Set in Japan’s culinary capital, Zentis Osaka is a 16-story, 212-room boutique hotel that is making waves for its French-Japanese cuisine and inspired world-class design. A newly built property, the hotel was designed by Philippe Starck protégé Tara Bernerd and stands out for its merger of a natural color palette with exposed brick and timber beams. Heading northeast and the focus shifts to art at Node Kyoto, a 25-room industrial-chic hotel that feels like an art collector’s residence. Here, exhibitions, pop-up shops and guest gallerists foster a community spirit that is complemented by an in-house restaurant offering a farm-to-table bistro-styled menu. Further south, Japan’s Iki Island offers a flawless hideaway from city clatter. With just 12 rooms, Iki Retreat Kairi Murakami hovers between a world of inside comfort and outside beauty with sublime sea views, blissful hot spring baths, and abundant fresh seafood.