Luxury guide to Tokyo – where to stay, eat and shop
Japan is a fascinating country with incredible experiences for every budget, but it’s an absolute must-visit for anyone looking for luxury travel. Japanese culture places an enormous importance on charming hospitality, aesthetic charm and fastidious attention to detail; and this means you have every need attended to, before you even knew you had it. If you’re looking for luxury in Tokyo, here are some ideas:
The Shangri-La is a truly stunning five-star experience. Large, elegant rooms look out over the busy, exciting metropolis of Tokyo, including views of Tokyo Station, The Imperial Palace and Tokyo Skytree. Despite the busy location you will feel an instant sense of calm and tranquillity the minute you walk in the beautiful lobby door; the restaurants are world-class and you’ll want to spend all night in the glamorous champagne bar with its signature chandelier made from hundreds of glass leaves.
Lovers of good food are well and truly covered in Tokyo. If you’re shopping during the day make sure you check out the ‘depachika’ (basement food halls) in the basements of big department stores like Tobu Ikebukuro, Keio Shinjuku, Takashimaya Shinjuku, Ginza Mitsukoshi and Isetan Shinjuku. You’ll find a mind-blowing range of impeccably presented ready-to-eat and pantry delights from caviar to candied green soybeans to soft shell crab to fugu (blowfish) to fine French cheeses – and absolutely everything in between.
Tokyo is also a big hitter in the Michelin stakes – in fact it’s the city with the highest number of starred restaurants in the world (226 this year). If you’re looking for the best of the best: Azabu Yukimura, Joël Robuchon, Kagurazaka Ishikawa, Kanda, Kohaku, L’Osier, Makimura, Quintessence, Ryugin, Sushi Yoshitake, Usukifugu Yamadaya all have three stars. Even though these are the temples of haute cuisine in this vibrant epicurious city, good food, presented beautifully is literally everywhere you go – so don’t miss out on the treats hiding in tiny yakitori bars and nothing-to-look at ramen shops.
Japanese fashion is unique and there are often elements of the local culture woven (all puns intended) into garments you’ll buy in Tokyo. All the world-renowned high end brands like Gucci, Prada, Dior, Chanel, Bulgari have shops in Ginza but if you head to Omotesando you will get the full spectrum. International fashion houses at the Aoyama end with local designers and vintage intermingling at the Meiji Shrine end. Fashionistas will find their happy place in Tokyo.
Tokyo is a city of elegance and magical charm like nowhere else, perfect for the luxury traveller. Your only problem will be how to fit it all into one stay.