An EcoLuxury Guide to Japan
If you’re looking for your next luxury green destination, then look no further than Japan. The Land of the Rising Sun is known for its stunning natural beauty — from its magnificent mountains and cherry blossoms, to its towering trees and charming coastline. Here, there are plenty of places where visitors can go to rejuvenate themselves, but that’s not all. On top of their rich and vibrant culture, Japan is teeming with innovation that is putting them on the forefronts of the eco revolution.
Tokyo, for example, has various laws and incentives in place that aim to reduce emissions and cultivate green spaces. These efforts are designed to promote a greener and more sustainable city, a great step forward that isn’t limited to the capital, for there are many other environmental initiatives all around Japan. Locals simply have high respect for their natural resources, making Japanese cities and towns among some of the cleanest you’ll ever see.
That said, here are some eco-friendly sites to enjoy on your visit to Japan.
Hoshinoya Kyoto — Kyoto
Located along the breathtaking Hozu-Gawa River and close to the famous Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama, Hoshinaya Kyoto boasts a curated selection of traditional wood-framed buildings that date as far back as the 19th century. This provides a nice little history lesson and recluse from distractions. Moreover, Green Hotel highlights Hoshinoya’s restaurant, which serves meals that are lovingly prepared using traditional-meets-modern techniques and premium ingredients.
Image credit: Forbes
Ryokan The Kayotei — Ishikawa
According to Expat Bets’s guide to Japan, there’s more to the country than its futuristic neighbourhoods and bustling urban life. Its rural areas are just as captivating, revealing the more tranquil and serene side of the country. One beautiful example of this is Ryokan The Kayotei, located in the small village of Yamanaka and enveloped by lush forested hills. This traditional Japanese inn, known to locals as a ryokan, features all the unique charm of oriental Japan. All around, you’ll see intricately designed Japanese screens, pottery, and traditional tansu cabinets. Guests can also enjoy the freshly harvested local foods, but the main attraction is the unforgettable hospitality of ryokan culture.
Image credit: Luxury Travel Magazine
Hoshinoya Karuizawa — Nagano
Overdue a spa day? What better way to get a detox than in the healing natural hot springs or meditation baths of Hoshinoya Karuizawa? This certainly isn’t your typical spa. Allow yourself to unwind and harmonise with the natural environment as you breathe in the crisp, forest air through their open rooms. You’ll appreciate their attention to detail, with each pavilion uniquely designed to suit its breathtaking location.
Image credit: HotelsCombined
Narisawa — Tokyo
Offering a world-class menu of local and ethically sourced food, Narisawa has earned for itself accolades for its sustainability efforts. Narisawa’s chef refers to the cuisine as Satoyama — a Japanese term applied to the border zone between mountain foothills and flat land. What this means is their menu draws from the spirit of Satoyama, which is said to be beneficial for the body and mind. Their tasting menu consists of ten lunch and/or dinner courses that are adjusted according to the season.
Image credit: Japan Info
Mikuni Marunouchi— Tokyo
For those looking for fusion cuisine, Mikuni Marunouchi is a French-inspired restaurant that combines the best of traditional Japan recipes with local ingredients and French culture. Guests mostly come here for the fresh Edo-Tokyo vegetables, which were popular during the Edo period. With that, it offers a delicious bite of history all the while filling your tummies with an explosion of healthy flavour.
Image credit: Tokyo Grown
Yoyogi Village — Tokyo
Literally translating to “generations of trees,” Yoyogi Village is a pocket of nature in the heart of the city that invites you to slow down and breathe. It provides a nice alternative to your normal urban mall, with everything from organic restaurants and a music bar, to an art gallery and coffee shops. Here, you’ll also find fair trade and organic cotton retail stores, which continue to promote the eco lifestyle.
Image credit: The Coolist
Daisen-Oki National Park — Tottori
For those who want more of an adrenaline rush with bouts of relaxation in between, consider paying a visit to the Daisen-Oki National Park. Here, you’ll get to enjoy a variety of natural landscapes that take you from stunning beaches to picturesque mountain peaks. Blessed with diverse natural terrains and coasts, the park offer a wide range of activities like sea kayaking, trekking, and cycling. If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, don’t miss Dr. Sumio Okada’s Giant Salamander conservation, which provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with these curious creatures.
Image credit: Japan Travel