The 20 Best Luxury Hotels
in Japan

Orsolya Kako

Japan Travel Expert

At Butterfield & Robinson, our hotels aren’t prosaic—they’re pure poetry.

From castles and riads to ryokans and monasteries, we source lodgings that aren’t just places to crash, but one-of-a-kind spots as intimate, authentic and sublime as the rest of your journey—and packed with personal touches from our hotelier friends.

Below we’ve rounded up a few of the best luxury hotels in Japan, where you can do so much more than simply rest your head.

But be warned: there may be tears when it’s time to say goodbye!

Kayotei Ryokan, Yamanaka

A traditional family-owned inn of 10 rooms, the exquisite Kayotei sets the standard for Japanese ryokans. The inn is set amidst a natural forest and the hospitality is warm, charming, and unobtrusive.

Best Luxury Hotels in Japan, Kayotei Ryokan Yamanaka

Its elegant hot spring overlooks the forest and provides the perfect place for meditation.

Hyatt Regency, Kyoto

A juxtaposition of modern and traditional Japan, this tranquil retreat offers guests contemporary interiors fused with local accents, a full spa, as well as everything needed to fully unwind.

Best Luxury Hotels in Japan, Hyatt Regency Kyoto

Guestrooms feature clean lines, warm earth tones, and floor to ceiling windows; a work of understated elegance and tranquility.

Hyakurakuso Ryokan, Noto

Overlooking Tsukumo Bay on the Noto Peninsula, this modern ryokan takes full advantage of its location with tranquil and relaxing salt water baths and a stunning restaurant that perfectly complements this tucked away gem.

Best Luxury Hotels in Japan, Hyakurakuso Ryokan Noto

Lamp No Yado Ryokan, Noto

Overlooking the Sea of Japan, this celebrated ryokan is famous for its spa and hot tub. The rooms are welcoming and the zen atmosphere is unbeatable.

Best Luxury Hotels in Japan, Lamp No Yado Ryokan Noto

We love it most for its peaceful and stunning location.

Kagaya Ryokan, Wakura Onsen

Best Luxury Hotels in Japan, Kagaya Ryokan Wakura OnsenSet in the hot spring town of Wakura Onsen, Kagaya perches over the Sea of Japan and attracts Japanese from all over the country to bathe in its famous hot springs.

Voted as the most outstanding Japanese Ryokan for 30+ years, Kagaaya provides attentive and caring service to all guests.

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Matsunomidori Ryokan, Wakura Onsen

Set in the hot spring town of Wakura Onsen, Matsunomidori perches over the Sea of Japan and attracts guests from all over to bathe in its famous hot springs.

Best Luxury Hotels in Japan, Matsunomidori Ryokan Wakura Onsen

The building features a contemporary design and every room is blessed with an ocean view.

Tadaya Ryokan, Wakura Onsen

Set in the hot spring town of Wakura Onsen, Tadaya perches over the Sea of Japan and attracts Japanese from all over the country to bathe in its famous hot springs.

Best Luxury Hotels in Japan, Tadaya Ryokan Wakura Onsen

Tadaya’s spacious bathhouse features indoor and outdoor hot spring baths, and even individual ceramic bathing pots which overlook the sea! After a soak, enjoy a beautiful sunset from the window of your spacious room.

Kanazawa Excel Tokyu, Kanazawa

A break from the tatami mats and futons, the Excel is a comfortable four-star property that offers modern western-style rooms (and beds!), and is located within easy walking distance of the city’s shopping, restaurant and historic districts.

Best Luxury Hotels in Japan, Kanazawa Excel Tokyu Kanazawa

Notonosho Ryokan, Wajima

Notonosho’s atmosphere offers a great representation of the Japanese aesthetic. Rooms are spacious and all feature tatami mat floors and futon beds.

Best Luxury Hotels in Japan, Notonosho Ryokan Wajima

The inn boasts of having the most alkaline water in Japan, and a long soak in the tub will leave your skin feeling silky-smooth.

Ryokan Hakone Ginyu

Tucked away in the lush mountains of Hakone, lies the spa resort of Hakone Ginyu. ‘Ginyu’ means a person seeking inspiration for a poem by traveling around.

Best Luxury Hotels in Japan, Ryokan Hakone Ginyu

Spectacular views of the Haya-Kawa River as well as the Hakone Mountains set the perfect backdrop for poetic inspiration. The essence of Japanese style emanates throughout.

The Palace Hotel, Tokyo

With an incomparable perspective on the city and a singular, moat-side setting across from the Imperial Palace gardens, the Palace Hotel is a haven of hospitality—serene and refined and imbued with understated luxury throughout.

Best Luxury Hotels in Japan, The Palace Hotel Tokyo

Ritz Carlton, Kyoto

The recently-opened Ritz Carlton brings luxury to a new level.  Situated right along the Kamogawa River it offers iconic Kyoto views.

Best Luxury Hotels in Japan, Ritz Carlton Kyoto

Rooms feature traditional Kyoto aesthetics and sophisticated elegance.

Iori Machiya, Kyoto

Located throughout the town, these traditional homes (machiya) have achieved a perfectly balanced restoration – keeping their traditional feel by using the original construction of clay walls and washi paper for the sliding doors, they have all the modern conveniences from wireless to air conditioning.

Best Luxury Hotels in Japan, Iori Machiya Kyoto

These traditional homes are ideally suited to families. While there is a concierge service, properties are not are not a full service hotel – you’re in a home.

Suiran, Kyoto

Formerly the estate of a noble, the Suiran is a new, contemporary Japanese resort on the banks of the Hozu River.

Best Luxury Hotels in Japan, Suiran Kyoto

With spacious rooms and gorgeous views, the hotel is perfectly poised to offer access to some of Japan’s most important national treasures.

Sheraton, Hiroshima

Sheraton Hotel Hiroshima is a 4-minute walk from Hiroshima Station and a 10-minute drive from the Atomic Bomb Dome.

Best Luxury Hotels in Japan, Sheraton Hiroshima

It offers 4 dining options, an indoor pool and a fitness centre.

Noborioji Hotel, Nara

Located next to the fresh greenery-surrounded Kofuku-ji, the Noborioji is a luxury-filled retreat.

Best Luxury Hotels in Japan, Noborioji Hotel Nara

With only 12 rooms, and decorated in 1930’s Japanese-European style, it is perfectly situated between Nara Park and old Nara Town.

Nara Hotel, Nara

The century-old Nara Hotel features classic Japanese architecture and elegant rooms with a timeless hospitality. It was originally built to serve as the premier guest house in the Kansai region for visiting dignitaries.

Best Luxury Hotels in Japan, Nara Hotel

Located in a quiet corner of Nara Park’s beautiful hills, it overlooks the ancient capital’s historic sites.

Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo

Best Luxury Hotels in Japan, Mandarin Oriental TokyoLocated in the heart of the city the Mandarin Oriental is surrounded by the chic shops and offices of Nihonbashi.

Floor to ceiling windows showcase breathtaking birds eye views of the city skyline, and guestrooms feature a crisp, cutting-edge style befitting its setting in the core of this modern metropolis.

From this luxury brand, would you expect anything less than spectacular?

Fudoin Temple, Hiroshima

Fudo-in is a temple in the holy Koyasan Buddhist mountain retreat. It is located off of the main road and is a smaller temple in the upper end of a tiny valley surrounded by forest.

Best Luxury Hotels in Japan, Fudoin Temple Hiroshima

Fudo-in is well known for its refined, welcoming atmosphere and peaceful setting, perfect for meditating. The separate “Hanare” rooms offer splendid views of the garden; secluded spiritual luxury.

The Peninsula, Tokyo

Best Luxury Hotels in Japan, The Peninsula TokyoInternational in design but Japanese by inspiration, this landmark hotel boasts 1000 pieces of art, 900 of them by Japanese artists.

Interiors offer commanding city views, luxurious comforts and sophisticated facilities that are always in tune with the Peninsula brand.

It’s located opposite the Imperial Palace, close to the Ginza shopping area and definitely not to be missed.

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