Aya Niseko 1/6
Photo: Aya Niseko/Booking.com
Aya Niseko2/6
Photo: Aya Niseko/booking.comAya Niseko
YADORU KYOTO HANARE Shoji No Yado3/6
Photo: Yadoru Kyoto Hanare Shoji No Yado/Booking.com
Kyoto Granbell Hotel4/6
Photo: Kyoto Granbell HotelKyoto Granbell Hotel
Aya Niseko 5/6
Photo: Aya Niseko/Booking.comAya Niseko
Konjaku-So Dotonbori Garden SPA Stay6/6
Photo: fb.com/KonjakusoKonjaku-So Dotonbori Garden Spa Stay

These are some of the best Go to Travel hotel deals across Japan

Get 35 percent discount at some of Japan’s most beautiful hotels – now available on booking.com

By Kasey Furutani
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In case you missed the big news, starting in October, Tokyo is being added to the Go to Travel campaign, a domestic tourism subsidy that knocks 35 percent off your hotel stay and gives you stacks of discount vouchers for local restaurants and attractions. 

Previously, Go to Travel felt impossible to navigate – not only was Tokyo excluded, you could initially only receive the discount by booking through a Japanese travel agency. Now, thanks to our affliate partner Booking.com joining Go to Travel, you can easily search for deals online and in English. Planning a trip? Here are some of our favourite hotels on Booking.com, from snowy Niseko all the way to Okinawa, all with that sweet 35 percent discount. 

Note: the prices mentioned in the article may change depending on dates and availability

Recommended: How to go out safely in Tokyo and Japan

The best hotels

Granbell hotel kyoto
Granbell hotel kyoto
Photo: fb.com/Granbell-Hotel-Kyoto-京都グランベルホテル-115197439089381/

Kyoto Granbell Hotel, Kyoto

Around ¥15,678 from ¥26,753

This boutique hotel in the heart of Gion takes minimalist Japanese design and mixes it with a sleek, modern aesthetic, making for a hip hotel that’s as visually pleasing as it is comfortable. The hotel is the perfect place to unwind after a long day of sightseeing – you can relax in the romantically-lit lounge or grab a drink at the gold leaf-decorated Bar Konjiki. Best of all, the public bath Komorebi is open to all guests, so you can soak your sore muscles while gazing at the indoor Japanese garden. 

YADORU KYOTO HANARE Shoji No Yado
YADORU KYOTO HANARE Shoji No Yado
Photo: Yadoru Kyoto Hanare Shoji No Yado/Booking.com

Yadoru Kyoto Hanare Shoji No Yado, Kyoto

Around ¥32,500 from ¥50,000

This beautiful vacation home could double as a museum. A modern twist on traditional Japanese design, Yadoru Kyoto Hanare Shoji no Yado has two bedrooms, a living room and a small kitchen – ideal for up to four people. The walls are lined with wood and the doors separating the bedrooms are made from shoji screens, creating a wabi sabi feel. The house is walking distance to Gion and Yasaka Shrine, so you’ll be right in the city centre.

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Aya Niseko
Aya Niseko
Photo: Aya Niseko/Booking.com

Aya Niseko, Hokkaido

Around ¥30,518 from ¥62,765 for a mountain view apartment
The Go to Travel campaign will end on January 31 2021, which means you have a few months to hit the slopes in Hokkaido. Whether you're shredding snow or not, the Aya Niseko makes for a wonderful stay, as it's a beautiful resort with mountain views. Sleek and modern, the hotel is located on a ski run, so you can strap on your equipment as soon as you walk out the door. If you’re not into winter sports, the resort still makes a perfect vacation spot in autumn. After spending the day hiking or skiing, head to the indoor and outdoor onsen baths; the latter has a grand view of Mt Yotei.
The Park Front Hotel At Universal Studios Japan
The Park Front Hotel At Universal Studios Japan
Photo: fb.com/park.front.hotel

The Park Front Hotel at Universal Studios Japan, Osaka

Around ¥10,400 from ¥16,000 

Universal Studios Japan has reopened to all residents of Japan, so you can enjoy the new Doraemon ride or stay in this haunted mystery room. If you’d prefer a comfortable hotel room over one filled with 'ghosts', The Park Front Hotel at Universal Studios Japan is a large and comfy venue, complete with city views and Art Deco style. Perfect for families, the hotel is about a minute’s walk from USJ. 

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Konjaku-So Dotonbori Garden SPA Stay
Konjaku-So Dotonbori Garden SPA Stay
Photo: fb.com/Konjakuso

Konjaku-So Dotonbori Garden Spa Stay, Osaka

Around ¥22,376 from ¥34,425

Ryokan are not a common sight in Osaka, but the beautiful Konjaku-So Dotonbori Garden Spa Stay is a vacation home in the style of a traditional Japanese inn. It’s a comfortable place for up to four people, right in the heart of Osaka’s busy nightlife district. There’s even an outdoor bath and lounge chairs if you’d rather have a night in. 

Kiro Hiroshima Hotel
Kiro Hiroshima Hotel
Photo: fb.com/kirothesharehotels

Kiro Hiroshima, Hiroshima

Around ¥11,817 from ¥18,180

Hiroshima is the gateway to the sacred island of Miyajima, not to mention the city’s own sites like the Peace Memorial Park and Hiroshima Castle. Kiro Hiroshima is located in the city centre, just a few minutes’ walk from Peace Boulevard, making it the perfect base to go exploring. The light-filled hotel rooms can accommodate groups of up to six people, and the bar and lounge area is a great place to mingle with other guests or have a quiet drink and watch the sunset. 

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Haimurubushi resort
Haimurubushi resort
Photo: Haimurubushi/Booking.com

Haimurubushi, Okinawa

Around ¥26,000 from ¥40,000

Kohama, a small island in the Yaeyama Islands chain in Okinawa, is known for its secluded beaches and crystal clear oceans. Haimurubushi, a resort complete with a swimming pool, ocean views and a private beach for guests, is the ideal vacation spot. There are no worries here: just grab a tropical drink and lounge by the pool or take an outdoor bath while gazing at the ocean. 

Kamei no Yu
Kamei no Yu
Photo: Kamei no Yu/Booking.com

Kamei no Yu, Nagano

Around ¥31,460 from ¥48,400 (price includes breakfast and dinner)

This traditional ryokan in Nagano, near Jigokudani Monkey Park, is all about the baths. Kamei no Yu offers indoor and outdoor natural hot springs while the tatami-lined rooms come with a kotatsu (heated table) in winter and either a courtyard or garden view. The price includes breakfast and dinner – the latter consists of kaiseki ryori, a plethora of local small dishes highlighting local and seasonal ingredients.

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Uan Kanazawa
Uan Kanazawa
Photo: Uan Kanazawa/Booking.com

Uan Kanazawa, Kanazawa

Around ¥21,557 from ¥33,164 

This atmospheric design hotel near Kanazawa Castle is perfect for exploring Ishikawa’s capital city, which includes the 21st Century Museum of Art and Higashi Chaya geisha district. Combining Japanese sensibilities with modern architecture, the hotel offers rooms with a terrace and city views. Kanazawa is known for frequent rain, so if you find yourself stuck inside during a downpour, the lounge has plenty of activities including sake tasting, free bowls of soba noodles from 9pm to 11pm, and free hojicha tea and coffee 24 hours a day.

Fujikawaguchiko Onsen Konanso
Fujikawaguchiko Onsen Konanso
Photo: Fujikawaguchiko Onsen Konanso/Booking.com

Fujikawaguchiko Onsen Konanso, Yamanashi

Around ¥37,180 from ¥57,200

No Japan trip is complete without seeing Mt Fuji in all its glory. This spot near Lake Kawaguchiko is much more than a typical traditional inn; it’s a grand hotel with rooms boasting large beds and separate tatami-lined living areas. The luxury continues with stunning panoramic views of Lake Kawaguchiko. However, the best part of Fujikawaguchiko Onsen Konanso is the hot springs. Offered inside and outside, both baths show off a grand view of Mt Fuji. Nervous bathers can take advantage of the footbath on the rooftop, along with that same great view of Japan’s favourite mountain. Head here in winter for the clearest and most classic views of Fuji. 

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