What not to miss in Asia’s top luxury destinations

Updated on September 20 2016

Asia is a continent full of amazing destinations — from the beaches of Bali to the urban pulse of Beijing — but some cities outshine the others, particularly when it comes to luxury travel. As Asian travellers continue to embrace the finer things in life, they’re increasingly aware of what they want, and they know where to find it. As reported by Senatus Magazine, affluent Asian travellers have three top destinations in mind for their future trips: Tokyo, Osaka, and Hong Kong.

Of course, it’s no surprise that these cities are at the forefront of travellers’ minds, as each offers top-tier accommodations, incredible dining, and one-of-a-kind sights that can’t be found elsewhere. Read on to discover the top hotels, restaurants and experiences you can enjoy in these three exciting cities.

Tokyo

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Tokyo Shinjuku
The streets of Tokyo’s vibrant Shinjuku neighbourhood.

Tokyo is a city with much to offer, from cosmopolitan living to humble historical settings. Other than luxurious skyscraper hotels including Park Hyatt Tokyo and The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo, there are also options that offer lush garden views like Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, or those housing Michelin-starred restaurants, such as the Conrad Tokyo. Mouthwatering dining options are another highlight of the city, with innovative Satoyama cuisine served at Narisawa, a restaurant which was ranked second place by Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016. If you prefer more traditional cuisine, Nihonryori RyuGin is famed for serving quality Japanese kaiseki food with a slight contemporary touch.

Beautiful sakura cherry blossom light up and Tokyo Tower
Sakura cherry blossom with Tokyo Tower in the background.

The best time to visit Tokyo is between late March and early April, when you can enjoy the best view of the blossoming cherry trees at Ueno Park. Ancient temples are also a must-see in Tokyo, whether it’s to admire the magnificent landscape and architecture or to pray for good fortune. With a history dating back to 645 AD, Sensō-ji Temple is the oldest Buddhist temple in the city, and it’s a must-see spot. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out Nakamise Shopping Street, near the outer gate, for a taste of traditional local snacks. To experience the local nightlife, head to Shibuya, where you will find a number of tiny, shanty-style yet buzzing bars that are squeezed into the six Golden Gai alleys. If you manage to stay up after a night out, you might as well head to the Tsukiji Market, one of the world’s largest fish markets, for the famous tuna auction that takes place every morning. Access passes are granted on a first come, first serve basis from 5am each morning at the Osakana Fukyu Center, with a limit to 120 visitors per day, so it’s best you make it there as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Osaka

Osaka Castle in Osaka, Japan
Osaka Castle is one of Japan’s most famous landmarks.

From international luxury leaders including Park Hyatt Osaka, St. Regis Osaka, Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel and Intercontinental Hotel Osaka, to local hotel giants such as Mitsui Garden Hotel Osaka Premier, Osaka offers a diverse range of luxury hotel options. You can either experience the world through large floor-to-ceiling windows from the tallest building in Japan at Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel, or enjoy a carbonated hot spa with a garden view at Mitsui Garden Hotel Osaka Premier. Top restaurants includes Michelin-starred Koryu, Taian, Fujiya 1935, Kashiwaya, and Hoba.

Five Storied Pagoda at Shitennoji Temple in Osaka
Shitennōji Temple is the oldest Buddhist temple in Japan.

The Osaka Castle is a must-see to any visitor to the city; it played a significant role in the unification of Japan in the 16th century. While the interior of the main building is now a museum retracing its history, the structure itself has been carefully repaired to its original glory. Commissioned in 593 AD, the Shitennōji Temple is the oldest Buddhist temple in Japan. It houses the beautiful Gokuraku-jōdō Garden which was modelled after Amida Buddha’s descriptions of the paradisiacal Shangri-La, where a five-storey pagoda proudly stands. Part-park, part-shopping complex, Namba Parks is a parkland that rises to eight storeys high with forest, waterfalls and streams lining the route to the shopping centre on top, making it a shopper’s paradise. For more shopping, head over to Shinsaibashi for a delightful mix of Osaka’s traditional charm and its contemporary flair; it even has a glass dome, so shoppers can shop ‘til they drop no matter what the weather.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Panorama city View from The Peak
The unmatched view from Victoria Peak.

Hong Kong is home to amazing historic hotels like the Mandarin Oriental and The Peninsula Hotel, while newer top-tier options include Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, Landmark Mandarin Oriental and The Upper House. As a world-renowned food city, Hong Kong also hosts the most diverse offerings when it comes to the dining scene, with an impressive list of Michelin-starred restaurants including 8½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA, Bo Innovation, T’ang Court, Lung King Heen and Amber, amongst others.

Tian Tan Big Buddha
Tian Tan Buddha is one of Hong Kong’s must-see sights.

Perched high on the hills of Lantau Island, the 34-metres-high Tian Tan Buddha (also known as Big Buddha) is one of the largest seated Buddha statues in the world, making it the most popular attraction in the city. Elsewhere, Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan, house of the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo), is an ancient attraction with a history dating back to 1847. As a vibrant city known for its neon lights and amazing skyline, Hong Kong is perhaps best explored via a helicopter ride from the roof of The Peninsula Hotel at dawn. If you want more dizzying heights, Ozone happens to be the highest bar in Asia, and it’s where you can easily spend an entire night sipping cocktails at the top of the city.

How to get there

To get to these fabulous destinations, treat yourself to personal travel services from Air Charter for an ultimate taste of luxury. If you’re too busy to plan your destinations, they can even plan them for you, so you can effortlessly enjoy a holiday tailored to your special needs and busy schedule.

This article is presented by Air Charter Service.

Photo credits (top to bottom): lkunl/iStock, kitchakron/iStock, Torsakarin/iStock, coward_lion/iStock, coward_lion/iStock, Andrea Izzotti/iStock, Sompao/iStock