JAPAN Inspiration Gallery 11 Japan
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The Chinzanso has the most illustrious history of any hotel in Tokyo. The land and garden were painted by Hiroshige in the 17th century and owned by an elder statesman around the turn of the 19th century then subsequently developed as a free-standing hotel. The garden is without doubt one of the finest in Tokyo with well-tended trees, a three-story pagoda, a traditional tea house and manicured paths that meander around the central pond – all in all, a sublime environment, which is arguably at its best during cherry blossom season. The Kanda River is also just a few mere steps away, and is especially scenic during the summer months, when fire flies come out to cast their romantic glow around.

The garden is by no means the only highlight of the property. It impresses on arrival with a beautifully curated lobby with lounge sofas, chandeliers and artworks that look as if they have been transported from a penthouse in Europe. This style was very much in vogue after the war and is still appreciated by the largely Japanese clientele. This does put it at risk of becoming a museum piece, but the Chinzanso feels fresh, unlike some of the other heritage hotels which feel rather musty and dated now.

The rooms are a delight. King beds with sweeping garden views through floor-to-ceiling windows and some of the most spacious bathrooms of any hotel in Japan are incredibly welcoming – as are the little touches like L'Occitane products and the fresh fruit and English-language newspapers that are provided each morning. While staying here, one can relax in Yu, The Spa - which includes an open-air pool and even a hot spring onsen bath – and use the well-equipped gym.

The Chinzanso boasts half a dozen restaurants with a range of cuisines - French, Italian and Japanese - where guests are bound to dine as the hotel's only disadvantage is its location. It is a taxi or train ride to dining areas such as Shinjuku or Ikebukuro, but this distance does add to the sense of an oasis of luxury that is neither halfway up a skyscraper nor bustling with people like the downtown hotels.

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There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Client Testimonials

Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had. Everything – from the individual care and attention in planning the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round!
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
Ampersand provided a bespoke and flexible holiday, tailored to my every whim. Their highly professional staff had only one goal which was to arrange an exceptional holiday and some unforgettable experiences in India. I have no hesitation in fully recommending them and they will be the first company I approach in the future - 10/10
- Anonymous, India
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India

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