CNN’s Travel Trends Tokyo

There’s more than just one Tokyo: There’s a mystical one, a traditional one, a gourmet one, and myriad others in between. Join CNN as it uncovers the metropolis’s countless facets through activities such as meditating under an ice-cold waterfall, visiting the “world’s best” vegan restaurant, staying in a long-established geisha house, taking a dip at a traditional Japanese bathhouse, or digitally detoxing in Tokyo’s “book town.”

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Meditating under an ice-cold Tokyo waterfallMeditating under an ice-cold Tokyo waterfall

Meditating under an ice-cold Tokyo waterfall Wellness tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry. But in Tokyo, you don't have to shell out a lot of money for a transformative experience. Taki-gyo, or waterfall meditation, is a centuries-old practice in Japan. Drawn by the health benefits, many tourists visit the Ayahiro waterfall in the peaceful Tokyo woodlands of Mount Mitake. There, they dunk their heads under ice-cold gushing water, hoping to find calm and clarity.

Yoshiaki Hashimoto

Yoshiaki Hashimoto

Priest, Musashi Mitake

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The world's best vegan restaurant?The world's best vegan restaurant?

Tokyo is a city of culinary diversity, famous for its raw fish and steaming hot bowls of ramen with pork broth. But it's also home to the world's highest-rated vegan restaurant, according to online database Happycow. Vegan travel is growing in popularity worldwide, and many head straight to Tokyo's Saido. Even though its chef cooks what appears to be traditional pork cutlets and grilled eel - the restaurant's menu contains no ingredients from animals.

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Katsumi Kusumoto

Katsumi Kusumoto

Katsumi Kusumoto, who oversees the menu as executive
chef at Saido, served as the manager at several
membership restaurants after training in French cuisine.

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Tokyo's 'micro hotel' designed to feel like homeTokyo's 'micro hotel' designed to feel like home

2019 has seen the rise of the 'home-tel,' as hoteliers aim to compete with Airbnb. Chains including Domio and Locale have popped up across the US, offering upscale apartment stays with hotel services. Tokyo's Trunk (House) opened in 2019 - and takes the concept to new heights. The one bedroom micro hotel lives inside of an old Geisha household, and incorporates historic design with modern touches. It even comes with a designer clad butler, in-house chefs and what the creators call 'Tokyo's tiniest disco'.

Hiroe Tanaka

Hiroe Tanaka

As Trunk’s creative director, she worked on concept
development and the overall direction of the Trunk House.

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Taking a dip in a Tokyo bathhouseTaking a dip in a Tokyo bathhouse

Wellness tourism is on the rise globally. And in Tokyo, one of the biggest travel trends for tourists and locals like is a visit to a sento, or bathhouse. Traditionally, the sento is a place to soothe your body and mind. Mikokuyu, first built in 1947, is now run by founding family's fourth generation. It's a modern take on an age old tradition, constructed with natural materials and adorned with hand-painted murals.

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Shin Kataoka

Shin Kataoka

While performing as a vocalist in the popular band Kataomoi,
"he manages the long-established bathhouse Mikokuyu
(Sumida-ku), which has been in business since 1947.

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A digital detox in Tokyo's 'book town'A digital detox in Tokyo's 'book town'

In a world of rapidly developing technological advancements, many travelers are increasingly looking to get away from it all. And there may be no better place for a digital detox than Tokyo's Jimbocho district, also known as 'book town'. The neighborhood is home to more than 150 bookshops, selling everything from cheap paperbacks to first edition antiques.

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Ichiro Kitazawa

Ichiro Kitazawa

Representative Director, Kitazawa Bookstore.

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