Luxury hotel group Banyan Tree has finally made its entry into Japan with five new hotels spanning across its four brands. The announcement comes at a time when Japan has decided to reopen borders to travellers from 98 countries and regions for guided tours since June, after a two-year closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dhawa Yura and Garrya Nijo Castle, both located in Kyoto, opened early this summer, while the other three properties are set to open from now through 2026.
The 138-room Dhawa Yura Kyoto is located beside the city’s iconic Sanjo Ohashi, a bridge that was once the final station of the ancient Tokaido Road from Tokyo and served as a route for long-distance voyagers during the Edo period.
Dhawa Yura Kyoto is within walking distance from a number of temples, shrines, shopping areas, restaurants, and museums. F&B outlets at the property include the all-day dining restaurant 54th Station Grill with a view of an indoor bamboo garden, and Lounge & Bar 1867, which is ideal for afternoon tea or drinks. Guests can also go to the 8lement Spa within the hotel for wellness treatments.
Above: Dhawa Yura Kyoto
As the first property under the hotel group’s newly launched brand, Garrya Nijo Castle is an exclusive luxury hotel with a theme of wellbeing throughout its guest rooms and open spaces.
Located right in front of Nijo Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site that was first built in 1603 during the Tokugawa Shogunate, the new property is surrounded by greenery with a garden overlooking the lobby. All 25 rooms and suites are fitted with floor-to-ceiling windows affording a view of the garden or the heritage site. Hotel guests can enjoy seasonal cuisine at the in-house French restaurant Singular or participate in restorative exercises and yoga in the Wellbeing Room.
Above: Garrya Nijo Castle Kyoto
In addition to the two newly-opened properties, Kyoto will see its third Banyan Tree hotel open in 2024. Located in the Gion and Higashiyama district, the 52-key Banyan Tree Higashiyama will be a hilltop urban resort, and the first and only hotel in the city to have a stage for Noh, a classical Japanese dance-drama that has been performed since the fourteenth century.
Another Banyan Tree-branded hotel will come to Hakone, famous for its hot spring culture and splendid views of Mount Fuji. The new luxury resort, Banyan Tree Ashinoko Hakone, is slated to open in 2026 near Lake Ashinoko.
The popular ski resort of Niseko in Japan’s northern Hokkaido Prefecture will also receive a new resort in 2025. The newly built Cassia Hirafu will be situated just minutes away from the ski slope, offering 50 rooms for the resort and 113 for residences, ranging from one-bedrooms to villas that will be available for sale.
“We are pleased with our strategic entry into Japan, in line with the government’s recent decision to ease international tourism into the country,” says Eddy See, President and Chief Executive Officer of Banyan Tree Group. “Just in time to announce the openings of Dhawa and Garrya, in addition to the new partnerships that will expand our multi-branded portfolio. Kyoto is an unmistakable great start for Banyan Tree Group’s foray into Japan, with its natural healing springs, vast history, and abundant culture.”
“Our four new upcoming locations, and beyond, will provide signature standards of service and diversified programming that will serve as a benchmark for all future Banyan Tree Group locations in Japan.”
All images courtesy of Banyan Tree.