FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.
United Airlines

The Keio Plaza Hotel Shinjuku: Convenience with Flair in the Heart of Tokyo

by Elyse Glickman

Feb 1, 2020

Photo: Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo


It’s hard to pinpoint the absolute center of Tokyo, especially if you’re coming to town for the first time. It may be more challenging than usual this year, given the excitement and activities around the Tokyo Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. Even with so many options, however, Shinjuku is a choice location, thanks to the many subway, commuter and high-speed train lines running through its station.


The family-friendly luxury property The Keio Shinjuku Tokyo Hotel, almost adjacent to the station, checks off major boxes. Easy and safe access to Shinjuku Station? Check, and there’s an indoor passage steps from the back door of the hotel directly into the station. Bus service to Narita and Haneda airports? Check. Amenities for traveling families? Check. A short walk to pharmacies and food markets? Check. Chances are you will probably need snacks and bottled water … or your teen will want their fix of Japanese cosmetics or green tea Kit Kats. The area around the hotel is a celebration of the forthcoming Games with logos and lovable mascots Miraitowa and Someity gracing every possible wall, nook and cranny.


Tea Ceremony Experience with Children. Photo: Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo


The Keio Plaza Hotel is effectively a self-contained microcosm of the greater Tokyo area. With dining, for example, there isn’t just one Japanese restaurant to go alongside the Western-style options. There are individual restaurants specializing in Tepanyaki (skewered grilled meats and vegetables); formal Kaiseki (multicourse meals; tempura; sushi; and soba noodles, along with Chinese and Korean options. Adding breakfast to your package is also a fine investment. At the Glass Court, one can find a rotating selection of freshly prepared Western and Japanese morning dishes served alongside fresh-baked bread, pastry and excellent coffee. Many of the stations are manned, ensuring freshness and assistance should a dish need a modification for dietary needs.

Super Buffet Glass Court. Photo: Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo


The suites are designed with families in mind, decorated with a minimalist style integrating contemporary Japanese and traditional Western hotel ideas. Beyond the basics, the management takes pride in its offering extra amenities for families with young children staying in suites to cover every potential need and concern. Baby cribs are available upon advance request for infants up to 10 months in most suites except Japanese Tatami (traditional) suites, as well as bed guards, kid-sized yukatas (cotton kimonos), slippers, toothbrushes and other essentials.


Japanese Tatami Suite. Photo: Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo


The concierge desk is also well equipped to recommend cultural programs as well as guidance for must-do attractions kids will love. As one of the Tokyo Disney Resort Good Neighbor Hotels, it provides complimentary shuttle bus service directly from the front door to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea as well as tips on the best visiting times to avoid crowds.


The hotel also offers its own immersive traditional tea ceremony and yukata kimono cultural experiences, as well as a rotating series of art exhibitions. Through March 16, the hotel is drumming up excitement ahead of summer with its “The Power of Athletes on the World Stage” photo exhibition, focusing on some of the extraordinary sportsmen and women who will represent Japan this summer. There will also be an annual display in the lobby and other public spaces of more than 6,800 handmade silk dolls until March 26 commemorating the Hina-Matsuri festival, when families pray for the health and growth of their daughters.


Imperial Suite. Photo: Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo


Attractions a quick walk, bus or train ride from the Shinjuku hotel includes the Sengoku Photo Studio near Akihabara, the city’s gaming, electronics and anime destination. Kids and kids-at-heart can gear up as the Samurai did in the Sengoku era for photo sessions. In addition to several historic temples and interesting street art, Akihabara is also home to 2k450 Aki-Oka Artisan Market, a quiet oasis of handcrafted home décor items and fashion accessories. The Suginami Anime Museum, open daily except Monday and free of charge, presents a comprehensive history of Japanese anime, from its origins and history to the glimpse of its future. Displays are all-ages appropriate and interactive, ensuring visitors can get creative while understanding anime’s international appeal. Its library includes a database on anime creators and a movie theater showing well-loved works of anime for fans wanting to go a little deeper.


Casual Kimono, Yukata Experience. Photo: Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo


In addition to strong WiFi signals, rooms are outfitted with mobile phones for use in town. Domestic calls within Japan and overseas (the United States, as well as Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and the United Kingdom) can be placed free of charge, adding value with greater piece of mind during the trip. There is also a health club open to guests as well as a paved walking and running path that takes advantage of the neighborhood’s landscaping and scenery.


Insta Feed
North America
Jul 1, 2022

Wild Blueberries and Open Farms in Maine

Farm visits are always a popular addition to family travels, and two events in Maine this summer make them even more fun.

Take the Family Vacation of a Lifetime to Alaska with Celebrity Cruises

Embark on a family journey through The Last Frontier with Celebrity Cruises® and experience an unforgettable luxury vacation in the untouched natural beauty of Alaska. The breathtaking landscape of this pristine wilderness sets the stage for every memorable moment from up-close, awe-inspiring views of glaciers to observing native wildlife, including whales, bears, bald eagles, and moose. This corner of the world offers not only spectacular scenery, but also opportunities to learn about the history and culture of Alaska — from the native people who’ve lived here for centuries to the adventurers seeking their fortunes during the gold rush. No matter which sailing you choose, you’ll journey through the ever-popular Inside Passage — one of the most popular experiences on any Alaska vacation — and visit Hubbard Glacier or Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier.

Middle East
Jul 1, 2022

Abu Dhabi Summer Pass Offers Discounts for Top Activities

If your family travels take you to Abu Dhabi this summer, don't miss out on the Abu Dhabi Summer Pass, offering unbeatable promotions across the city. Available to purchase now and valid through Aug, 31, the pass includes values across a diverse range of activities, such as the three leading theme parks in Abu Dhabi.

North America
Jun 30, 2022

Visit Victoria’s Beautiful Butchart Gardens in All Seasons

Family travel to Canada, more specifically, Victoria, isn’t complete without a visit to Victoria’s Butchart Gardens. The family-run garden offers special programming each season, showcasing different blooms for each season. Now a National Historic Site of Canada, Butchart Gardens invites families to experience its beauty.

United Aviate Academy Takes Off

United Airlines officially became the only major U.S. airline to own a flight training school with the opening of United Aviate Academy on Jan. 27. The moment was made even more historic with its inaugural class, which is 80 percent women and people of color.

North America
Jun 30, 2022

Los Angeles Off the Beaten Path: Hidden Gems

Los Angeles is home to plenty of popular attractions to give you the quintessential L.A family vacation, but to get a true vibe for the city, you want to dive into some of its hidden gems. Read on to discover some local favorites that often go under the tourist radar.