Enjoying the transient beauty of Japan’s Sakura season – that’s cherry blossom to you and I – is a rare experience that few Westerners are lucky enough to encounter. Despite the multiple forecasts and trackers, timing a trip in March and April is notoriously tricky as the flowers open for just one week a year per tree. Unsurprisingly, hotels in key blooming regions are in high demand, and it can be hard to know where to stay to ensure you get the best out of your trip. If Tokyo is first on your list in this incredible country, look no further than Autograph Collection’s Prince Sakura Tower.
Just a three minute walk away from the well-located Shinagawa station, the Prince Sakura Tower is perfectly placed whether you’re in town for business or pleasure. Having undergone extensive renovations overseen by Ryu Kosaka of Aoyama Nomura Design before joining Marriott’s boutique hotel brand in 2013, the new(ish) look hotel seamlessly blends modern design with traditional Japanese style.
Facilities are plentiful, with guests welcome to enjoy the on-site whirlpool, saunas, lounge and slow-style gym. For those after some serious zen-time, the spa offers a plethora of treatments to purify your mind and body or you can simply enjoy a leisurely walk in the Japanese gardens among the water features, 200 cherry blossom trees and traditional teahouse.
Each of the 288 guestrooms features sizable windows that offer a mix of impressive views over the city and the hotel’s gorgeous Japanese garden. Understated and decked out in all tmod-cons, the spacious rooms boast generous sized beds and calming décor to provide a tranquil atmosphere to relax in.
A range of cuisines are available for any tastes, whether you fancy an Italian at Ristorante Caffè Ciliegio, some authentic Japanese at NADAMAN Takanawa Prime or a delicious steak from KATSURA Steak House. The latter offers a particularly spectacular setting during sakura season which needs to be booked in advance, where you can feast on black wagyu teppanyaki served outside, underneath a canopy of softly lit blossom.
The Prince Sakura Tower is buzzing with activity in March and April to honour the time of year, and to embrace the culture you can attend a Kokeniwa lesson or enjoy a traditional kimono fittings after which you can be photographed in the cherry blossom garden. Not to be missed is the incredible annual kimono fashion show, were guests can feast their eyes on a show-stopping array of stunning designs, from modern dresses to the more traditional Japanese Jyuni Hitoe.
In a Nutshell
One of the finest hotels in Tokyo to enjoy the revered cherry blossom, Prince Sakura Tower is the perfect marriage of business and pleasure that stands head and shoulders above some of its more expensive competitors.
Rooms start from £200 a night.
Words by Sophie Coughlan