The far-flung islands of Japan have inspired and intrigued for centuries, with their beguiling and dynamic cities that are steeped in history and tradition, unique and delectable cuisine, and diverse natural landscapes. The nation’s gracious hospitality, reverence of nature and its healing qualities, and its elegantly minimalistic architecture have influenced much of Aman’s ethos over the years.
Today, the destination has become home to three of the brand’s serene sanctuaries. Each retreat – whether located above the energetic pulse of Tokyo, within acres of tranquil forest in Kyoto, or on the wild shores of Ago Bay in Ise Shima National Park – offers a private insight into the destination.
SECRETS OF JAPAN
Aman is pleased to announce the arrival of a new six-night journey incorporating all three properties in Japan. Drawing on the unique natural setting that each Aman hotel or resort inhabits, and under the guidance of the brand’s wellness and cultural experts, Secrets of Japan introduces guests to all aspects of Japanese life. Activities include an Omakase sushi and sake dinner by Master Chef Hiroyuki Musashi at Aman Tokyo, a private tea ceremony in a temple near Aman Kyoto and a cruise along Ago Bay with lunch or dinner served by an Ama (a female freediver) in her hut to discover an ancient way of life.
A retreat for recovery
An exclusive sanctuary high above the atmospheric whirl of Japan’s vibrant capital, Aman Tokyo occupies the top six floors of The Otemachi Tower. The hotel’s spa is the largest and most comprehensive in Tokyo, with a 30-metre heated indoor swimming pool that overlooks the city, hydrotherapy areas, a fully-equipped gym, and a studio for both yoga and Pilates.
The new Kuromoji Tea Journey, available at the Aman Spa, celebrates one of Japan’s best-loved natural ingredients – a spice bush with a woody fragrance that is said to reduce anxiety and soothe the mind. The journey includes a body wrap comprising kuromoji clay with herbal tea and a tension-releasing fully body massage utilizing Aman Tokyo’s signature kuromoji oil. For those wanting to overnight at Aman Tokyo, the Retreat for Recovery experience includes accommodation and breakfast, as well as the Kuromoji Tea Journey, for a truly relaxing escape.
In a city famous for its exceptional restaurant scene, Aman Tokyo offers unrivalled dining experiences with some of the capital’s finest views. Situated on the 34th floor, Musashi by Aman is helmed by renowned Chef Musashi who personally curates the restaurant’s omakase menu based on the freshest seafood available at the local markets each day. To celebrate the restaurant’s second anniversary, Aman Tokyo is offering private sushi dinners for just eight people at the wooden sushi counter or, for those staying in a suite or above, dinner in the comfort of their spacious room. The experience enables diners a unique opportunity to witness one of the country’s most respected sushi artisans at work.
Holistic support for the mind and body
Overlooking serene Ago Bay in Ise Shima National Park, Amanemu is a remote onsen retreat and wellness destination embraced by nature. With a 2,000-square-metre Aman Spa and direct access to mineral hot springs and the region’s bountiful natural produce, the resort’s wellness offering is comprehensive, including cuisine renowned for its freshness, elegant simplicity and health-giving properties. Located close to the sacred Ise Jingu Grand Shrine, the most revered shrine in Japan, Amanemu shares a similar meditative ambience making it the ideal place to retreat and relax.
With the start of summer and the launch of the property’s new Tsuki Villa, the resort is making the most of the outdoors. With its own spacious private garden with cherry trees and an alfresco dining area, Amanemu’s Tsuki Villa is a serene new space in which to absorb the natural beauty of Ise Shima National Park. The villa has its own onsen with bathing pools indoors and out and offers in-room dining.
New to Amanemu’s wellness programme is the Holistic Immune Support Retreat, a one-night/two-day programme that incorporates Toji Bathing, where guests remain in the warm onsen for an extended length of time to absorb the healing benefits of the mineral-rich hot springs. The retreat includes a 90-minute sea salt scrub and seaweed body wrap, a 90-minute acupuncture and moxibustion session, and a traditional healthy Japanese lunch comprising grilled fish, steamed vegetables with a lemon and sesame sauce, brown rice, miso soup and yuba (curdled soymilk).
Private dining experiences at Amanemu include the Garden Party, held in the resort’s tranquil garden. Beginning an hour before sunset, this candlelit dinner includes tapas-style starters, matsusaka beef barbecue and Ise lobster bouillabaisse, prepared tableside by Amanemu’s expert chefs. Cheese and desserts are served thereafter in the bar. An even more romantic option is a sunset dinner overlooking Ago Bay. Dinner is served bento-style with 12 unique Japanese dishes including and abalone. Guests can also enjoy a private dinner with one of Amanemu’s spacious villas.
A Ryokan inspired retreat
A secret garden close to the golden Kinkaku-ji Temple, the 32-hectare Aman Kyoto opened in November 2019 as an ethereal world apart. Tranquil free-standing pavilions rest at the heart of a forgotten forest in which moss-covered footpaths link peaceful glades and streams provide a soothing soundtrack broken only by birdsong.
The healing power of mother nature with her vast apothecary of medicinal plants, mineral-rich hot springs and soul-cradling beauty is well documented. Aman Kyoto embraces this wisdom with new wellness offerings that are defined by nature in every way.
Consisting of a minimum of a two-night stay, the Wellness Escape at Aman Kyoto includes daily breakfast at The Living Pavilion and a 90-minute full-body massage per person. For longer stays, At One With Nature offers a minimum seven-night retreat inviting guests to absorb the serenity of nature with full board and a number of exclusive personalised activities and wellness experiences included.
Strikingly minimalist in their design, Aman Kyoto’s guestrooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows framing the spectacular natural surroundings. Ingeniously crafted to foster peace, relaxation and contemplation, there is no better setting for a Ryokan Inspired Retreat. Including an overnight stay, the experience makes the most of the guestroom setting with in-room dining for both breakfast and dinner with seasonal menus purposefully created by Executive Chef Kentaro Torii, to be enjoyed in total seclusion.
The experience includes a private 30-minute session in the healing waters of the outdoor natural onsen and 60-minute guided yoga or mediation experience in the resort’s expansive garden.
Aman Kyoto’s recently launched restaurant, Taka-an, pays homage to the location’s rich culinary heritage and local artist Hon’ami Kōetsu. Chef Shinichiro Takagi uses the finest seasonal ingredients to craft exquisite kaiseki fare in an environment that perfectly balances flavour, atmosphere, art and design.
The Japanese Kaiseki fine dining menu includes seven dishes artistically served on delicate Japanese crockery. The Obanzai Kyoto-style private dining menu starts with shared appetisers, followed by hot dishes, Kyoto tofu and rice or noodles. The Italian tasting menu draws on Chef Torii’s training in Italy, while the ‘Land to Table’ tasting menu focuses on the freshness and seasonality of Kyoto produce delivered by local farmers, butchers and fishmongers. Wine and sake pairings can be arranged by the resort’s sommelier on request.
For al fresco meals, picnics in Aman Kyoto’s otherworldly gardens and woodland can be arranged for breakfast (either Japanese or American in style) or lunch (Bento boxes with Chirashi Sushi or Wagyu Beef sandwiches) and can be booked by Aman Kyoto guests and non-residents. The resort’s new barbecue lunch is offered on weekends to both guests and non-residents on the resort’s tranquil Garden Terrace. The menu includes seasonal cuisine and the finest cuts of meat sourced locally.
Aman was founded in 1988 with the vision of building a collection of intimate retreats with the unassuming, warm hospitality of a gracious private home. The first, Amanpuri (place of peace) in Phuket, Thailand, introduced the concept and, since then, Aman has grown to encompass 32 exquisitely serene hotels and resorts in 20 destinations across the world, with a further nine under construction.
The next Aman to open will be Aman New York (2020). The introduction of Aman Skincare in 2018 continued the holistic journey beyond the perimeters of Aman’s havens. Offering a soothing journey to a place of beautifully scented repose and respite, Aman Skincare represents the spirit of Aman in a bottle.
In 2020, Aman welcomed a new hotel brand, Janu – meaning ‘soul’ in Sanskrit. Janu offers a unique take on hospitality where genuine human interaction, playful expression and social wellness are at the core of the experience. Janu aims to bring balance to the head and heart and rekindle the soul. Janu launches with three forthcoming hotels which are already under construction: Montenegro (2022), Al Ula in Saudi Arabia (2022) and Tokyo (2022), as well as a robust pipeline of future hotels. Janu Montenegro will be the first hotel to incorporate the brands serviced residence concept, enabling guests to wholly embrace the Janu lifestyle.