It may have taken a while, but Japan has finally reopened to international tourists and has wasted no time in getting creative with its tourist attractions. 2023 brings a wave of openings for Japan, and after almost three years of closed borders, now is the time to book for a truly exciting return to the Land of the Rising Sun. Here’s a guide to what’s on offer.
What to do
Japan’s cities are experiencing a rejuvenation, from creative quarters in lesser-known areas to worldwide recognised exhibitions opening in its capital.
Jurassic World: The Exhibition, Tokyo (opening spring 2023)
From Tokyo’s streets to Isla Nublar, become immersed in the land of dinosaurs with realistic sets, life-sized animatronics and interactive discovery areas. As currently on show in London, Jurassic World: The Exhibition will be a family-friendly experience in Tokyo and nostalgic for long-time fans of the franchise.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo – The Making of Harry Potter (opening summer 2023)
Modelled on the much-loved Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London, Tokyo’s The Making of Harry Potter will open at the former site of Toshimaen, a large amusement park which closed in 2020. With film paraphernalia, familiar sets and interactive installations, the Tokyo opening is set to take about half a day to explore.
Tokyo Gendai Art Fair, Yokohama (6 – 9 July 2023)
Experience the launch of Asia Pacific’s newest international art event, bringing together 80-100 exceptional galleries from around the world in a programme of exhibitions and cultural experiences. Tokyo Gendai will be accompanied by an extensive VIP programme of exhibitions and museum openings, studio visits and cultural experiences allowing visitors to explore the very best that Tokyo has to offer.
teamLab Borderless Museum, Tokyo (opening late 2023)
Opening as part of the Toranomon-Azabudai project, a futuristic development in central Tokyo, the new teamLab Borderless Museum will showcase its much-loved interactive digital art, as the current Planets exhibition closes.
Yokohama 2023 Triennale (9 December 2023 – 10 March 2024)
2023 will see the return of the Yokohama Triennale art festival. This year’s event will be the eighth since its inauguration in 2001, the first edition to be held in winter, as well as the first major exhibition to take place at the newly renovated Yokohama Museum of Art, reopening in December 2023.
Where to stay
A country known for its considerate and accommodating hospitality, a stay in Japan is guaranteed to be high quality. This coming year, a variety of new hotels will be welcomed to its roster from affordable stays to five-star luxury.
Hotel B4T Iwaki, Fukushima, Japan (opening 15 January 2023)
The first in a series of hotels being developed by Japan Railways East, Hotel B4T Iwaki will be a contactless and affordable stay. The hotel will offer a variety of rooms from capsule style to suite rooms, as well as communal working spaces. The key feature will be its compatibility with the Suica card, a prepaid e-money card often used for transport and shopping in Japan. After the opening in Iwaki, two more Hotel B4T’s are scheduled to open in Tokyo in 2023.
Bulgari Hotel, Tokyo (opening spring 2023)
Occupying the upper seven floors of a new skyscraper, the Bulgari Hotel will comprise 98 rooms as well as brand staples such as The Bulgari Bar, Il Ristorante, the fireplace Lounge, Il Cioccolato store and an outdoor terrace. Designed, like all Bulgari Hotels, by the Italian architecture firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, it is poised to be one of the brightest new stars in the Tokyo skyline.
Shisui, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Nara (opening end of 2023)
Opening in Nara, this will be the third property in the ‘SUI’ Marriott brand, after Iraph Sui in Okinawa and Suiran in Kyoto. Its focus will be on traditional Japanese gardens and architecture and will be situated on the west side of Nara Park nearby Todaiji Temple, the 738 CE Buddhist temple.
Hilton, Yokohama (opening end of 2023)
Yokohama’s first high-end Hilton property will open in the new year as part of a waterfront development, also housing the K-Arena; one of the world’s largest live music venues. The hotel is reported to have 339 guest rooms, plus restaurants, cafés, bars and event spaces.
TRUNK Yoyogi Park (TBA 2023)
Opening in Shibuya, a busy and up-and-coming district in West Tokyo, Trunk Hotel Yoyogi Park will have a unique vantage point with a rooftop infinity pool and views over Miyashita park. This is the first luxury boutique hotel to open in the area of Shibuya and with it will come the Trunk’s contemporary and design-led look.