New Hotels in Japan for 2010 and 2011

From traditional hotel rooms to space-efficient “capsules,” Japan’s newest hotels offer variety for tourists By: Jillian Sweeney
The St. Regis Osaka is slated to open later this month. // © 2010 St. Regis Osaka 
The St. Regis Osaka is slated to open later this month. // © 2010 St. Regis Osaka 

The Details

Japan National Tourism Organization

Whether they simply nod to a chic understated Japanese design aesthetic or offer a completely non-Western experience in the form of capsule rooms, several new hotels of all styles and price categories have recently opened in Japan.

Hotel Kanra
Hotel Kanra in Kyoto is slated to open on Oct. 28 with 29 rooms inspired by the elements of the traditional machiya townhouses that define Kyoto architecture. Guests can dine in the hotel’s restaurant, which features fresh, local food, and partake in the hotel’s Kanra program, an educational program on the city’s history, art and culture.

Citadines Kyoto Karasuma-Gojo
The Citadines’ newest Japanese apart-hotel, a hybrid of apartment-style guestrooms, opened in Kyoto in March. Each of its 124 guestrooms is modernly designed and includes a fully-equipped kitchenette. Rooms are priced from $120 per night.

First Cabin Karasuma
Fashioned after enviable first-class air cabins, First Cabin Karasuma in Kyoto promises to deliver comfort in compact spaces with its second Japan location. The hotel’s 30 Business Class Cabins measure eight square feet, while its 91 First Class Cabins are 14 square feet in size. Each compact room includes an LCD flat-screen television and technology that enables guests to enter their guestrooms using their cell phones. Business Class Rooms are $54 per night; First Class Rooms are $66 per night.

Capsule Ryokan Kyoto
The Capsule Ryokan in Kyoto blends the old with the new; tatami flooring, futon beds and traditional-style doors decorate the property’s 32 square-foot rooms while automatic toilets, flat-screen televisions, and monsoon showers keep the guestrooms modern. The owner and mastermind behind the Capsule Ryokan Keiji Shimizu was inspired to create the hotel following his own college backpacking experience and creating an affordable yet modern place to stay in Kyoto. The hotel’s lounge area includes a kitchen and free wireless Internet. Tatami Capsules (single occupancy) are priced from $42 per night; the Ryokan en-suite rooms (double occupancy) are priced from $95 per night.

St. Regis Osaka
Located on Osaka’s ever-chic Midosuji Avenue, the St. Regis Osaka is slated to open in late October as the first St. Regis Hotel in Japan. The 160-room hotel features a fitness center; five business meeting rooms; Rue d’Or, a French bistro; and La Veduta, an Italian restaurant. Rooms are priced from $359 per night.

Sapporo and Tokyo
Best Western Sapporo Nakajima-Koen
The Best Western Sapporo Nakajima-Koen opened in downtown Sapporo in October. The 278-room hotel is located near Nakajima Park and is an ideal location for experiencing Hokkaido’s illustrious ski resorts.

Mitsui Garden Hotel Sapporo & Mitsui Garden Hotel Ueno
Mitsui Garden Hotel Sapporo opened in downtown Sapporo in June. The sleek hotel features a public bath and Nord Livina, a restaurant serving both Japanese and Italian fare. Rooms are priced from $180 per night.

Located near the Ueno train station in Tokyo, the 14-story Mitsui Garden Hotel Ueno recently opened in September. The hotel features 245 contemporary rooms and an Italian restaurant. Room rates start at $165 per night.

The Westin Hotel Sendai
Located in Sendai, the “City of Trees,” The Westin Hotel Sendai opened in August. The 292-room hotel features spa and fitness center, an Executive Club Lounge, two restaurants and the Horizon Lounge, which is open late for drinks. Rooms are priced from $253 per night.

ANA Holiday Inn Sendai
The ANA Holiday Inn Sendai, formerly a Holiday Inn, reopened in July as a joint effort between ANA Hotels and Holiday Inn. The 12-story property’s 165 rooms have a new look while the hotel’s restaurant, Chefs Table, offers a new Asian-Western fusion menu. Rooms are priced from $82 per night.

The Capitol Hotel Tokyu
Known for hosting The Beatles in 1966 and Michael Jackson in the 1980s, The Capitol Hotel Tokyu in Tokyo is reopening its doors on Oct. 22 as the new flagship hotel of Tokyu Hotels, Co., Ltd. The hotel’s new look, designed by renowned architect Kengo Kuma, mixes a traditional Japanese design aesthetic with contemporary design elements. The 251-room hotel boasts 13 suites, three restaurants, a spa and a fitness center and a lounge overlooking traditional Japanese gardens. Rooms are priced from $422 per night.

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