Hot spring bathing at Hoshinoya Tokyo | Time Out Tokyo

The expert’s guide to jet lag

How to beat that most common of traveller issues at Tokyo's hotels

By Mayumi Koyama

How do you go about beating jet lag? We check in with six frequent fliers for their remedies and prescribe the right Tokyo hotel for each. 

Getting rid of the jet lag blues

Healthy food – recommended by Matthew Lee, international restaurant critic

Hotels Marunouchi

Your prescription: superfood smoothies at the Shangri-La Hotel

When he lands with a woozy feeling from a long-haul flight, international food critic Matthew Lee makes sure he ingests something healthy before passing out. Smoothies are a great option, nutritious enough to recharge you, but light enough to not interrupt a night’s sleep.

The Shangri-La’s Lobby Lounge offers three great varieties, all packed with an abundance of organic ingredients. Each smoothie boasts its own unique benefits: the aloe and pineapple one is filled with antioxidants, the red beet, berry and ginger smoothie promotes blood circulation and apparently the Spirulina helps recovery from stress. The 400ml smoothies are available for both drink-in (¥1,700) and to go (¥2,200), so you can recharge yourself at any time, anywhere.

A good night's sleep – recommended by Marcus Webb, Time Out Tokyo's consulting editor

Hotels Ebisu

Your prescription: the Heavenly Bed at the Westin

Our consultant editor splits his time between London and Tokyo and after each 12-hour hop wants nothing more than to dive into a comfortable bed and sleep it off. In Tokyo that means making for the Westin’s original ‘Heavenly Beds’, first introduced in 1999 and still one of the hotel’s most vaunted features.

Found in every Westin room, these beds are designed especially for restorative sleep and feature top-of-the-line linens, including some of the comfiest pillows you’ll ever lay your head on. Peaceful sleep has never come easier.


A nice sweaty workout – recommended by Ili Saarinen, Time Out Tokyo's editor

Hotels Nihonbashi

Your prescription: the fitness centre at the Mandarin Oriental

Born in Finland, Ili makes the trip back to the motherland every year, but short holidays mean he can’t afford to lose a day or two to jet lag. His solution? Jogging. But pounding pavements at all hours can be a bit challenging in an unfamiliar city. Instead head to a gym with splendid city views, such as the fitness centre at the Mandarin Oriental in Nihonbashi.

Located on the hotel’s 38th floor, the gym’s cardio machines all face the floor-to-ceiling windows, making you feel like you’re running in the sky above the capital. From working out with state-of-the-art machines to stretching your limbs with a private pilates session, there are plenty of fitness options to choose from.

Hilton Odaiba view jetlag
Hilton Odaiba view jetlag
Adam Bruzzone

Bathing in the sun – recommended by Akiko Toya, executive vice president at Time Out Tokyo

Hotels Odaiba

Your prescription: Hilton Tokyo Odaiba

Jet lag turns your body clock upside down and confuses your senses to think it’s time to wake up at 3am. As Akiko knows, the ideal natural remedy is taking in plenty of sunshine – something that helps you adjust to the local time.

Several hotels in Odaiba boast great views of Tokyo’s popular waterfront area, but only the Hilton has private balconies attached to every room. Kick back and take in the rays – and the gentle sea breeze – while admiring the Rainbow Bridge and the capital’s skyline beyond.


A hot bath – recommended by Alex Plim, Time Out International's head of global content

Hotels Ryokan Otemachi

Your prescription: the hot spring baths at Hoshinoya

Alex Plim hops around the world like Phileas Fogg on an even tighter schedule. Whenever he touches down he opts for a long soak, but in Tokyo that means more than hitting the tub in your room. Set in central Otemachi, Hoshinoya Tokyo is one of the most cutting-edge ryokan inns in Japan and its attached onsen is a delight.

This state-of-the-art soak station draws on the area’s first natural hot spring, tapped in 2014, siphoning the spring water all the way up to the rooftop for your communal alfresco bathing pleasure.

A full-body massage – recommended by Carl Mitchell, flight attendant

Hotels Toranomon

Your prescription: AO Spa & Club at the Andaz

When flying is your job, you can’t afford any downtime. Carl’s answer is a rub down to ease those tired muscles. The AO Spa & Club at Andaz Tokyo in Toranomon Hills lets you customise your very own treatment. Depending on your preferences, including favourite season, taste in music, treatment goals and fatigue level, therapists will produce original body scrubs by blending a range of herbs and oils to create exclusive treatments.

The jet lag-focused specials include ‘Around the world’ for flights of ten hours or longer, ‘Long-haul’ for five to ten hours and ‘Short-haul’ for four hours or shorter.

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