Throughout its history, Japan has blended taste, quality and service as the centerpieces of their culinary philosophy… with aesthetics playing a big part of its culture. To delve into Japanese culinary heritage, CNN visits the picturesque Ukai Chikutei, a restaurant nestled in the forests at the foot of the famed Mount Takao. Further exploring the artistry and beauty of Japanese cuisine, CNN sits down at the dinner table at TREE by Naked to experience how the restaurant incorporates virtual reality and digital projection to give visitors a full sensory dining experience.
Built in 1909 as the Crown Prince’s residence, the State Guest House is a national treasure that blends influences of the east and west. CNN gets a tour of the Geihinkan grounds, where heads of state and tourists alike come to admire some of the most remarkable architecture of Japan.
Yanaka is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Tokyo. Called shitamachi or old downtown, Yanaka was spared by disaster and war, allowing it to maintain its historical charms and nostalgic atmosphere. For many travelers, understanding a new place means immersing themselves in the local community. The new concept hotel, Hanare, is playing with that philosophy – allowing travelers to use the entire town of Yanaka as a hotel. CNN checks in to Hanare to experience the town like a local.
With the hustle and bustle of Tokyo’s urban landscape, greenery is not the first thing that comes to mind when people think of the city. But Tokyo is also home to breath-taking nature – be it islands surrounded by the ocean or luscious mountain ranges, people do not have to leave the capital to explore the beautiful outdoors. Unwinding amongst the lush forestry, CNN experiences Tokyo’s stunning nature through glamping in Okutama and discovers its stunning natural surroundings.
Hundreds of years ago, Tokyo was known as Edo and the city flourished around its waterways. Goods and people were transported by boats to and throughout Tokyo and the areas by the water became main hubs of commerce and entertainment. Today’s Tokyo was built upon these canals and rivers and there are still more than a hundred which flow into the city – but with time the water’s connection with people was forgotten. Now, with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics ahead and more structures being built on the waterfront, Hidetoshi Nakata brings CNN onboard a cruise to take in Tokyo’s history and future from a new perspective… by water.