STAY During a hectic round of 2018 Resort-show hopping (looking at you, L.A., Kyoto, etc.), fashion editors soon find that the jet-lag haze causes all airports, cities and hotels to blur together—if you’ve seen one soft-beige carpet, you’ve seen them all—that is, until you discover the Hoshinoya Tokyo.
Unlike typical high-end hotels, which focus on lavishness at the expense of authenticity, the Hoshinoya is a quietly soothing introduction to Japanese culture and tradition. It was envisioned as a luxury take on the ryokan (a rural Japanese inn), and despite its location in Tokyo’s buzzing financial district, inside it is library levels of quiet, with nary a clack of a stiletto to be heard. (That’s in part because guests wear slippers or go barefoot indoors. Your shoes are placed in gold bamboo lockers in the lobby when you arrive.)
The minimalist suites are designed in classic Japanese style and architecture—from the bamboo closets and shoji sliding doors to the cozy kimonos that we’d take over classic hotel robes anytime. Floors are lined with pillow-like tatami (typically made from rice straw), and guests sleep on futons that we can assure you are as comfortable as any four-poster bed. The Hoshinoya offers the most indulgent of activities, which we took advantage of when we did manage to tear ourselves away from our room: an onsen (natural- hot-spring bath located on the roof), complimentary sake happy hour and deep-breathing exercises in the 17th-floor spa. Dinner at the Hoshinoya Tokyo restaurant, located in a regal basement setting, is a life-changing experience. Chef Noriyuki Hamada combines French techniques with traditional Japanese cuisine. Kanpai…or should we say santé?
SHOP We’d need about 10,000 words (and as many pages) to share all of our fave browsing spots in this thrilling, bustling city. But we’ll settle for sharing the finds from our most recent trip. For vintage scores, Tokyo institution Nude Trump will satisfy your inner maximalist, while Ragtag, which has over a dozen locations across the city, is the ideal place to score everything from Lanvin to Levi’s. Budding Margaret Atwoods will want to check out stationery shop Kakimori for bespoke notebooks and custom shades of ink sure to inspire the next great Canadian novel.
PARTY Any night at 1 Oak is a night to remember…if you can actually remember it, that is. But the three-storey Tokyo location—which opened last August and is the first in Asia and the company’s most lavish build to date—exceeds expectations. Our fave part? The karaoke room, of course.
SNACK Not to, um, toot our own horn or any- thing, but hitting up the ELLE Café in the bumping Shibuya district is a must when in Tokyo. Part restaurant/part deli/part juice bar, the eatery specializes in vegan, organic food—perfect for when you’ve overindulged in sake. (Try the Grilled Pumpkin Matcha Burger and a metabolism-boosting Raspberry Beet Latte.)
This article originally appeared in the January 2018 issue of ELLE Canada.