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Cultural Treasures

Looking out from The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo, you get a sense of the city’s scale: It’s like an endless series of cities, home to 13.6 million people. You could spend decades here yet uncover only a small portion of its hidden gems — temples, cuisine, artisans. So, go with an open mind and a sense of wonder.

A woman lies on her stomach with stones on her back

Day

1

MORNING
  • Neighborhood Park

    Even though it’s steps away from the high energy of Roppongi Hills, Hinokicho Park feels like a rural sanctuary. Hinokicho translates as cypress, of which there are many in the park. It’s a great place to start your morning and only a three-minute walk from the hotel.

MIDDAY
  • A Grand Palace

    The White House of Tokyo, the Imperial Palace is home to Japan’s ceremonial state head and his family. The parks surrounding the building are popular for locals exercising and those admiring cherry trees in bloom.

  • Soba, Mastered

    Sitting inside Honmura An, you can view the chefs at work pulling and pounding the dough of soba noodles until they’re just right. Close to the hotel, it’s a great place to duck into for a fantastic tasting-menu lunch.

AFTERNOON
  • A Stroll in the Museum

    The National Art Center holds 10 special exhibitions at a time. Admission is free, and exhibits can range from quirky Yayoi Kusama installations to sleek Giacometti sculptures. The building, which looks like an undulating steel wave, was designed by acclaimed architect Kisho Kurokawa.

  • An Authentic Rock Massage

    Book a Japanese stone massage at the hotel’s Espa Spa. One of the gifted therapists will apply hot volcanic rocks in long, lulling strokes. After, enjoy the private spa suite where you can unwind in the Amethyst Crystal steam room.

EVENING
  • Sophisticated Tempura

    Tempura Kondo proves tempura can be so much more than a simple appetizer. The two-Michelin-starred restaurant fries lotus root, conger eel and shiso leaves, along with the more familiar shrimp, achieving a most heavenly crispness.

Small round dining tables and chairs lined up along a wall of windows, all with a cool, contemporary aesthetic

Day

2

MORNING
  • A Hassle-Free Morning

    Open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., the Club Lounge on the 53rd floor offers a view of Mount Fuji as well as a lavish breakfast: yogurt from the Hokkaido prefecture, cheeses, made-to-order omelets, and mimosas. If you need clothes pressed, bring them and they’ll be ready within an hour.

MIDDAY
  • An Offbeat Cultural Experience

    Japan is the epicenter of the world’s video game community. Akihabara is where those obsessed congregate. Wander the kaleidoscopic skyscrapers full of arcades and spot costumed anime fans.

  • Ramen for Lunch

    Many of Tokyo’s best meals come with a bit of a wait, as is the case at Ippudo Roppongi, which serves exceptional ramen and draws locals who line up for the perfectly chewy noodles. Try the tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet) for a spicier broth, and be sure to order a side of the pan-fried gyoza (dumplings).

AFTERNOON
  • Explore Daikanyama

    Daikanyama is a lovely neighborhood that’s central but devoid of tall buildings and utterly peaceful. Its picturesque alleys are full of cafés and high-end boutiques, including Okura, where almost every item in the store has been indigo-dyed by hand using traditional methods.

EVENING
  • Rocking Izakaya

    The Japanese are music obsessives, as you’ll see at Tatemichiya, a rock ‘n’ roll-themed izakaya (tapas-style bar). Dine on grilled garlic cloves, chicken skewers and meatballs in a perfectly rustic setting of wooden tables and traditional tatami-mat floors.

  • Whiskey and Tunes

    You go to the moody Bar Martha for three things: Japanese whiskey, jazz and rock oldies played over an arsenal of the warmest-sounding speakers, and a break from talking. Chatter above a whisper is frowned upon, as are phones.

Woman wears a purple kimono with her hands cupped in front of her holding pink blossoms while other petals fall around her

Day

3

MORNING
  • Early Call

    Every day at 5 a.m., the city’s best restaurants fight over the finest cuts of tuna at Tsukiji fish market’s live auction. After the auction, one of the hotel’s “Gone Fishing” guides can lead you to the best bites in the market.

MIDDAY
  • Relax in the Gardens

    Hamarikyu Garden was originally built for a feudal lord as a residence and falconry grounds. Today, it’s a serene public park where you can stroll among saltwater ponds, ginkgo trees and a variety of blooms.

  • Ferry Through the City

    Catch a ferry from Hamarikyu Garden, and you’ll get a view of the city along the Sumida River. It will drop you off at Asakusa, an eclectic old neighborhood where many traditions are still alive.

AFTERNOON
  • Tokyo’s Most Impressive Temple

    Ancient Buddhist landmark Senso-ji is the city’s most famous and colorful, and oldest, temple. Inside the vibrant red temple, you can take a moment of relaxation at the traditional contemplative garden or consult with one of the oracles from the stalls for a divination reading.

  • Afternoon Shopping

    Outside the Senso-ji temple, on a narrow alley called Nakamise Dori, you’ll find a classic Tokyo market with nearly 100 stores that sell great souvenirs, including kimonos. Get lucky and you may score a find from as far back as the Edo period.

EVENING
  • France, by Way of Japan

    At the hotel’s Michelin-starred Azure 45, Chef Miyazaki uses extraordinary ingredients from both Japan (the freshest fish from Hokkaido) and around the world (Kintoa
    pork from Basque Country) for elegant French-style dishes you can enjoy while taking in views of Tokyo Bay.