This article appears in Issue 05 of HEY GENTS Magazine. To enjoy more travel content exclusive to the magazine, order Issue 05 here.
It’s the best of both worlds: a traditional Japanese inn (or ryokan, as they’re better known) with modern comforts, and an enviable location within walking distance of Tokyo station. Welcome to HOSHINOYA, Tokyo’s five-star, luxury ryokan that offers guests an authentic experience in the middle ofthe city.
Japan’s unique customs that have been refined and celebrated over centuries are immediate upon entering. You’re instantly greeted by a welcoming kimono-clad member of staff before taking off your shoes to be stowed away in the bamboo shoeboxes that line the hallway—kept safe until the next time you leave the hotel.
Up a tatami-lined hallway, you’ll find your room, where contemporary furnishings meet centuries-old Japanese design. Windows sit behind shoji screens with light castingshadows from the exterior black metal lattice onto floor-level futon mattresses covered in fresh white bed linen. Contemporary furniture is given a twist with Japanese carvings made by local craftsmen, while the bathrooms boast palatially deep tubs.
Hoshinoya boasts 84 rooms, although it does not feel like an overly large hotel. The rooms are divided into groups of six, each of the 14 floors acting as though its a self-contained, quiet ryokan. On your floor, there’s a shared Ochanoma lounge, with a communal wooden table and sofas, where seasonalsake, tea, coffee and onigiri rice balls are served daily.
On the 17th floor is HOSHINOYA’s crowning jewel—open roof hot springs with soaring walls that frame the sky above, drawing water that flows 1500 metres below the building. Japanese treatments are offered in the nearby spa, and like the rest of the hotel, it provides a modern take on tradition, alongside a heavy dose of relaxation.