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New experiential stays to put on your Japan travel radar

Shigeru Ban designed a ‘villa among the arts’. Image: Simose.

In Japan, an overnight stay can be more than just a place to rest your head and enjoy a bite to eat. With a huge range of accommodation options all over the country designed to offer guests immersive experiences, where you choose to stay can be a great way to extend your journey of discovery in Japan beyond your daily activities.

Here’s a selection of some of the newest and upcoming experiential hotel offerings to consider for your next trip to Japan.

World’s first movable galleries by the Seto Inland Sea

The world’s first movable galleries have opened at Simose in Otake, Hiroshima Prefecture, by the Seto Inland Sea as part of an expansive art complex featuring art galleries, architecturally magnificent villa accommodation, and a French restaurant serving fresh local ingredients from the Seto Inland Sea.

Inspired by Hiroshima’s shipbuilding technology, the exhibition is made up of eight brightly-coloured movable gallery spaces that are perched atop the water. Guests are invited to immerse themselves in the art by staying overnight in one of Simose’s ten villas designed by prominent architect, Shigeru Ban. You can choose between one of the “Forest Villas” surrounded by trees or one of the “Waterside Villas” overlooking the islands of the Seto Inland Sea.

Movable exhibition spaces. Image: Simose.

Hotel the Cliff introduces a cave-like experience for guests

On the edge of Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, a hotel like no other has popped up clinging to the town’s dramatic rocky cliffside. All rooms at Hotel the Cliff are built into the cliff face around 10 metres above the beach below, offering unparalleled close-up views of the crashing waves and across the vast Sea of Japan.

Described as 8 private “cave” rooms, each room features a private terrace with a hot tub overlooking the ocean, while the Garb Cliff Terrace restaurant serves guests a seasonal 7-course dinner while they enjoy spectacular panoramic views.

Cave room with private terrace and hot tub. Image: Hotel the Cliff.

Hoshino Resorts KAI Akiu to open in 1500-year-old onsen destination

Set to open on 25 April, Hoshino Resorts KAI Akiu in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, will allow guests to experience the very best of this popular onsen (hot spring) destination with a 1,500-year history. Located in Akiu Onsen, you’ll discover a luxurious retreat with spacious rooms looking out over the river valley and surrounding forest.

Boasting one indoor and one outdoor onsen, and a relaxing footbath, you can enjoy the natural beauty of Sendai’s great outdoors all year round, while the spacious rooms have been uniquely designed with calming blue tones to reflect the river below.

Room overlooking the river valley. Image: Hoshino Resorts KAI Akiu.

Fumimoto Brewery tasting tours and glamping stays

After 120 years of operation, Fumimoto Brewery in Shimanto, Kochi Prefecture, reopened its doors in 2023 following a major renovation project offering a completely refreshed approach to its guest experience. Showcasing its long-held sake making legacy, the brewery invites guests to visit its new pairing bar to taste its daiginjo sake which is made with Niida rice sourced from the local area.

Allowing guests to truly immerse themselves in the art of sake making, you can learn more about the intricate processes and ingredients involved in Fumimoto Brewery’s time-honoured tradition of sake making as part of a multi-night experience. Fumimoto Brewery offers brewery day tours paired with a traditional BBQ and overnight stays at the nearby Iwamotoji Temple or Skyhill Glamping ground.

Skyhill Glamping. Image: Visit Kochi Japan.

nol hakone myojindai, forest spa retreat

Reopening on 17 May following an extensive rebrand and renovation, the nol hakone myojindai spa hotel will provide guests with the opportunity to rejuvenate their body and mind within the serene surroundings of Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Designed to create a tranquil hideaway retreat where guests can reconnect with themselves, the hotel features its own natural onsen sourced from Miyagino and a thermal indoor pool. The hotel invites guests to relax on its magnificent Totonoi Terrace – a large outdoor wooden deck overlooking Mt Hakone and with access to the hotel’s luxurious saunas and pool.

Totonoi Terrace. Image: nol hakone myojindai.

The luxurious Hotel Condo Vivoviva has opened on Ishigaki Island

Perched on the tropical shoreline of Okinawa’s Ishigaki Island overlooking Taketomi Island and the shallow turquoise waters in between, Hotel Condo Vivoviva opened its doors on 1 March. A stay at the Hotel Condo Vivoviva promises all the spoils of a luxurious tropical paradise escape, with rooms offering private infinity pools overlooking the ocean, a restaurant serving the very best of Okinawan cuisine, and an extensive menu of spa treatments.

The hotel also encourages guests to connect with Okinawa’s natural beauty through a variety of organised activities including snorkelling and diving, island hopping trips, sunset cruises, and other fun-filled aquatic activities.

Image by Hotel Condo Vivoviva.



For more information, please contact:
James Cooley | james@thelucidagency.com.au | +61 401 316 701



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