Being 45 storeys high, Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo was the first skyscraper hotel in Japan with 1,437 rooms. Though the hotel is already 46 years old (it first opened on 5 June 1971), it is still excellently maintained and remain strongly relevant.
What we love about Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo is the fact that it invites travellers to learn more about many aspects of Japanese culture and art. The following are what guests of the hotel must do when staying there:
1. Participate in Japanese Tea Ceremony
Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo has a dedicated Tea Ceremony Room where staying and outside guests can witness how a proper Japanese tea ceremony is conducted by a tea master who started to practise this art since she was four years old and was taught by her mother who learned it from her grandmother. The tea master now has accumulated 35 years of experience in this art.
Price : ¥ 2,000 yen per person
2. Dress up in Wedding Kimonos
During weekdays, guests are recommended to experience wearing and taking photographs in marvellous wedding kimonos that make them look impressive and regal, which might be one of the highlights when staying at the hotel. Once donning the kimonos, guests are ushered to vantage spots within the hotel to take memorable photo shots.
Price : ¥ 32,400 yen per person and ¥ 54,000 yen per couple
3. Dine and chill out at the swanky Aurora Sky Lounge
Located on the 45th Floor across Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo’s Premier Grand Club Lounge, this exclusive outlet proves popular for unwinding and entertaining. Besides alcoholic beverages, it also serves non-alcoholic options such as zesty mocktails and hot drinks. As a matter of fact, Aurora Sky Lounge is popular as the place to enjoy afternoon tea served on prestigious Arita porcelain from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Diners are bound to fall in love with the fantastic view of the Shinjuku skyline and beyond, stretching as far as the Tokyo Skytree and the Tokyo Tower.
Price : ¥ 4,300 yen per person
4. Embark on Japanese fine culinary journey by experiencing keiseki (Japanese traditional multi-course dinner)
Keiseki is meant to evoke diners’ multiple senses since it is not only enjoyed through smell and taste but also sight (via remarkable food presentation), and touch (referring to the food’s varied textures and layers). This exquisite Japanese cuisine served at Keio Plaza Hotel’s keiseki restaurant called Soujuan follows the menu according to the seasons and availability of ingredients.
5. Visit Mount Takao and savour the fantastic shojin-ryori for lunch at Yakuo-in Temple
To get to Mount Takao, travellers need to take the 20-minute train ride from Shinjuku station using the Keio Line to get to the end of the line called Takaosanguchi (‘Entranceway to Mount Takao’) station that was designed by one of Japan’s leading architects Kengo Kuma. Travellers should then ascend Mount Takao by taking the steepest funicular railway in Japan. Lovers of architecture are sure to fall in love with the Japanese Buddhist vernacular buildings erected within the grounds of Yakuo-in Temple that has been established since 744 A.D, besides the cutting edge train station. Mount Takao’s surroundings are also haven for nature and outdoor lovers. On the way down, travellers should descend using the chairlift, which offers unimpeded views of the area and Tokyo city beyond.
Buddhist vegetarian cuisine price: ¥ 2,800 yen per person
Website : http://takaosan.or.jp
6. Arrange a private sightseeing tour to Omiya Bonsai Art Museum in Saitama
Guests should visit this museum to learn about the history and art of bonsai cultivation, which is strongly rooted in Japanese culture. The trip to the museum is sure to open guests’ eyes towards the beauty of bonsai and the effort required to cultivate it. Afterwards, walk around the Omiya village to admire the bonsai plants grown in the residents’ front gardens, including bonsai nurseries, if they are open to public.
Website : http://www.bonsai-art-museum.jp
7. Visit the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum (itchiku-museum.com) at Kawaguchiko, and then appreciate the view of Mount Fuji
Located two hours’ bus ride away from the south exit of the Shinjuku station, this is the place where guests should go to admire the works of the pattern tie-dyeing art master Itchiku Kubota (1917-2003) that depict sceneries of Mount Fuji on enormous kimonos. Travellers are also able to admire the view of Mount Fuji from the museum’s own café, or from the lovingly quaint traditional farming and silk cocoon cultivation village comprising 20 thatched houses called Saiko Iyashino Sato Nenba (www.fujisan.ne.jp/iyashi/) that is now converted into museum.
From the tea ceremony to the painstakingly detailed and delicate craftsmanship exhibited at Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo, guests are bound appreciate the beauty of Japanese culture that emphasises on orderliness and the need to provide meticulous care on everything through gentle, methodical and precise manner – staying at Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo means guests are continuously surrounded by the beauty of Japanese culture all under one roof.
Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo
T: +81 3 3344 0111
F: +81 3 3345 8269