Admire and witness the sea of clouds at a historical garden in a Japanese luxury hotel, Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo. The hotel registered on the L.V.X collection of Preferred Hotel & Resorts promises an extraordinary experience throughout the year in the middle of Tokyo. Behold the majestic moment of the vast expanse clouds floating in their beautiful garden lit up with 1000 LED lights.
Set atop a large hill, away from the hustle of the city filled with extensive history, Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo is a rare inner city hotel complete with a shrine, a tea room and of course, their 700 year old beautiful garden. Launched in 2008, for the first time in 12 years, the garden underwent a major change featuring a total of 1,000 LED flood lights that illuminate the trees in the garden. But the illuminated trees, three-story pagoda, and the Gojo waterfall are just part of the makeover. What truly draws a new beauty to this historical garden is the “Sea of Clouds” using nozzles made with Japan's advanced technology which emits evenly the fine water particles of 10 to 20 microns (the same size as clouds and fog) which they successfully recreated in a fog in the garden. Since the particles are so small, unlike any other artificial fog, there is no need to worry about getting moist and wet while taking a walk in the garden.
When the fog clears a beautiful reflection is seen on the pond below (photo is taken during twilight hours)
For the sea of clouds to appear, there are some conditions that must be met. First of all, they only appear in mountainous regions and basins. The region must also have a significant temperature difference between mornings and nights. Finally then, the sea of clouds can be seen between daybreak and early morning. But during the trip to Japan, it's too bothersome to go look for one when one has limited days of stay. But, here at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, guests can witness its magical moments several times throughout the day without all those hassle of waking up super early in the morning and going up towards the mountainous regions with 50/50 chances of seeing the sea of clouds. When you look down from the upper floors in the hotel, you will see a magical view of the garden shrouded in mist, with green trees popping out here and there making the islands look as if it's floating in the sea. While the sea of clouds only cover some parts of the garden, only those guest who stay overnight can see a special sea of clouds that cover 3/4 of the garden once every night between 11pm to 11:30pm, and twice early in the morning between 6am to 6:30am and 7am to 7:30am. These time slots may change so checking the webpage is a must.
Prime deluxe garden view room
Special sea of clouds that cover 3/4 of the garden which can only be seen by hotel guests from their room.
Compared to the natural sea of clouds seen only in the early morning, these seas of clouds give different expressions from the morning when grains of mist reflect the natural light, to the night when the moonlight creates a mysterious magical moment. The cue to this sea of clouds is the low and deep sound of a bell that once was in the nearby temple, Mejiro-Fudoson (this temple is relocated to Kinjyoin Temple). Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo has recreated the sound of this bell and once the bell rings, visitors will soon be surrounded by the fog and will get trapped in this out-of-the-ordinary world. Watch your step as you continue to walk through since the fog is so thick that it's hard to see where you are stepping. Better to stay still until the fog clears for safety reasons.
Although the sea of clouds is best viewed from the garden, do not forget to go up to see the three-story pagoda that is registered as a national tangible cultural asset dating back to the Muromachi era (1338-1573). Because it is registered property, the fog will not appear however, the illuminated pagoda is one of a kind moment to catch both during the day and at night.
Entsūkaku pagoda (National Tangible Cultural Asset)
As you go down the hill from the pagoda, there is a shrine and a sacred tree called “Goshinboku” in Japanese, which escaped the ravages of war and these are also some key places to visit while in the garden.
The beauty of the Sea of Clouds in Tokyo at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo is not just limited to the fog and mist but also seasonal flowers and trees that bloom according to each season. Spring will be flooded with cherry blossom trees, while during summer, the faint light of fireflies looks like tiny floating lanterns, and during winter, camellias will bloom to bring color to the cold winter. Camellias is the key flower to the hotel as its name, Chinzanso, implies "villa on a mountain of camellias". This name was named by Baron Heitaro Fujita who acquired the property from Prince Aritomo Yamagata in 1918. Now that this Sea of Clouds in Tokyo will be held throughout the year, guests will be able to witness not just the sea of clouds but together with seasonal flowers which can not be experienced anywhere else.
Edogawabashi Station (Exit 1a) on the Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line (10 minute walk)
Mejiro Station on JR Yamanote Line (30minute walk)
There are number of other ways to the hotel via buses and trains. For further details, check the official webpage here
※Sea of Clouds is only available to guests making direct use of the hotel facilities.