Toba Hotel International: Get Your Fill of Gourmet Food and the Fantastic Scenery


WordsAkiko Wakimoto PhotographyShin Ebisu

The terrace space is directly connected to the lobby. Guests can sit on sofas on the wooden deck as they enjoy the scenery of the wind and birds traversing the sea.

Since ancient times, the Ise-Shima region of Mie Prefecture has provided foodstuffs to the imperial palace in Kyoto and Ise Jingu. Known as mitsukekuni, the offerings were noteworthy for their wide selection of high-quality seafood. Ever since it opened in 1964, the Toba Hotel International, which sits atop a high outcropping with a majestic view over all of Toba Bay — with its ‘treasure box’ full of food ingredients — has welcomed the Japanese imperial family and numerous celebrities from abroad, as well as winning the admiration of many gourmets from around the world.

View of the Chef’s Kitchen inside the Japanese restaurant Mondo Misaki. The counter, imparting an air of dignified solidity, is made from a single piece of wood cut from a three-century-old Japanese hinoki cypress tree from Mie. One element of the restaurant’s fascination is the ability to watch the chefs preparing the food right in front of you.

Symbolic of the wonderful food at the Toba Hotel International — nicknamed the ‘gourmet hotel of Ise-Shima’ — is the Japanese restaurant Mondo Misaki, which reopened in March 2017 after extensive remodelling. The dishes offered here consist of fresh seafood caught and offloaded that very morning, and then prepared in the open kitchen. The ingredients are so carefully chosen that the chefs themselves travel by boat to markets in nearby islands to procure them. We wholeheartedly hope you will try the chef’s recommended fresh fish of the day, allowing guests to enjoy seasonal seafood, including abalone in the summer, Ise-ebi Japanese spiny lobster in the fall, and Anori-fugu tiger puffer in the winter. For the main dish, it is wise just to leave it up to the chef and order Mondo Misaki’s recommended menu. The premium ingredients freshly caught that day, such as abalone or lobster — and in which Ise-Shima takes pride — are cooked right before the guests on a piping hot stone plate, with the chefs concluding their performance by pouring special seafood sauce onto the freshly-cooked food. Viewing the splendid scenery of Toba Bay while partaking in the meals here transports guests to a state of bliss, almost as if they were taking a bite out of the glorious nature spreading out before their very eyes.

Toba Bay, which surrounds the hotel on three sides, is particularly famous for being one of the most bountiful repositories of food ingredients in the entire Ise-Shima region. Partake in that bounty to your heart’s content when you taste the full-course menu at Mondo Misaki. ©Toba Hotel International

After partaking in your fill of the bountiful nature of Ise-Shima, we recommend that you go back to your room and relax in the luxurious trappings there. The Imperial Suites, selected by honoured guests from around the world, are particularly special. From those rooms, located on the penthouse floor of the Ocean Wing, guests can enjoy the majestic scenery of the calm sea dotted with a multitude of islands. The same islands provided the setting for the novel Shiosai written by Yukio Mishima, one of Japan’s leading novelists in the last century. One can easily understand why the exquisite scenery of Ise-Shima, stretching out before one’s eyes, also captivated men of letters with their unparalleled aesthetic sensibility.

The guest rooms are divided into the Ocean Wing and the Harbour Wing, with the Imperial Suite rooms on the penthouse floor. The suites provide a luxurious space to those lucky enough to stay there, with massive seven-meter-wide windows opening up onto the impressive scenery.

The chance to devour Ise-Shima’s gourmet food and fantastic scenery to your heart’s content is the luxurious experience awaiting you at the Toba Hotel International.

Toba Kokusai Hotel

Address: 1-23-1 Toba, Toba-shi, Mie

Tel: 0599-26-4121

80 rooms in total

Price: Imperial Suite (56 m2) from 33,600 JPY (breakfast included)

Cards accepted: American Express; Diners Club; JCB; Mastercard; and Visa

Access: Five minutes by the hotel’s shuttle bus from Kintetsu Toba station

Information current as of October 2018