Getting There: Tokyo's Narita Airport is 36 miles east of central Tokyo.
Entry requirements: U.S. citizens will need a passport to enter the country.
Accommodations: If your clients have total flexibility in their travel schedule, suggest they book a stay at the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo ( www.fourseasons.com) at Chinzan-so during the Sakura (cherry blossom) season, which occurs for a two-week period in late March and early April. From their guest rooms, visitors can view three miles of cherry trees along the Kanda River.
The hotel has 25 Deluxe Guest Rooms offering views of the Tokyo skyline or garden views. The one- or two-bedroom Premier Garden Suites are popular with families and business travelers planning in-suite meetings. An added bonus is the suites' direct views of the ancient pagoda of the Chinzan-so Garden. These are considered the best views in the property. Premier Garden Suites are numbered 715, 815, 915, 1015, 1115 and 1215.
For the ultimate in spaciousness, book the three-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot Imperial Suite. This allows plenty of space for a large family or multiple families traveling together.
The hotel's Il Teatro Restaurant features a full calendar of wine dinners and chefs' demonstration dinners throughout the year.
The hotel's YU, The Spa has 10 treatment rooms and three suites. Each suite includes a private outdoor mineral bath and relaxation area, as well as steam shower. The largest suite also includes a color therapy bath for two, a twin Vichy shower room and Thai bed for traditional Thai massage. For advance spa appointments, contact the spa director, Hayley Dack, at [email protected]
Travel agents can contact Megumi Ikeda, reservations manager ([email protected]).
The 157-room, 22-suite Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo ( www.mandarinoriental.com) is accessed via the 38th floor lobby of the Muromachi Mitsui Shinkan building in the Nihonbashi, Tokyo's main business district. The hotel's 42 Premier Grand Rooms are the highest-price category standard rooms. They're on the 30th to 36th floors and have sweeping west-side city views overlooking the Otemachi financial area, the Imperial Palace and the skyscrapers of West Shinjuku. On clear days, it's possible to see Mt. Fuji.
Rooms on the east side of the hotel have views of downtown Tokyo and the Sumida River, while rooms on the south side overlook Tokyo Bay.
The Mandarin Oriental Spa has nine treatment rooms. Four of these are standard treatment rooms and five are spa suites. The most popular treatment is Mandarin Oriental Spa's signature treatment, the Time Ritual, in which guests book blocks of time in advance to receive a therapist-designed, tailor-made treatment suited to their special needs. For appointments in advance of arrival, contact Yuki Kinoshita, spa operations manager (011-81-3-3270-8300, [email protected]).
The hotel's main restaurant, Signature, is located on the 37th floor. The restaurant specializes in French cuisine, and has been awarded a Michelin star. Agents can contact Masakazu Yamada, director of revenue management ([email protected]).
The 314-room Peninsula, Tokyo (www.peninsula.com) is a relative newcomer, having only opened last year. The 24-story property is the only freestanding luxury hotel to be built in Tokyo in more than a decade. The hotel's Deluxe Suite offers spacious sitting and dining areas, dressing room, marble bathroom with natural light, executive writing desk and guest powder room. Deluxe Suites can be connected to a Grand Deluxe Room or another Deluxe Suite. The Deluxe Suites, Deluxe Park View Room and Grand Deluxe Room have views overlooking Hibiya Park and the Imperial Gardens. The travel agent liaison is the hotel's director of sales, Karim Meslem (011-81-3-6270-2603, [email protected]).
The Peninsula Spa by ESPA has eight treatment rooms. A popular treatment is Keihatsu Enlightenment Massage, which evolved from 3,000-year-old Eastern Asia traditional massage techniques. For spa reservations and inquiries, contact the spa director, Yumi Kitahara (011-81-3-6270-2299, [email protected] ).
Tour Operators: A partial list of tour operators with programs to Japan includes: Abercrombie & Kent (www.abercrombiekent.com, 800-323-7308); China Travel Service (U.S.A.) (www.chinatravelservice.com, 800-899-8618); Collette Vacations (www.collettevacations.com, 800-832-4656); Gate 1 Travel (www.gate1travel.com, 800-682-3333); General Tours (www.generaltours.com, 800-221-2216); GTS Globotours (www.globotours.net, 800-988-4833); IsramWorld (www.isram.com, 800-223-7460); Intrav (www.intrav.com, 800-456-8100); Orient Flexi Pax Tours (www.orientflexipax.com, 800-545-5540); Pacific Delight Tours (www.pacificdelighttours.com, 800-221-7179); Pleasant Holidays ( www.pleasantholidays.com, 800-377-1080); Ritz Tours (www.ritztours.com, 800-900-2446); Swain Tours (www.swaintours.com, 800-22-SWAIN); Tauck World Discovery (www.tauck.com, 800-468-2825); and Travel Bound (www.booktravelbound.com, 800-808-9541).