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Japan's New Luxe Urban Hotels

image from http://s3.amazonaws.com/hires.aviary.com/k/mr6i2hifk4wxt1dp/14120615/49a9f7c2-3e21-479d-b55e-54172406ecec.png
looking down from Abeno Harukas

It’s minutes to sunrise in Osaka, Japan’s second largest city where the country’s tallest building – 300-meter (984-foot) Abeno Harukas - opened March 7th. Guests of the Marriott Miyako Hotel (1-1-43 Abeno-suji, Abeno-ku, Osaka 545-0052; phone: 81-6-6628-6111; marriott.com/hotels/travel/osamc-osaka-marriott-miyako-hotel), occupying floors 38 to 55, await the express elevator to the top. It’s a perk of staying in one of the 376 rooms of the country’s newest hotel: exclusive, early (and free) entry to the glass-enclosed 60th floor. Even in imperfect weather you can see Kyoto, Kobe, Kansai Airport, and the Ikoma mountains. Observation deck indeed.

Below ground there are two subways and one train line. You’ll get out eventually, but the stunning 58th floor open-air plaza and the 16th floor museum of art - from ancient Eastern temples (Todaiji) to Western masters (Matisse) - are also open to guests, and of course the 16-floor Kintetsu department store is too. They’ll send bags to your room so you don’t have to carry.

Access, convenience and hospitality to the max is what Japanese hotels are all about. They call it omotenashi, and it exists across all classes. This isn’t a smile and a fancy bar of soap – this is escorting you to the lobby bar in case you misunderstood the directions, and hairbrushes, razors, pajamas, gorgeous cast iron tea pots in every room, the evolution of a system that began when people walked everywhere they traveled and ryokans (inns) helped lessen the load on their backs.

And omotenashi is apparent in a mass of big brand hotels opening in key Japanese cities this year, many in neighborhoods more familiar to business folks than tourists. But typical business hotels these are not.

Read story on NYPost.com: Go kami-cozy at Japan’s new, luxe urban hotels

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