Tokyo is a buzzing metropolis like nowhere else in the world. Its unique cultural identity and cosmopolitan way of life make it a fascinating destination for a luxurious and lavish holiday. The city’s fascinating blend of old and new means you can enjoy a weekend of opulence while gaining knowledge about ancient traditions and cultures.
The Japanese respect the finer things in life and are known for their fantastic service and attention to detail. Tokyo will show you just how true that can be, as this capital city boasts many impressive attractions and experiences you won’t soon forget.
Ready for the trip of a lifetime? This guide will tell you everything you need to know to have the ultimate luxury experience in Tokyo, Japan.
This guide is perfect for those who are travelling to Tokyo on a luxury. We will show you what to do in Tokyo, where to stay, what to eat and how to get around, whether it’s a weekend in Tokyo or a long term stay.
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The best time to visit Tokyo
For the best weather, visit Tokyo during March, April, May, October or November. Spring is easily the most beautiful time to be in Tokyo, when the magical, pale-pink cherry blossoms transform the city. Remember to book well in advance, as April is the most popular time of year with tourists. Late autumn is gorgeous too, with the vibrant foliage adding extra sophistication and charm.
Unless you’re also planning a Mount Fuji tour from Tokyo, avoid the wintertime if you can help it. Although Tokyo is the least crowded by late January and February, the temperatures drop quite low and can become a little unpleasant.
How to get around Tokyo
Start your trip off right without having to wait in long lines to catch a taxi or be cramped on public transport. Avoid any extra hassle to and from the airport by booking a private transfer in advance. Sites like Viator offer round-trip transfers to and from either Narita International Airport or Haneda Airport. Your driver will greet you at the airport on arrival and meet you at your hotel in time for your departure.
What better way to experience luxury travel in Tokyo than with a private car service to take you around the city? Blacklane is Tokyo’s premier limousine rental service with a stylish fleet of vehicles. All drivers offer privacy and professionalism, yet are also there to answer any questions you may have about Tokyo and provide recommendations when needed. If you want to be flexible, you can take advantage of the hourly rates offered.
What to expect in Tokyo
While the local language in Tokyo is Japanese, you won’t need to worry about how to communicate with others during your stay. Everyone you’ll encounter in the tourism industry is professional and well-versed in English, so the language barrier won’t be a problem.
The currency used in Tokyo is the Japanese yen. For reference, one euro currently equals about 125 yen. Any credit or debit cards will be accepted at larger establishments, so you won’t always need to have cash with you. If you’d like to exchange money, however, you can convert a range of foreign currencies up to 100,000 yen at many shopping centres to avoid carrying cash back from the ATM.
Luxury things to do in Tokyo
Although Tokyo is a busy and bustling city, it’s easy to take time out and get a glimpse of the more luxurious side. Here are some of the best luxury things to do in Tokyo, as well as a few of the top sights to see and attractions to visit.
Be pampered at the spa
One of the most luxury things to do in Japan is to visit a spa. There’s no better way to leave the stress of the outside world behind than to take some time for yourself and indulge in some pampering. You deserve it, after all!
The luxury spa at the Mandarin Oriental offers a heavenly ritual to prepare your body for rejuvenation. Following an in-depth consultation, you’ll receive a personalised treatment using both Asian and Western remedies and techniques. The spa suites from the 37th floor showcase breathtaking views while you unwind.
If you’re pressed for time, book a 90-minute digital wellness escape. This treatment focuses on your head, shoulders, hands and feet to ease the daily strain caused by technological devices. If you’re not in a rush, take the three-hour ultimate bathing ritual to truly relax.
The Peninsula Spa at the Peninsula Tokyo Hotel is a five-star urban oasis. Heated beds, aromatic steam rooms, dry saunas and shaved ice fountains are only the beginning here. Select from a menu of facials, massages, and various body treatments. For the whole package, treat yourself to a signature wellness journey, from the de-stress retreat to the indulgent beauty package.
Go shopping in Ginza
Creativity runs wild in Tokyo, so you’ll likely find yourself inspired to mix up your style and go on a shopping spree. The city has it all, from luxury department stores to eclectic vintage boutiques.
Ginza is the number-one shopping district in Tokyo, with a focus on high-end brands and extravagant shopfronts. You’ll find showrooms for Dior, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermes and more. Since you’re in Japan, however, why not discover some of the best Japanese brands? Mikimoto, the leading high-end jeweller in Japan, has two stores in Ginza. Shiseido, one of the largest Japanese cosmetics companies, makes elegant, feminine fragrances that are perfect for gifts.
With over 240 stores, the modern and architecturally-stunning Ginza SIX is the largest shopping complex in the area. Same-day delivery to your hotel is available here, as well as at other department stores like Matsuya, so you don’t need to carry your purchases back with you.
Visit the temples
Make sure you visit the most extravagant, Insta-worthy temples and shrines during your time in Tokyo.
One of the most well-known temples is Sensō-ji. Completed in 645 AD to honour the Goddess of Mercy, it’s the oldest and most visited temple in the city. The giant hanging lantern by Kaminarimon Gate is the best area to take pictures. Another aspect that makes Sensō-ji so popular is its proximity to Nakamise Shopping Street. Food vendors and small shop owners line the path leading up to the temple, selling local Japanese sweets and traditional souvenirs.
Hie Shrine is ideal if you can’t make the trip to Kyoto to see the Fushimi Inari. Featuring similar red torii gates leading up to the shrine, Hie is a hidden gem that’s worth the trip to Nagatachō.
If cats are your favourite animal, you won’t want to miss Gotokuji Temple in Setagaya City. There may not be any real cats here, but there are an eerie amount of identical cat statues! These lucky charms make Gotokuji one of the most blessed temples in the city, and certainly the most unique to visit.
Get back to nature
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is one of Tokyo’s largest and most tranquil natural areas. During late March and April, the garden is a popular spot to experience the beauty of cherry blossom season. Shinjuku Gyoen consists of three distinct styles: French formal, English landscape, and traditional Japanese. Explore the expansive greenhouse, and stop by the picturesque pond for some gorgeous photos.
An equally infamous outdoor space is Ueno Park. Located next to Ueno Station, the park is a great place for carefree activities like bird watching and enjoying a picnic. The Shinobazu Pond towards the south is known for its lotus plants, and the entire area is home to over 8,000 native trees. While here, you can also stop by the Tokyo National Museum, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, and various beloved shrines.
Hire a photographer
Want to really make your trip memorable? Hire a professional photographer so you’ll always have the photos to remember. Local photographers can provide you and your companions with exquisite silk kimonos to wear, then take you to the best locations to have your very own photoshoot.
Take a calligraphy class
While in Tokyo, learn the impressive age-old art of Japanese calligraphy known as shodo. A master instructor can show you how to correctly use your brush and ink in a peaceful, encouraging and ambient studio setting. Try your best to write Japanese characters using brush strokes on paper while gaining an understanding of the art form’s origins.
Luxury hotels to stay at in Tokyo
There are so many luxury Tokyo accommodation options available to ensure your trip is as comfortable and relaxing as possible. While it’s difficult to definitively choose the best place to stay in Tokyo, here are three recommendations to help you decide for yourself. Airbnb also offers some great luxury options.
Ritz-Carlton Tokyo: Set in Tokyo Midtown, the tallest building in the city, the Ritz-Carlton is an obvious choice for an indulgent stay. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide an unparalleled vista of the incredible skyline, with many rooms also offering views of the Tokyo Tower. The average suites range from 80 to 120 square metres, or you can go all out with a stay in the 307-square-metre Ritz-Carlton suite, one of the most luxurious in all of Asia. With an interior design style of east meets west, you can expect contemporary comforts with a touch of the local Japanese aesthetic.
Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo: You’ll find Tokyo’s Four Seasons inside the Pacific Century Place Marunouchi in Chiyoda City. Experience the height of modern affluence at this intimate, boutique hotel. The top-floor Chairman’s suite offers panoramic views of the city and plenty of natural light. If you’d prefer to keep it cosier, you can opt for a premier or deluxe room, which are still incredibly spacious.
Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho: The Prince Gallery at Tokyo Garden Terrace Kioicho merges Japanese traditions with Western facilities. The eco design embraces luscious green nature to create sophisticated interiors you’ll always remember. The comfortable atmosphere makes it easy to relax and unwind after a busy day of sightseeing or shopping. Every facility and amenity you could ever want is provided here, so there won’t be anything to stress about.
Luxury eats in Tokyo
Tokyo has countless Michelin-starred restaurants, meaning you won’t be left wondering where to find an incredible meal.
Get to know modern Japanese cuisine on the 40th floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo. The meticulously prepared and creatively arranged dishes at KOZUE will introduce you to the best seasonal ingredients available in Tokyo. Reserve a table by the window and savour plates like matsutake mushrooms, ayu sweetfish and shabu-shabu hotspots.
On the 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt, you’ll also discover the iconic New York Bar. Made famous for its appearance in the film Lost in Translation, the lounge is a stunning spot to sip an after-dinner cocktail and hear some live jazz.
Open for breakfast at six until closing at 10 o’clock at night, the Grand Kitchen at the Palace Hotel Tokyo has you covered whenever you’re feeling hungry. The talented chefs serve up a range of delicious cuisines, from French, Italian and, of course, Japanese. The outdoor courtyard overlooks the Imperial Palace moat, or you can keep it romantic and dine in one of two fully-enclosed private rooms.
For high-end sushi, you can’t go past Sushi Yoshitake in Chūō. You truly get the entire experience here, as Chef Yoshitake delicately prepares your food in front of you. If you happen to speak a little Japanese, he will happily chat with you as he serves dishes like his speciality abalone and uni sauce. A reservation is required for this exclusive dining experience, so remember to book as early as possible.
Luxury tours to do in Tokyo
Immerse yourself in the local culture and attend a private tea ceremony. Be a part of this elegant tradition over a four-hour-long tour, as you stroll through beautiful gardens wearing a customary kimono. Observe the intricate preparations of the ceremony and gain an appreciation for Japanese culture and simplicity.
Perhaps one of the most enjoyable evening activities in Tokyo is a luxury sake tour. Get to know the city’s nightlife, discover the best bars only locals visit, and learn about Asia’s alcoholic rice wine. Of course, you’ll also taste test a range of high-end cocktails, craft beers and whisky, all with the best food pairings to match each drink.
If you feel like setting out on foot, a wonderful walking tour to take is a guided architectural tour of Harajuku and Omotesando. This private, customisable adventure will show you around the most impressive and visually-stunning buildings in the city, with coffee breaks at hip cafes. No matter what walking tour you might choose, it’s sure to be memorable and engaging.
Recommend luxury tours in Tokyo
- Tokyo Private Chauffeur Driving Sightseeing Tour – English Speaking Driver
- Personal Travel and Vacation Photographer Tour in Tokyo
- Private Kimono Photo Tour in Tokyo
- Tokyo Sake Brewery & Hair Ornament Museum 1-Day Private Guided Tour
- Private Custom Tour: Tokyo in a Day
- Private Tokyo Custom Shopping Tour by Chartered Vehicle
- Private Full-Day Hakone Tour from Tokyo Including Owakudani Valley
- Private Tour: VIP Tsukiji Sushi Lesson with a Master Chef
- Mt Fuji Private One-Day Tour by Chartered Vehicle from Tokyo