Tokyo’s gardened urban oasis
267 Rooms / 46 Suites
It’s rare to find an inner-city hotel set within any kind of parkland much less a 700-year-old Japanese garden complete with a shrine, a tea room and rows of cherry blossom trees, but you’ll find all of that and more at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo. Located about 15 minutes from Tokyo’s central business district in the Bunkyo district, the hotel is set away from the city’s bright lights and buzzy energy.
Expect a calm environment that is as elegant inside as its riverside gardens outside. Chinzanso is a contemporary international hotel to be sure, but it also has quite a few touches of authentic Japanese flair. Popular during spring for hanami (flower viewing) and autumn for the changing leaves, the hotel is perennially beautiful — both the garden and the restaurant reflect Japan’s picturesque seasonality.
Hotel Chinzanso’s rooms come with either a city or a garden view, both are lovely. The spacious rooms have luxurious Japanese touches such as fine Aritayaki porcelain lamps, rich Japanese textiles and ukiyo-e woodblock prints on the walls. Spick-and-span bathrooms are equipped with marble baths and state-of-the-art “super” toilets, a Japanese phenomenon with automatic seats, flush, built-in bidet and a choice of relaxing sounds.
Book the sumptuous Japanese Suite with tatami grass mat floors and traditional Oriental furnishings for an authentic Japanese experience. Specially designated Prime rooms have been recently renovated to reflect a more contemporary vibe — think dark wood furnishings, and a sleek neutral color palette.
The Chinzanso Gardens are reason enough to visit the Tokyo hotel, as this enchanting 17-acre parkland was once the mansion of an aristocrat. The garden contains many historical artifacts such as stone lanterns, statues and the Zangetsu tea house, a Japanese National Registered Tangible Cultural Property. Zangetsu hosts private parties and tea ceremonies, the 1,000-year-old tradition unique to Japan. Summer is the season that the Serenity Garden terrace comes to life, with free-flowing champagne in the garden and a rare opportunity to see fireflies in an urban setting.
Through the elegant lobby, which serves afternoon tea with a view of the gardens, is Hotel Chinzanso’s popular Yu, The Spa. This spacious spa has plenty of space for relaxation, treatment rooms fitted with Japanese furnishings and an elegant pool with a retractable roof for year-round use. Don’t miss taking a dip in the onsen (a Japanese hot spring), a wooden bath filled with spring water couriered from the Shizuoka prefecture.
The nine restaurants within the luxury hotel serve a variety of fare, from casual French bistro meals to Japanese haute cuisine. Kinsui is Hotel Chinzanso’s traditional Japanese restaurant specializing in kaiseki, the Japanese equivalent of a fine-dining, multi-course meal. The haute cuisine courses consist of seasonal servings of vegetables, meat and seafood, such as grilled king prawns, hot winter vegetables, soup with fresh clams and fillet steak. Mucha-an is a charming soba noodle eatery set in the little forest on the hotel’s grounds. An Italian, French and more Japanese restaurants round out the generous food offerings here.