Tag Archives: Discovery

Tokyo: Capitol Hotel Tokyu

A Room With A View

Kumbawa Tokyo!

We arrive from Hiroshima via Himeji to visit the famous Castle. Long day including two trips in Shinkansen (bullet train), three cities – three moods and a thousand impressions! We are a little tired when we arrive in Tokyo tonight. We finally are at the Capitol Hotel Tokyu, conveniently located in Chiyoda-ku, with a metro exit that directly leads to the hotel.

What a great view from our Premier Corner Twin room at the 26th floor! We fall asleep with the show of the city lights. The room is really large: 57.8 m², which means huge for Tokyo. The shower & bath area also offers a superb view! Showering while “flying over” Tokyo. Awesome! 

Minimalist interior design with a great comfort (including an air humidifier). It is very hard to leave your bed (and the bathroom and room too, lol), even if I’m up at dawn! When traveling, I like getting up very early. And in the Land of the Rising Sun, from 5 a.m. it is broad daylight.

  

The Swimming Pool

Some Lengths

My second pool of 20 meters long in Tokyo’s skyscrapers. The first one was at the 47th floor of Park Hyatt Tokyo. Here you can also enjoy a beautiful view of Tokyo. As it opens from 6:30 a.m., we serenely swim before breakfast.

The pool is adjacent to the spa. Unfortunately, we did not have time to test the Carju Rajah Tiado spa. We only stay two nights and Tokyo is huge! For the next trip, the beautista in me will make you a “spa and beauty in Japan” article.

  

The Breakfast

At Origami Restaurant

The breakfast room opens onto the hotel’s garden (pictured above). Which brings a zen contemplative touch. And makes us forget the effervescence of Tokyo!

The buffet is delicious with croissants as good as in France! The products are fresh and the service  is pleasant, besides throughout the hotel, the teams are efficient, polite and smiling. Photos below: our different breakfasts.  

The Entry Hall

This morning, we hit the road for an onsen weekend in Hakone. By depositing our suitcases at the reception (which we pick up back after Hakone), we hear live Japanese music.

What a lovely surprise! In front of the impressive bouquet in the hotel’s entry hall, an elegant musician in kimono plays a traditional instrument. Superb mix and contrast with the modern architecture! Just like our stay at the Capitol Hotel Tokyu, an experience full of finesse. 

    

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

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Capitol Hotel Tokyu

Planning your trip with Exclusif Voyages

Flying to Japan : direct flights from Brussels & Paris with ANA

Related articles : DESTINATIONS & HOTEL REVIEWS

Many thanks to Exclusif Voyages, Ryokan Collection and Capitol Hotel Tokyu for this beautiful invitation. As always theses are my opnions. 

Japan: Sasayuri-Ann Terrace Villas (Day 1)

The Ozonu Villa

  

The Room

Arriving this morning from Kyoto in the small station of Nabari, we were far from imagining our stay at Sasayuri-Ann Rice Terrace. We are in countryside (one hour by train from Nara), a complete immersion in an authentic traditional Japan. 

We are greeted by Mr Matsubayashi, the owner who, with his wife and two sons take care of the two villas. We stay in Ozonu, the new villa with light woods and opened on a beautiful Zen garden (above, first photo of the article). A smart blend of tradition and luxury, sober and extremely comfortable (modern bathroom and kitchens). I feel like I’m in an Ozu 

In the evening, the main space is transformed into a bedroom. We are projected into another dimension, with the backdrop of the lighted garden and the sound of the water. Awesome! Photos above and below: my first fittings of yukata (Japanese summer kimono) in the room.

  

Shabu Shabu

  

Carefully and Warmly

After a long day, we take our first dinner around the “fire”, in the center of the main room. Our hosts have prepared a Shabu Shabu (the famous Japanese fondue). 

Vegetables and beef of the region (cut into very fine marbled slices, like Kobe beef) are soaked in boiling water and then seasoned with sesame sauce. I don’t know the exact recipe, but it’s delicious. Subtle, light and tasty (photo below).

For the desert, a homemade sake ice cream ball served in frozen ceramic cup and spoon (photo above).

Ikebana & Zen Garden

Contemplative Meditation

The garden is the pride of Mr. Matsubayashi who was inspired by the most beautiful Zen gardens. Every evening he meticulously water it. Besides, the villa and the garden are one. 

The garden is divided into three sides: the Landscape Rock Garden, the Pinetree Garden and the Scenery-Borrowing Garden with, in the distance, the bluish mountains. Enchanting setting.

In the afternoon, we attended a private flower arrangement class given by Mrs. Matsubayashi, master of Ikebana. I liked her precise gesture. With few elements, her composition is beautiful! No superfluity, only the essential matters. Japanese minimalism.

 

  

The Tea Ceremony

The Immutable Japan

In another part of the garden, there is a 100 year old tea house (impressive!), With the dimensions of a doll’s house, paper doors and windows. According to Mr. Matsubayashi, the Japanese love everything small.

I feel both like Alice in Wonderland and an elephant in this confined space that seems fragile. As strange as it may seem, everyone quickly finds his little living space. 

Formerly this ceremony was practiced by monks and allowed the powerfuls and gentry to share a moment of peace over a cup of tea. Today, the masters of the tea ceremony are mostly women.

Everything is very codified, the graceful slow gesture is controlled and repetitive too, like a choreography. We hear the sound of water and birds outside. Macha and confectionery are excellent.

To be continued … 

  

    

Photos & vidéos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

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Sasayuri-Ann Terrace Villas

Planning your trip with Exclusif Voyages

Flying to Japan : direct flights from Brussels & Paris with ANA

Related articles : DESTINATIONS & HOTEL REVIEWS

Many thanks to Exclusif Voyages, Ryokan Collection and Mr and Mrs Matsubayashi and their sons for this wonderful immersion in a traditional hedonistic Japan. As always, these are my opinions.

Japan, 48 Hours in Kyoto: Fushimi Inari-taisha

  

Direction Fushimi

  

The Famous Shinto Sanctuary

For our first morning, we wake up at dawn. From Kyoto station, we take a local train to the south of Kyoto, Fushimi. This is my third visit to Kyoto and surprisingly, my first visit to the famous Shinto shrine Fushimi Inari-taisha dedicated to Inari Okami, the deity of rice crops, abundance and joy.

We arrive before 8 am, but the site is already full of many visitors: tourists and schoolchildren. Without thinking too much, we head to the hypnotic red and black Torii, the giant doors of Shinto shrines. The engraved inscriptions on Torii represent the names of the donors and the dates.

On a slope of the Inari mountain, segments of aligned Torii climb to the summit (233 meters), to go down by another side (see the map of the sanctuary on the last photo below). Naively, we thought the climb would be fast. In fact, it really climbs. There are several levels and some offer a panoramic view of Kyoto (photo below). 

As we get closer to the summit, there are fewer and fewer people. Till finally feeling a contemplative calm among these Torii surrounded by nature. I am cradled by an orange light on an intense green background. Yes I’m back to Japan! Kind of weird, the way back from the top to the bottom of the mountain seemed longer. Plan for the whole visit, an entire morning if you do not like to hurry (and have time to take your pictures alone).

  

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Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

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Fushimi Inari-taisha, JNTO

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Direct flights from Brussels and Paris to Japon with ANA

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