Hotel Chinzanso’s Japanese garden is about to get even more magical with artificial fog

A dramatic fog is drifting through the garden of Hotel Chinzanso this month, transforming the Japanese landscape into a mysterious vista. The phenomenon isn’t a regular occurrence at the hotel, which is situated in the heart of Tokyo, but part of a special event for its guests to experience unkai in the city. 

Hotel Chinzanso
Photo: Hotel Chinzanso

Unkai refers to the early morning fog or low-rise clouds that, when viewed from above, resemble a ‘sea of clouds’. These clouds can be found year-round if you’re at a high enough altitude, but reach peak visibility in autumn and winter.

Hotel Chinzanso

If you were climbing mountains just to see unkai, you’d have to be up at the crack of dawn to catch them in time. The artificial clouds at Hotel Chinzanso, however, are released throughout the day from morning to late night, so you can sleep in and still enjoy the spectacular view in the afternoon. And it gets better: after dark, 1,000 lights are lit up around the garden to illuminate the scenery and the property’s stunning three-storey pagoda. 

Hotel Chinzanso
Photo: Hotel Chinzanso

The garden is free to visit, but it’s only open to hotel guests, who can roam around the premises at their leisure. If you’re not staying the night, just dine at any of the hotel restaurants, or opt for the themed dinner at the garden terrace for a grand view of the spectacle. From October 8 to October 31, a French dinner course will be served at the garden terrace for ¥10,000. The menu includes a selection of appetisers, steak fondue and dessert; champagne, mulled wine and free-flowing drinks are included in the price. 

Before you go out, check out our guide on going out safely in Tokyo and Japan.


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Artificial plants and flowers for home decor

Now that everyone is spending more time indoors, faux plants that truly look real can add a touch of nature to your space, minus the upkeep. After all, some people love the look of plants in their home but seriously lack a green thumb. Others love to change things up and decorate seasonally, so they hesitate to commit to living plants, which generally have to be cared for all year. Either way, carefully selected faux plants and flowers give you all the highs of having a home with greenery without the lows of having to worry about watering, fertilizing or moving it around to ensure it gets enough sunlight.

a palm tree: Nearly Natural Mix Greens Artificial Plant in Planter

© Home Depot
Nearly Natural Mix Greens Artificial Plant in Planter

a vase of flowers on a table: MyGift Set of 3 Artificial Plants

© Amazon
MyGift Set of 3 Artificial Plants

When selecting faux plants and flowers for your home, look for real-looking trunks and stems first. These are the foundations of a plant and flower, so if they look fake, it’s hard to recover. It may sound counterintuitive, but the leaves should also appear imperfect, much like those on real plants and flowers. Once you’ve made your pick, place it in a nice-looking pot or container and the sharp package will have everyone fooled.

The following are some of the most real-looking faux plants and flowers that will never go out of style.

Faux Eucalyptus Stem by Hearth & Hand With Magnolia ($3.99;

This eucalyptus plant’s broad leaves reach out from a sturdy stem in a natural arch, plus they’re flexible enough that you can adjust them to your liking without damaging the plant. A staple at many spas and resorts, this faux version adds a touch of Zen on its own but can be grouped in multiples for a fuller look.

Threshold Artificial Fern Arrangement in White Ceramic Pot (14.99;

Ferns have long been a home decor standout in part because they’re lush, full plants with wispy fronds that spread out in all directions. Even the shape of their leaves is interesting to look at, hence why this affordable version is such a winner — it actually looks real. The branches are just flexible enough that it’s easy to adjust them, and the plant itself comes in a chic ceramic pot, which adds a touch of style.

a living room filled with furniture and vase of flowers: LCG Florals Artificial Philodendron Plant

© Target
LCG Florals Artificial Philodendron Plant

Silk Flower Common Poppy Spray ($20.99;

There’s nothing like a bright “pop” of poppies to brighten your day — or your space. It’s like a big burst of happiness in the middle of your living room, or wherever you place these. Fans say this silky spray of poppies not only looks natural, but it also has a whimsical flair just like the real things do, plus it’s easy to shape the stems to get them just right. This arrangement comes with four flower blooms and one flower bud per stem.

Butterfly Craze Artificial Lavender Plant ($14.99;

Who doesn’t love a huge spray of lavender? Each order of this purple-hued masterpiece includes four

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