HotelsHiramatsu Hotels, which boast seven outposts across Japan, is where gourmet gastronomy meets world-class Japanese hospitality.

Food, culture and luxe: These hotels in Japan have it all

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Hiramatsu Hotels was conceived with the “restaurant to stay” concept in 2016.
Hiramatsu Hotels was conceived with the “restaurant to stay” concept in 2016.

It started off with a dream to marry the world’s finest cuisines with the best of Japanese hospitality when Hiroyuki Hiramatsu opened a small French restaurant in Tokyo in 1982. 

Some 40 years later, that dream has given rise to 29 wildly popular restaurants and seven ryokans spread across Japan under the Hiramatsu brand.

When Hiramatsu was building up his name in the culinary world, he tied up with international renowned F&B brands such as Paul Bocuse, Pourcel, Haeberlin, Philippe Mille and more to shine the spotlight on French, Italian and Japanese cuisine across restaurants and cafes in Japan.

After firmly establishing his brand in the gastronomy scene, Hiramatsu went on to start an auberge in Nara in 2015. Following which, he established Hiramatsu Hotels in 2016 to draw a stronger focus on the world-class Japanese hospitality and culture he takes utmost pride in, and additionally to push the concept of a restaurant where guests can stay in. It started with the Hiratmasu Hotels & Resorts Kashikojima, before five more hotels sprung up in quick succession.

A night's stay in these seven hotels comes inclusive of two fine-dining meals and access to the hotels’ facilities. Luxury travellers seeking privacy and exclusivity will find that Hiratmasu Hotels fits their criteria with spacious rooms, numbering from eight to 37 rooms in each property, resulting in a higher staff-to-guest ratio.

1. Finding spiritual bliss in Kashikojima

Food, culture and luxe: These hotels in Japan have it all

Hiramatsu Hotels’ inaugural property is located in proximity to Ise Jingu — a Shinto shrine known amongst Japanese people as the “Soul of Japan”. There are only eight guest rooms in the Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts Kashikojima with the four in the main building each equipped with a private onsen, and another four in the annex. Guests can also book the larger private onsen situated just at the hotel's doorstep overlooking Ago Bay.

The restaurant’s menu is centred on French cuisine but utilises local produce for its dishes with abalone, sea bass, rock oysters, and tiger prawns in the summer, and spiny lobster and puffer fish in autumn and winter.

2. See the light as it shines on the sea at Ginoza

Perched along the coastline of Okinawa Island in the village of Ginoza, this 19-key hotel looks out over the ocean. Hiramatsu wanted his guests to be able to enjoy the stunning views of the sun rising out of the turquoise waters every morning and thus, built outward-facing villas with private pools and whirlpool baths with amazing vistas of the sea.

The Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts Ginoza’s 19 guest rooms are built on a gentle slope, all differing in size and décor, encompassing 21,000sqm. There are five different types of guest room, including detached villas with their own swimming pool, and standard twin and double rooms.

Its restaurant also overlooks the ocean, serving up French an Italian dishes made with the finest ingredients available on the day, from all around Japan. There is also a café-lounge where guests can have lunch or get a drink.

3. Time-travel back to the Meiji era at Kyoto

Food, culture and luxe: These hotels in Japan have it all

The Hiramatsu Kyoto sits along the Muromachi-dori main street running through central Kyoto. This traditional Japanese ryokan occupies a restored 19th century kimono shop that still retains the characteristic features of Kyoto’s charming architectural style.

A soothing wabi-sabi atmosphere is incorporated into the design of the 29 spacious rooms, using natural materials such as earthen walls, handcrafted wood furniture, washi paper lamps and screens, burnished metal detailing, Nabeshima carpets, Arita pottery, and Meiji-Era antiques. Guests will also be able to enjoy modern amenities like microbubble whirlpool bathtubs.

This ryokan offers two F&B options — classic kappo-style Japanese cuisine at Izumi and modern Italian at La Luce. Both restaurants feature dishes created from local produce and share an international beverage list.

4. Luxury forest dwelling in Karuizawa Miyota

Food, culture and luxe: These hotels in Japan have it all

Hiramatsu Hotels’ new flagship property, the Hiramatsu Karuizawa Miyota, feature 28 rooms and 9 villa suites with spacious balconies or verandas, floor-to-ceiling windows, and semi-open-air onsens with spring water imported in from the famed onsen town of Ueda daily. The property is situated in a lush, forested area, offering sweeping views of the colour-changing trees as seasons change with Mt Asama and the Yatsugatake Mountains set in the background.

The hotel houses two F&B concepts — the Le Grand Lys serving French cuisine and La Lumiere Claire that features an Italian menu. Helming the gastronomy at this hotel is Bocuse-trained chef Akio Yanagihara, a veteran of several Hiramatsu restaurants in Tokyo and Paris. He handpicks produce from the Nagano’s Shinshu region for the restaurants’ and in-room dining menus and even puts together picnic baskets which guests can bring along with them as they take a leisure stroll around the bountiful forest.

Other properties under Hiramatsu Hotels include the Hiratmasu Hotels & Resorts Atami in Shizuoka; Hiratmasu Hotels & Resorts Sengokuhara in Kanagawa; and L’Auberge De Plaisance Sakurai in Nara.

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