji screens, floor-to-ceiling windows framing city views, and large stone furo soaking tubs worth clearing an entire afternoon to enjoy. Equally worthy of an extended exploration, the sprawling spa, which has onsen-style baths and a 90-foot pool facing city views, offers treatments that embrace the herb-based Kampo healing philosophy. Of the hotel’s dining options, the eight-seat Musashi by Aman is the most coveted reservation, with its omakaseexperience led by master chef Hiroyuki Musashi.
- What to Expect: A modern homage to the ryokan in the heart of Tokyo
- Neighborhood: Otemachi
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Hoshinoya Tokyo reinterprets the century-old Japanese brand’s signature countryside ryokans for an urban setting in the city’s Otemachi business district. Interiors by Azuma Architects & Associates mix tradition with contemporary design. Set within a 17-story building clad in latticed metal, the 84 spacious guest rooms in muted palettes have handcrafted bamboo closets, shoji sliding screens, and cushioned floor seating backed with bows of ruler-thin wood. Every floor shares a communal ochanoma, a lounge where confections and seasonal treats are available throughout the day.
Accommodations are covered in soft tatami mats, but unlike a traditional ryokan, the flooring continues in the corridors, common areas, and elevators (guests surrender their shoes at the entrance and shuffle through the hotel in cozy socks). There are plenty of enticing on-property experiences to lure you away from the deep soaking tub inside your room, including the hotel’s 10-table restaurant (be sure to reserve), where executive chef Noriyuki Hamada serves Nippon cuisine, French-inspired Japanese dining. One onsite feature you’ll find nowhere else in Tokyo: the hotel’s top-floor onsen, which pumps natural water from 5,000 feet below the city into an open-air bath and where the edges of soaring onyx-hued walls frame the sky.
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The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo
- What to Expect: Business meets pleasure, with views for days
- Neighborhood: Roppongi
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Centrally located within flashy Roppongi and occupying the nine uppermost floors of one of Tokyo’s tallest buildings, the unparalleled views at the Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo keep the property on the short list of the city’s most coveted stays. Enormous, lacquer wood-clad guest rooms have beds with Frette linens and marble bathrooms you could get lost in. For a true respite within the frenetic city, spring for a club-level room for access to the tranquil 53rd-floor Club Lounge, which on clear days showcases Mount Fuji. The lounge is a destination unto itself, where one-on-one business meetings take place next to leisure travelers enjoying afternoon tea, served to the music of a live harpist.
Seven restaurants and bars showcase many of the flavors that define the city’s culinary scene. In a moodily lit space, Hinokizaka offers four distinct areas for seasonal kaiseki menu tastings, sushi, tempura, and grill-based teppanyaki cuisine. On the 45th floor, the 28-seat Azure 45 serves a French and Japanese-inspired fine dining menu in a room decorated with soothing blues and natural woods.
Tokyo Toranomon Edition
- What to Expect: A leafy, minimalist oasis with scenic views
- Neighborhood: Kamiyacho
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In the Kamiyacho business district near Roppongi, this 206-room newcomer is the first Edition hotel in Japan, designed by architect Kengo Kuma in partnership with Ian Schrager, the hotelier behind the international Marriott lifestyle brand. Guests enter the lobby on the 31st floor—the hotel commands the top floors of the 38-story Tokyo World Gate skyscraper—and are quickly engulfed in a palm-fringed lobby. From the get-go, you’ll notice a casual, intimate vibe, a notable departure from Tokyo’s often formal luxury hotels.
That feeling extends to the Blue Room, a restaurant off the lobby that offers a range of Japanese-inspired comfort foods, like a katsu sando made with wagyu beef and a dashi mayonnaise or a yuzu-marinated version of caprese salad. Nearby, the Gold Bar focuses on such classic drinks as martinis and Manhattans in a sleek space lined with elegant decanters. The minimalist guest rooms were designed with warm woods and white textiles, some with private balconies or freestanding tubs and many with postcard-worthy views of the Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Bay.
Muji Hotel Ginza
- What to Expect: An immersion in the world of Japan’s Muji lifestyle brand
- Neighborhood: Ginza
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Atop Muji’s flagship store in the Ginza shopping district, the lifestyle brand’s first hospitality concept in Tokyo takes a page from its own look book, with rooms of tidy minimalism and a nightly rate that’s easy on the budget. The 79 guest rooms are spare but smartly designed, with built-in furniture and a neutral palette, making the most out of modest square footage. Everything from electric tea kettles and oil diffusers are stashed in clean-lined cubbies; wardrobes and storage disappear behind sliding screens.
While those who like extra pampering might miss the lack of room service and phones (a digital screen connects you to the front desk and controls the curtains), die-hard Muji fans will adore the immersion into the brand’s simple and satisfyingly organized approach to living. The restaurant Wa is worth a visit, with a rotating menu that highlights one regional cuisine at a time—such as the coastal Shimane Prefecture—and for palatable prices. You’ll find a Muji-brand bakery for early-day treats (say good morning, red bean buns), and the Salon bar is a perfect spot for a coffee or a nightcap at the camphorwood counter.
- What to Expect: A design lover’s hideaway with Japan’s smallest disco club
- Neighborhood: Kagurazaka
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The team behind Trunk (Hotel), a crowd-pleasing 15-room boutique in Shibuya, branched out with Trunk (House), a splurgy, one-bedroom residence in Shinjuku near Edo Castle created to immerse visitors in the creativity of both traditional and contemporary Japan. The 70-year-old town house is tucked away amid handsome wooden homes in the maze-like neighborhood of Kagurazaka, nicknamed “mini Kyoto” in reference to its history as a geisha district.
Throughout the two-story town house, the art and furnishings are a roster of notable Japanese and international talent. A provocative tile painting in the bathroom, with its large hinoki tub, is by ukiyo-e (woodblock print) master Masumi Ishikawa, and the papercut art in the tearoom was fashioned by Kanagawa-born Chiaki Hirano. There’s a leather sofa by Los Angeles–based Stephen Kenn, a midcentury Potence wall lamp by French metal work master Jean Prouvé, and an installation of tea ceremony utensils by New York native Tom Sachs. Even the mini bar, stocked with traditional sweets by Higashiya and fresh local tea, is showcase of Japanese craftsmanship. Personalized attention is part of the experience, too: Your butler, clad in a uniform by fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto, will make you a bowl of ramen or help set up your own private disco club on the town house’s light-up dance floor.
The Okura Tokyo
- What to Expect: A beloved midcentury hotel, reimagined
- Neighborhood: Toranomon
- Book now
The Okura Tokyo, famous for its impeccable service and midcentury aesthetic by architect Yoshiro Taniguchi, originally debuted in the city’s Toranomon business district in advance of the Tokyo 1964 Olympics. Following a controversial demolition, the hotel was rebuilt and reopened in 2019 after a four-year, $1 billion renovation, this time under the guidance of Taniguchi’s son, Yoshio, who redesigned New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Today, two new buildings now sit alongside an original wing and channel the original midcentury ambience. In the Okura Prestige Tower, wood-accented rooms have walk-in closets, deep soaking tubs, and picture windows that face panoramic city views. The 17-story Okura Heritage Wing takes service up a notch with its own dedicated reception area (or in-room check-in if you prefer), making it a favorite among privacy-conscious guests like heads of state.
There are eight places to eat and drink throughout the hotel, including the Orchid Bar, which specializes in classic cocktails and has an impressive collection of whiskies. The hotel’s 80-foot, five-lane heated swimming pool is bathed in light, while down below, the Okura Museum of Art offers a surprisingly large collection of traditional works of calligraphy and ceramics that’s free for guests to view. Be sure to linger in the iconic lobby, a painstaking recreation of the 1960s original that has lured design and architecture fanatics for decades.
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