The best vacations are less about the items you pack in your suitcase and more about the connections you create in the present and the memories you take away. Perfectly positioned as a home base for exploration, Four Seasons introduces you to vibrant experiences that capture the true spirit of Tokyo and infuse each moment with joy and meaning. Get inspired with five sensory “souvenirs” from our Concierge Team.
THE LIVING LEGACY OF THE IMPERIAL PALACE
So many of Japan’s cultural touchstones can be experienced at the Imperial Palace, just steps from our Hotel. Emperor Akihito recently passed the baton to his son, which means the royal residence will soon be welcoming the new Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako – something we’re all very excited about. Take a private tour of the lush palace grounds, or witness imperial ceremonies on special days, like the New Year’s Greeting on January 2. During cherry blossom season, restricted sections are opened to the public. As you stroll between blossom-laden trees, practice hanami, the Japanese custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers.
A SKY-HIGH PERSPECTIVE OF THE CAPITAL
For breathtaking views, I can recommend no better place than our rooftop terraces, located on the top floor. Unlock new perspectives as you soak in 360-degree panoramas of Japan’s iconic capital. Daytime views reflect intriguing contrasts: look out at the Imperial Palace, Sky Tree and Tokyo Tower, with Mount Fuji in the distance. As darkness falls, Tokyo’s skyline lights up, offering a glittering backdrop to sip vintage whiskies or share a bottle of wine. Soaring open-air spaces like ours are a rare luxury in the city, so make the most of this in-house vantage point.
THE VIBRANCY OF JAPANESE CERAMICS
With a history going back 13,000 years, traditional Japanese ceramics make ideal souvenirs: they’re beautiful and meaningful, while also being useful in everyday life. Each of Japan’s 47 prefectures produces its own unique ceramic ware, giving you a dizzying array of choices. My personal favourite is Kutani-yaki, pottery with overglaze painting in vivid colours, made in Ishikawa Prefecture. Head to Antique Mall Ginza for vintage designs, or to Akomeya for modern interpretations of this classical craft. Located in a side street in Ginza, this shop curates Kutani-yaki with bright pops of colour and fresh patterns – a perfect piece of Japan to take home.
THE SWEETNESS OF OLD AND NEW
One of my favourite ways to experience a new culture is through dessert, which is why I recommend a visit to THE LOUNGE. Here, you can discover a captivating array of sweets crafted by local wagashi artisans and our award-winning Executive Pastry Chef. Enjoy a cup of Japanese green tea recommended by our tea sommelier, along with reinvented teatime classics, seasonal fruit parfaits and fine pastries. Each bite feels special as you gaze out over the prestigious Otemachi area, where shōgun and daimyō reigned supreme in the Edo period.
THE SPARKLE OF LOCAL FIREWORKS
In most places around the world, fireworks are launched to celebrate an occasion. In Tokyo, the fireworks themselves are the special event! Marvel at a dramatic dance of light, colour and music at one of the city’s summertime fireworks festivals. You’ll join local residents for the revelry, many of whom wear yukatas (a casual version of kimonos) and come with loved ones to enjoy the “flowers in the sky”. It’s said that Tokyo’s first public fireworks display took place in 1733, along the Sumida River. Ever since then, our pyrotechnic craftsmen have constantly been experimenting and innovating, which means you’ll get to witness some truly spectacular fireworks.
The Bold Flavours of a Starred Epicurean Adventure
Home to an astounding 226 Michelin-starred restaurants, Tokyo holds the title of Michelin capital of the world. Compared with its counterparts like Paris and London, the city offers the chance to enjoy multiple award-winning meals without breaking the bank. Choose from an intriguing variety of venues and cuisines as you wine and dine your way across this foodies’ paradise, from intimate tucked-away gems to dining establishments that love being in the spotlight. Get in touch with the Concierge at Four Seasons to tailor the perfect gastronomic itinerary.
The Punch of the Best Bitter Brew
Long before Starbucks, Tokyoites got their caffeine fix at kissaten (old-school coffee shops). Born at a time when Japan was modernizing, these social hubs welcomed everyone from salarymen to university students. Step into a world seeped with nostalgia at one of the many kissaten that still dot the city, from moody jazz cafés to literary establishments lined with books. At Café de l’Ambre in Ginza, you can sample single origin varieties aged for 10-20 years and brewed with a cloth filter, while Koffee Mameya in Omotesando stocks beans from great roasters around the world.
The Sleek Precision of Japan's Iron Horse
A ride on the Shinkansen bullet train is an adventure in itself. Famed for their smoothness and punctuality, these sleek marvels of Japanese engineering clock speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. Experience train travel like never before in the Gran Class, an exclusive car with ultra-spacious seating, gourmet meals and a dedicated host. Other luxury trains offer the feeling of a boutique hotel on wheels. Take in the majestic beauty of northern Japan from aboard the Royal Express by Tokyu Dentetsu, featuring observation decks, wood-panelled interiors and menus by a Michelin-starred chef.
The Delight of Oh-so Japanese Stationery
For stationery connoisseurs, Tokyo is a land of endless delights. With every changing season, Japanese stationery companies release new line-ups of products – from sophisticated gadgets and writing instruments, to themed letter sets and journals. Stock up on your favourites at Maruzen Marunouchi bookstore, LoFT in Ginza or Shibuya, and Tokyu Hands in Shinjuku. A must-visit for artists, Pigment Tokyo in Shinagawa stocks an incredible range of art supplies, including pigments in 4,500 hues, 200 kinds of Sumi ink sticks, and 50 types of isinglass.
The Singularity of Inventive Digital Art
Discover a mind-bending world of artwork without borders, a museum without a map. Spread across 10,000 square feet, the teamLab Borderless Museum houses exhibits that transition through different spaces, intermingle with each other, and are influenced by the audience. Created by a group of ultra-technologists, these immersive pieces of art and music unlock new ways for the self to interact with the world. You are encouraged to participate through touch and movement, and create a new reality with others – no two visits are exactly the same.