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2024.03 Explore Fascinating Travel Destinations With Stays at Select Hotels [PR]

Hotels have evolved beyond simple lodgings to become an important part of the destination. Enhance your travel experience in Japan by staying at hotels imbued with local culture and charm. Explore the highlights of Kanazawa, Sapporo, Nagoya, and Kumamoto, and discover hotels that enrich your experience of these distinctive destinations.


Experience contemporary art and traditional culture in Kanazawa


21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa


Kanazawa is the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture, and is famous for its art museums and traditional crafts. The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa is designed as a “museum open to the city like a park,” where people can visit any time. The museum holds regular events and exhibitions, and has photogenic spots such as The Swimming Pool (2004) by Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich, and the Rabbit Chairs by Japanese architects SANAA, who also designed the museum.


*Please note that some areas may be closed due to the Noto Peninsula Earthquake of 2024, so please check the latest information before visiting.


Exterior of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa


The Swimming Pool

*You need to purchase an exhibition ticket and reserve a time slot to enter this exhibit.


Rabbit Chairs inside the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa


Higashi Chaya District


The Higashi Chaya District is the largest of three well-preserved historical geisha districts in Kanazawa. The area is lined with historical buildings that make visitors feel as if they have traveled back in time. It is common to see visitors dressed in kimonos strolling the picturesque streets. There are also traditional handicraft stores, sweet shops, and gold leaf workshops, offering a variety of ways to enjoy your visit.


Higashi Chaya District


Kimono-clad visitors walking in the Higashi Chaya District


Kanazawa Castle and Kenrokuen Garden


Kanazawa Castle was built in the sixteenth century for the Maeda family who ruled the area until 1869. The partially restored castle is a popular historical destination in Kanazawa. Next to the castle is Kenrokuen Garden, which is considered one of Japan’s most famous gardens. Stroll through the beautiful grounds which reflect the four seasons.


Kanazawa Castle


Kenrokuen Garden


Mitsui Garden Hotel Kanazawa


Mitsui Garden Hotel Kanazawa captures the charm of Kanazawa through its interior design, which fuses traditional craft techniques with modern style. Guests can relax in the large public bath on the top floor, which affords views of the city and the mountains beyond. The breakfast buffet features locally sourced ingredients and regional dishes of Ishikawa.




Mitsui Garden Hotel Kanazawa


Indulge in art, food, and drink in Sapporo


Sapporo Art Park and Makomanai Takino Cemetery


Sapporo is the capital city of Hokkaido, and is regarded as its cultural center. At Sapporo Art Park, visitors can appreciate art in a natural setting. The park covers approximately 40 hectares to the south of Sapporo Station. Visitors can explore the sculpture garden and art museum, and take part in art and craft workshops. A little further from the city center is Makomanai Takino Cemetery. More than a cemetery, the site has extensive parklands with striking art installations. These include a row of Moai statues, the Hill of the Buddha, and a replica of Britain’s Stonehenge.


Sapporo Art Park: “Floating Sculpture Sapporo” by Marta Pan


Moai statues in Makomanai Takino Cemetery


Sapporo Beer Museum


The Sapporo Beer Museum is housed in a beautiful brick building from 1890, which is a Hokkaido Heritage Site. Visitors are free to look around the museum on their own, or can take a guided tour for a fee. Try a sampler set of three different beers (Black Label, Sapporo Classic, and Kaitakushi Beer) at the Star Hall on the first floor.


Sapporo Beer Museum




Susukino is Sapporo’s main entertainment district, with a variety of options for a great night out including izakaya (Japanese-style pubs), ramen restaurants, and karaoke. Among the numerous neon signs in Susukino, the sign of Nikka Whisky stands out and is the most famous.




Mitsui Garden Hotel Sapporo West


The heritage and culture of Hokkaido is expressed through the design of Mitsui Garden Hotel Sapporo West. In the lobby, elements such as brickwork, folk motifs, and lavender upholstery embody the rich history and culture of Japan's northern island. Guests can relax in a spacious public bath decorated with contemporary artwork that reflects the Sapporo landscape. Breakfasts are served buffet style, and feature freshly made crepes and typical dishes from Hokkaido.




Mitsui Garden Hotel Sapporo West


Family adventures in Nagoya


Nagoya Castle


Nagoya is the capital of Aichi Prefecture, and is one of the largest cities in Japan. The city has an abundance of historical sights, and distinctive cuisine. The magnificent Nagoya Castle is a must-visit destination in Nagoya, and the restored Hommaru Palace on the castle grounds is open to the public. The palace is lavishly decorated with gold leaf, and has decorative painted walls and sliding doors.


Main keep of Nagoya Castle



Hommaru Palace, Nagoya Castle




Families can easily spend a whole day at LEGOLAND(R) Japan Resort, a theme park based on the colorful interlocking bricks. Packed with approximately 17 million LEGO(R) bricks and 10,000 LEGO(R) models, the park is impressive in its scale. Visitors can enjoy more than 40 attractions, shows, and an aquarium.


LEGOLAND(R) Japan Resort


Oasis 21


Oasis 21 is a park, shopping area and transport hub that combines green spaces with eco-friendly initiatives. The elements of Oasis 21 include Spaceship-Aqua (a water-filled glass roof), Field of Green (a grassy lawn area), a bus terminal, Galaxy Platform (an event plaza), and shops. At night, Spaceship-Aqua is illuminated, making it a popular spot for taking photos.



Oasis 21


Mitsui Garden Hotel Nagoya PREMIER


With a panoramic view of the Nagoya cityscape, Mitsui Garden Hotel Nagoya PREMIER makes the most of the city’s dramatic skyline. Continuing the sky theme, there are original artworks featuring motifs of clouds and stars around the hotel. Its large public bath is decorated with an artwork themed on a “sea of clouds,” creating a fantastical space for relaxing after a day of sightseeing. The hotel’s breakfast buffet features local seasonal vegetables. There are more than 60 dishes available, including famous local specialties such as hitsumabushi (steamed eel on rice) and uiro (sweet rice cake).







Mitsui Garden Hotel Nagoya PREMIER


Experience Japanese culture and history in Kumamoto


Kumamoto Castle


Kumamoto is a cultural city on the southern tip of Kyushu, with magnificent natural scenery and historical sightseeing spots. Kumamoto Castle is one of Japan’s most famous castles and is a symbol of the city. If you visit the castle, you should also make time to stop at nearby Sakuranobaba Johsaien. Visitors can experience Kumamoto’s food culture, history, and traditions in an area reminiscent of a castle town in the Edo period (seventeenth to nineteenth century).


Kumamoto Castle’s Tenshukaku (Main Keep)


Sakuranobaba Johsaien


Suizenji Garden


Suizenji Garden is a Japanese garden built by the Hosokawa family, a daimyo family who once ruled Kumamoto. Visitors can stroll the garden, which is centered around a pond fed by spring water from Mt. Aso. Kokindenju no Ma is a tea house in the garden that dates back over 400 years. Take a moment to enjoy matcha green tea and sweets while enjoying views of the garden.


Suizenji Garden


Kumamon Square


Kumamon Square is the base of operations of Kumamon, the bear-like mascot of Kumamoto Prefecture. Kumamon travels around Japan and overseas to represent the prefecture. You can see Kumamon perform, and get information about sightseeing spots and local products at the square. Kumomon performs every day at the “360°stage." There are themed photo spots around Kumamon Square, AR games that you can play on a giant screen, and activities that everyone can enjoy. See mementos from Kumamon’s international travels, buy limited-edition merchandise related to Kumamon and Kumamoto, and try local sweets at the on-site café. Immerse yourself in the world of Kumamon, one of Japan’s most popular mascots.



Kumamon Square


Mitsui Garden Hotel Kumamoto


Mitsui Garden Hotel Kumamoto is within walking distance of Kumamoto Castle. Guestrooms are designed with natural materials and traditional decorative motifs to reflect Kumamoto’s environment and culture. The hotel interior is decorated with local folk crafts and toys, and there is an area where you can take photographs with a model of Kumamoto Prefecture’s popular mascot, Kumamon. The hotel’s breakfast buffet features a variety of popular local dishes.




Mitsui Garden Hotel Kumamoto


How to get there


The cities of Kanazawa, Sapporo, Nagoya, and Kumamoto can be reached by direct flights from Komatsu Airport, New Chitose Airport, Chubu Centrair International Airport, and Kumamoto Airport, respectively. Consider staying at a Mitsui Garden Hotel for a richer travel experience.


Related Links


Mitsui Garden Hotel Kanazawa


Mitsui Garden Hotel Sapporo West


Mitsui Garden Hotel Nagoya PREMIER


Mitsui Garden Hotel Kumamoto



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