ニシタイ 西葛西駅前タイムズ

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unique venue 2017.05.19 Visiting Unique Venues in Tokyo! Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

I was following a map on my smart phone through Tokyo. Staring intently at the dot that represented me move toward its goal, I stepped through a gate and…apparently out of the city. 

Looking up, I found myself surrounded by green. The scent of the forest accompanied the sound of a flowing spring somewhere in the distance. I froze, unsure of where I was and where to go. I had been heading toward Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo. 

After a moment, a man in a pressed suit stepped out of an alcove I hadn’t noticed and approached me. He asked politely if I would like a map in English or Japanese. Well, I thought, since I have apparently been spirited away, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to go a bit easy on myself. An English map it was.

“If you’re looking for the main hotel lobby,” he gently explained while pointing at the layout on the paper, “you’ll want to make your way forward, straight ahead, and then cross on your right at Benkeibashi, the red bridge here.” 

What was this place where suit-wearing guides read my mind?

Searching the map, my eyes came upon the words, “Garden Map Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo.”


So, I hadn’t been spirited away. I had accidently wandered into the famed garden of my destination. Looking around at the flowers, hearty trees, and cultural artifacts, I found myself disbelieving I was still in downtown Tokyo. 

Once I made it to the lobby, perhaps walking a bit more slowly along the paved path than I should have, I met Ms. Sakayori, International Sales Manager, who explained more.

“Our expansive garden, which grows wild camellias, has been preserved and cultivated with care by its various owners over the generations. Even now, it is watched over by a 500-year-old sacred tree. Besides its natural beauty, it also features important cultural assets, such as a three-story pagoda and our Zangetsu tea house, all within the grounds. These, and other historical and architectural wonders, were placed here by Baron Fujita and include items from between 700 to 1000 years ago. Our garden makes an experience here at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo unique. I think you could even call it a ‘roofless museum’ of sorts.”

Indeed, I thought, this place did feel like a world unto itself. 

This time, on Ad!Venture’s Unique Venue Search, I had come to Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo. Although my company often hosts events here, it was personally my first visit, so upon meeting Ms. Sakayori I found myself overcome with questions.

Once we made our way to an upper-level board room (with wide windows to let in light and a view of the garden), I began my inquiries by asking about Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo’s concept.
Ms. Sakayori explained that the hotel distinguished itself by cultivating a Japanese aesthetic, and then introducing that to guests and visitors. This was represented in the phrase, “Bringing Japanese Hospitality to the World.” While at once a hotel with all the amenities and services one would expect, it also serves in a capacity of artistic cultural exhibition. 

“We offer services that let guests experience Japan. On top of guided tours of the Garden, which are also done in English, we offer cultural activities like Kimono fittings, dining in the Kinsui restaurant, and tea ceremonies within the garden tea house Zangetsu.”

I knew from looking at the brochure that Kinsui was an example in the sukiya style of Japanese architecture, and that the tea house she mentioned was a cultural asset. I hoped I would at some point receive a guided tour of both, but had a few pressing questions first.

Namely, what did all this mean for visiting business professionals?

“We provide the utmost service to support business success from behind the scenes. Receiving guests by having them book a room to stay with us, we then meet their needs, organizing board meetings, seminars, and networking events. During this, especially for guests from abroad, we offer cultural experiences that provide lasting impressions of Japan. Situated as we are in the center of Tokyo, we believe that for the busy business person, these services, offered from the heart, provide an important opportunity to experience relaxation.”

Curious, I asked how this differed from other Tokyo hotels. 

“We offer a full range of facilities, with guest rooms, restaurants, a spa, meeting rooms, and banquet halls. On top of that, if I may,” Ms. Sakayori smiled, “I would like to point out something else unique that often goes unnoticed at first.” With a flat-palmed gesture, she indicated the wide windows before us: “Natural light.” 

“Tokyo hotel venues for business events are often rooms without windows,” she continued, and I found myself nodding as I mentally flipped through personal experiences with well-furnished but enclosed venues. “That is why we’re proud to say that of the 38 facilities we specifically offer for business events, over 70 percent have windows that face the garden and let in natural light all day long. No matter the type of business event, I think such a feature greatly lifts the mood.”

Remembering my own experienced relief at stepping outside after an all-day business seminar, I was inclined to agree. Perhaps Ms. Sakayori saw a certain longing for the outdoors on my face, for she chose that moment to gesture kindly for me to follow her out of the room.

She showed me to their onsen and spa before leading me to the elevator to go up to view Serenity Garden, the rooftop terrace. 

“This is another unique space we offer: The Serenity Garden.”

Stepping out onto the roof terrace, I felt my eyes widen. A wooden and green plant deck that seemed to open to the skyline and larger garden below lay before me.  

“This is a very popular venue of 1,500 square meters that can hold 50 to 100 people. In the summer, we have a Champagne Garden Event where guests can enjoy all-you-can-drink champagne of 5 different varieties. I highly recommend it. There’s a doggy playground over there as well.” Sure enough, an enclosed space with dog toys and a wash hose was sequestered behind well-placed bushes. 

Enjoying the breeze, I asked how Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, with its emphasis on nature, experiences seasons. For example, was there a particularly popular time of year?

Ms. Sakayori smiled. “Sakura Season. We have about 20 varieties of cherry blossoms, with 120 various trees, and from February to April, they bloom beautifully. Saying that, however, Firefly Season definitely does not lose out.”

Firefly Season?

“As we have waterfalls and running springs, we’re able to raise fireflies here. Every year they hatch in the latter part of May, from when we offer viewings. I have corporate guests, as well, who plan events aiming for summer so they can enjoy the fireflies.”

I hadn’t realized fireflies could be cultivated, though it did seem romantic.

After a time, Ms. Sakayori led me back down to the Garden to show me the restaurant space Kinsui.

It was breathtaking, with floors that seemed to flow directly outside into the gardens and wall-length windows that you wouldn’t know were there if you didn’t touch the glass. It created an inner space connected aesthetically, seemingly unbroken, to the ponds, trees, and waterfalls outside.

I spent an embarrassing amount of time with my mouth open, searching edges and corners for flaws, before Ms. Sakayori led me back to the Garden. After a pleasant exchange of thank-yous and farewells, I made my way back into the green. I visited the shrine, tea house, and took in some artifacts spread between flowers and koi ponds, before finally stepping back through the gate by which I'd entered. In a daze, I had the strangest sensation that I had just visited a place where time runs differently.

An all-encompassing, natural beauty exists in the heart of Tokyo. Who would have thought such a refreshing, fantastical space… was available for business use?

For those interested in experiencing what Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo has to offer, be sure to check out “Firefly Fantasy” starting soon on May 19th. For more information, please see the link below.


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