Rupert Parker finds an oasis of calm at Hotel Chinzanso in Tokyo.
The Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo is located a little way from the city centre yet Japan’s excellent public transport makes getting there easy. It sits in its own parkland and has one of the most distinguished Japanese gardens in the country. This was designed and built at the end of the 19th century in an area long famous for its wild camellias. Still surviving are a three-storied pagoda, the Shiratama Inari Shrine and a sacred tree around 500 years old.,
The hotel opened in 1992 as the Four Seasons Tokyo, the first example of this brand in Asia. In 2012, the relationship ended and was renamed the Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo. It comprises three separate areas: the hotel building itself, a separate banquet building and the Japanese garden. Surrounding the complex is a beautiful landscape full of seasonal plants, flowers and trees.
The 267 rooms and suites start with the Superior rooms, each with minimum area of 45 sq. metres. The Deluxe rooms are some of the largest in Tokyo, and all are elegantly decorated and equipped with TV, DVD player, mini bar, safety deposit box, writing desk, telephone, as well as complimentary internet access.
We stayed in a Superior room and its large ceiling-to-floor bay windows had views of the Japanese garden with the Tokyo skyline behind. The king size bed, with custom mattress, had 100% cotton bed linen and a pillow menu. There was a nightly turn-down service and also a Nespresso machine and kettle.
The spacious 16 sq. metre bathroom came with bath, separate shower stall and toilet. L’Occitane cosmetics, fluffy bathrobes and a magnifying makeup mirror, completed the sense of luxury. The 24-hour room service had a wide range of Japanese and Western menus, and an overnight laundry service, as well as free shoe shine were welcome extras.
There are nine restaurants in total and in our short stay we barely scratched the surface. The Lobby Lounge, Le Jardin, is ideal for afternoon refreshments with scones and selected teas, or for evening cocktails. It also has terrace seating overlooking the garden. The main bar, Le Marquis, seats 50 in a tranquil and dignified European style.
Restaurant Miyuki serves all the classics of Japanese cuisine, such as sushi, teppanyaki, tempura, and shabushabu (hot-pot dishes). You dine in an elegant Japanese indoor garden with stone carvings and the dishes are served on exquisite ceramics by staff in traditional kimonos. It’s well worth taking breakfast here.
Il Teatro offers authentic Italian regional cuisine in a European classical style, under symbolic Venetian glass chandeliers. The Bistro is open all day and serves light snacks and main courses with a selection of beer and wine. Outside, in the garden is the Eel Restaurant, Kikusuiro Unakiku, serving eel various ways with seasonal ingredients.
The hotel caters for weddings, charity balls, business conferences, and presentations with a total of 38 versatile meeting rooms. The Grand Hall Tsubaki is the largest in Tokyo and can accommodate up to 2,000. The Ballroom can take 500 inside but adds 500 more when using the outdoor terrace facing the garden.
The Amphitheater is a conference room for 100, with tiered seating equipped with individual microphones. The Serenity Garden, located on the rooftop, is an open-air space perfect for all kinds of parties and events including weddings. It also has its own private dog park.
For weddings, there are three chapels and three shrines plus all ancillary facilities. These include, beauty salons, photo studios, florists and gift shops. A Business Centre offers complimentary computers and printers.
With the relaxed garden atmosphere of a hot spring resort, Yu the Spa offers an indoor heated pool with retractable roof, as well as a jet bath, a sauna, an outdoor pool, and a cascading waterfall. The gym comes equipped with the latest workout facilities, weight-training equipment, and instructors. The Spa also offers traditional Japanese Onsen baths, with mineral water shipped into the hotel on a regular basis.
In a city infamous for its tiny hotel rooms, the Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo offers lots of space both inside and out and the exotic Japanese Garden is an added bonus. After a hard day hitting the city streets, this is the perfect place to unwind.
Tell Me More About Hotel Chinzanso, Tokyo
Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo 2-10-8, Sekiguchi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-8680 JAPAN
A room at the Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo for two costs $690 (including consumption tax, service charge, and breakfast but excluding accommodation tax).
Access to Tokyo’s attractions is easy because of the wonderful public transport. The subway is around ten minutes’ walk away and JR stations are easily accessible by taxi. An airport limousine bus connects in 90 minutes to Narita International Airport, or 60 minutes to Haneda International Airport.