You won’t need the implant or the Blue Pill to appreciate this incredible offering from Hoshinoya Tokyo, a programme which aims to refresh the mind and body through traditional sword training outdoors at the stratospheric height of 160 m above the ground. Forget your morning yoga. Today you can experience kenjutsu training in a setting more suited to a shooting location for the next Matrix movie. It all happens on the heliport situated on the rooftop of the property’s high-rise building. Aspiring Neos overlook Tokyo’s skyline, Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Tower. With unobstructed views of the surrounding Otemachi neighbourhood, the area where Hoshinoya Tokyo is located is today an office district full of skyscrapers. Once upon a time, during the Edo period, it was the location of many samurai residences and fighting schools.
The training introduces large movements of swordsmanship using a wooden staff. Muscles of the whole body benefit. The regimen can help relieve stress. You’ll practise movements such as Makko-giri (cutting straight), in which the wooden sword is swung down from the top to the bottom, Do-giri (cutting of the torso) where the wooden sword is held parallel and moved from left to right, and Kesa-giri (cutting diagonally) when the wooden sword swings from upper right to the lower left. You perform all of these supervised movements coordinated with deep breathing.
The early bird activity promises to help restore health, both physically and mentally, but only if you keep your focus on the training and not on the jaw-dropping landscape. The session runs from 6.45 to 7.45 a.m. A perk on offer free of charge, the programme is available by reservation only, exclusively to registered guests of the hotel, with capacity limited to a maximum of six people per session. Rooms at Hoshinoya Tokyo start at around US$900 per night. More information, click here.
The Hoshino Resorts brand is an exceptional collection of luxury hotels which embody the true characteristics of traditional Japanese hospitality. Every accommodation is rich in distinctly curated themes, conceptualized from each location’s land, history, and culture, with exceptional attention to detail. The chain has an admirable selection of hot water spas located along the Japanese archipelago.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor