It’s a rare Tokyo hotel where you’re in touch with nature, aside from a distant view of Mount Fuji — but the Capitol Hotel Tokyu is anything but typical. Here, surrounded by greenery on the edge of the Imperial Palace, guests can use the local flora as their calendar: camellias mean winter, cherry blossoms spring, and the red-orange-yellow leaves of the maple tree are a sure sign of fall.
The new incarnation of the Capitol — a total ground-up rebuild — was designed by the master architect Kengo Kuma, and as such it offers the clean lines and minimalist aesthetic that typifies a certain Japanese style. You simply won’t feel right cluttering the bathroom with half-opened toiletries or tossing your clothes about the snowy white, duvet-covered bed. Instead, you’ll want to open the shoji paper screens to let in the light from the vast windows of this high-rise property or lay on the divan and watch as central Tokyo transforms itself, nightly, into a galaxy, with neon and fluorescent stars — or, if you’re facing the Palace, you can see something that’s, in this town, even more spectacular: total darkness.
This is one of Tokyo’s original grand hotels, and it demonstrates the thoughtfulness you’d expect from such success. Just-picked berries or other very local produce may show up in the dishes at the well-regarded Suiren. A second restaurant specializes in Chinese delicacies, and there are two separate lounges in which to relax and unwind with a cocktail. The two-floor fitness center encompasses a full-service spa and a twenty-meter indoor pool.
All of urban Tokyo is within easy reach via taxi or subway, but if you’ve got time, it pays to explore on foot — the reconstructed Hie Shrine is practically next door, and runners will be thankful for easy access to the foot path that circumnavigates the Palace: a lap or two is a rite of passage.
Please note: This hotel offers both smoking and non-smoking rooms.
How to get there: From Narita Airport, the Narita Express train connects to Tokyo Station after a trip of approximately 90 minutes.