It may well become the accommodation of choice for visitors to Inuyama, a castle town just outside Nagoya.
Less than a month after launching a Hotel Indigo in the mountain resort of Karuizawa — and two years on from the opening of Hotel Indigo Hakone Gora — IHG Hotels & Resorts has added yet another luxe property to its Japanese portfolio. Hotel Indigo Inuyama Urakuen Garden is being billed as the first internationally branded boutique hotel in central Honshu’s Tokai region; travelers can get there via a half-hour’s train ride north from downtown Nagoya.
Located beside the Kiso River and Inuyama Castle, one of Japan’s oldest surviving castles (the keep dates to the early 16th century) and a popular spot for viewing cherry blossoms, the brand-new property stands adjacent to Urakuen Garden. Urakuen’s landscaped grounds are centered on Jo-An teahouse, a Japanese National Treasure built in 1618 as part of a temple complex in Kyoto. The celebrated structure was carefully dismantled and moved to Inuyama in the early 1970s.
Inside the 156 guest rooms and suites, the decor combines contemporary style with the historical charm of the hotel’s immediate surroundings. Large-scale wall art above the beds come with motifs recalling the nearby mountains and the playfulness of Inuyama’s long-running annual festival, which first began in 1635 and is typically held on the first weekend of April.
Entry-level accommodations measure in at 35 square meters and feature private balconies along with spa-like bathrooms. Some afford views of the Jo-An teahouse; others look toward the castle. The one-bedroom suites offer between 51 and 70 square meters of living space, and all face the Kiso River and Inuyama Castle.
Downstairs, signature restaurant Indigo Home Kitchen Yamateras focuses on the traditional food culture of the region, with chefs harnessing seasonal produce in a range of local specialties. Nodding to the town’s folk culture, Bar Yoyama was inspired by the 13 three-tiered yama floats carrying karakuri mechanized dolls, an integral part of the Inuyama Festival. Calendrical screens, a feature of the nearby Jo-An tea house, also adorn the bar.
Aside from working out in a fitness center decorated with wooden louvers and Japanese patterns, guests at Hotel Indigo Urakuen Garden can enjoy a soak in the area’s only traditional onsen. Named Inuyama Onsen Hakutei no Yu, the in-house facility comprises indoor and open-air baths fed by natural hot springs, whose alkaline waters are said to help purify the skin.
Doubles from US$340; ihg.com