Hiroko Ishii's One-of-a-Kind Japan Experiences: The Hoshinoya Tokyo
One of the more unique touches at the Hoshinoya Tokyo is the "parlor lounge" at the center of each floor. Each floor's lounge is open all day and night, allowing guests to unwind and mingle in a semiprivate space. The interiors draw strongly on Japanese tradition in its use of natural wood, tatami mat flooring and paper screens, but the large central table complete with chairs and power outlets is a decidedly modern, almost cafe-like touch. The books on the library shelves are regularly changed, while the sofa is large enough to lie down on; meanwhile, for guests who really need to get down to business, space at a work desk facing the window is also available.
By request, the staff are happy to bring a selection of tea from across Japan for tasting and refreshment — an eye-opening experience if you are unfamiliar with the effect of terroir on the taste of tea. When evening falls, a selection of sake and shochu is available, changed monthly to match the season, and in the morning, guests can enjoy onigiri rice balls and miso soup. In all, each floor's parlor lounge is a true home away from home for guests in traditional Japanese family style.
The Hoshinoya Tokyo has 17 floors above ground and two below, making it a 19-layered tower of peace and relaxation — a new and inviting option for those seeking to slip quietly away from the stresses of city life without leaving the metropolis behind altogether.
Reporting, writing, and photography: Hiroko Ishii
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Hot Spring Beauty Researcher / Travel Journalist
Japan's only researcher on the beautifying effects of hot springs. A lifelong traveler who spends 200 days a year on the road in Japan and around the world. Writes regular columns for various sites and magazines, and appears on TV and radio. Intrigued by the natural environment of hot spring areas, she gained a qualification in "climatherapy" from Germany. Promotes "Beauty tourism," a way of beautifying the body and mind through hot springs, water, nature, and food. Using her experience with foreign cosmetics brand marketing and advertising, consults on brand planning and promotion for hot springs. Chosen as Premium Japan's travel curator. Member of the Japanese Society of Balneology, Climatology and Physical Medicine, the Japanese Society of Hot Spring Sciences, and the Japanese Travel Pen Club.