After many years closed to the world, it’s safe to say that Japan is back. Travelers have been flocking to the Land of the Rising Sun this spring to experience everything they longed for during those long pandemic years. And if you’re looking to stay at a luxury hotel that’s brimming with spring adventures and fun, The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko has a full roster of nature excursions and cultural rituals.
The luxury property that opened in July 2020 within the UNESCO World Heritage Site locales of Japan’s Northern Kanto Region (just 2.5 hours north of Tokyo by rail or car) might as well be brand new. And with Sakura (cherry blossoms) blanketing the surrounding landscapes from late-April into May, the background is set for enjoying Japan’s favorite springtime celebration with every creature comfort possible.
Settle into one of the hotel’s exquisite 94 guest rooms—all with engawas (traditional porches) for enjoying the views—and get ready to maximize all that Nikko and the property have to offer. Your first order of business after a long-haul flight might be a soak in a private onsen (hot spring) at the hotel’s spa, where you can let the rejuvenating waters and surrounding nature soothe your spirit and muscles.
The resort offers year-round programming and rituals that change with the seasons, encouraging guests to fully immerse in the uniqueness of the destination and its natural beauty.
For springtime programming, you might enjoy the Shugendo Experience that includes a hike to a waterfall in the Kirifuri Highlands, where you’ll be guided through a traditional water ritual to purify your body and mind with the mountain’s spiritual energy. Witness the twilight beauty and stillness of Lake Chuzenji while paddling a SUP at dusk, as shadows paint their lines across the surrounding mountains.
After dark, head into the highlands to admire the night sky with OkuNikko Stargazing and feel your jaw drop at the sight of the Milky Way and use a telescope to see the moon’s craters beckoning on high in the inky blackness of a Nikko night.
For something more physical, the hotel offers a Cycle and Cruise adventure that kicks off with a high-energy mountain bike ride through the oak and larch forests of Odashirogahara. After, you’ll board a speedboat to cruise back to Lake Chuzenji and the lakefront hotel while enjoying views of awe-inspiring Hatcho Dejima and Mount Nantai along the way.
The property’s cherry blossom-inspired menus during Sakura Season are another tempting reason to book a springtime stay. Consider the eight-course kaiseki dinner starring Sakura sea bream or a Sakura Afternoon Tea that pays homage to Japan’s pinkest and loveliest season of them all.