With the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics still very much in play for this Summer, the country is preparing to welcome participants, spectators, and indeed a perceived increase in the number of tourists from around the world. After Tokyo won the race to host in games in September 2013, a plan was put into place to increase the number of hotel rooms available in the capital and other Japanese cities. In the five years prior to 2020, the number of visitors to Japan nearly tripled to 30 million. Post-Olympiad, Japan is hoping that this surge in tourism will only continue.
Next month, the Fauchon Hotel Kyoto is set to open. Fauchon is the famous French luxury gourmet company which was founded in Paris in 1886. In 2018, it opened the beautiful boutique Fauchon L’Hôtel Paris on the Place de la Madeleine. It has been a huge success for the group, and it is hoping to replicate this success in Kyoto before embarking on a journey to open branded hotels around the world.
Fauchon Hotel Kyoto is located in the centre of the city, in the Shimogyo-ku district – close to Shijo Kawaramachi, Gion, Matsubara Bridge and the Kamo River. The hotel will feature just 59 rooms & suites, Le Spa and restaurants & bars including an haute French-Japanese restaurant - Grand Café Fauchon and a tearoom - Salon De Thé. Fauchon’s bright pink branding is visible throughout the property.
Over in Mie Prefecture (equidistant from Osaka and Kyoto), a Danish-Japanese designed and built luxury “healing” resort is close to start welcoming affluent guests looking to enjoy the Nordic concept of hygge. Named the Nordisk Hygge Circles, this sustainable luxury outdoor glamping resort will offer the feeling of living contently in the moment. The glampsite will consist of three main areas: a rest area with reservable circular cabins and glamping tents, a "learning field" for nature-inspired excursions and workshops, and an area where guests can pitch their own tents – although it is expected that most guests will rely on the resort to fully accommodate and feed them.
The Nordisk Hygge Circles sits at the base of a mountain near powerful, cascading waterfalls in the Ugakei nature park. ‘At Nordisk, we believe that nature is a luxury that is free for all, and that spending time outside simply improves your life,’ says Erik J Møller, CEO and owner of Nordisk. ‘We act according to this view in Japan and see the Japanese consumers agreeing with us to a very large extent.’
Staying in the great outdoors and indeed with the tag of sustainable luxury, the Treeful Treehouse Sustainable Resort is also due to start welcoming guests. Located close to Nago city - in the north of Okinawa island – the resort features über-designed treehouses. One of them is in the shape of an egg and was constructed by a boat-builder. Another is suspended in the trees and boasts a sleek contemporary interior with 360-degree views over the forest in which it is hidden and the River Genka which has the cleanest, clearest river water in Japan.
All the electricity in the resort is harvested from the sun’s rays and in the spirit of the project, an abandoned old watermill has been reconditioned and now provides the whole site with fresh water. Impressively, some of the treehouses are wheelchair accessible.
Finally, in a few weeks, the world’s only luxury “kimono retreat hotel” will open in Yamagata Prefecture. Although 300 kilometres from Tokyo, fashionistas – both Japanese and from abroad – are expected to flock to the NIPPONIA Shirataka Former Okuyama House. The property was once owned by Japan’s most respected silk-production family. The hotel will offer just 8 guestrooms – although the property comprises of five buildings and will span over 8,000 square metres. Guests will be able to learn the intricacies of Japan’s kimono culture. They will also be able to immerse themselves in traditional local craft activities. The Okuyama House was a large family home that was left to wrack and ruin. It was snapped up by Nipponia – a Japanese luxury hotel group that renovates buildings that are of national importance. This act of commercial/cultural endeavour is known as kominka.