From its vantage point in a natural amphitheatre, Amanjiwo looks out on this sublime landscape
An architectural echo of Borobudur, sculpted from cream Palimanan limestone, the resort offers views of Borobudur and the four volcanoes that surround it.
It’s small wonder that this extraordinary setting sends artists reaching for their watercolours. The importance of the visual extends to Javanese cultural practices, too. To the sound of local musicians, Ramayana dance performances bring one of the founding epic stories of civilisation to life in a whirl of colour and movement.
The fragrance of the forest
The olfactory system, through which we experience scent, is closely connected to the areas of the brain responsible for processing emotions and forming memories – hence the power of smell to influence our moods, remind us of past experiences and invoke feelings of nostalgia.
At Aman Tokyo, scent is integral to every stay. The Furo baths in the guest rooms and the spa are accompanied by buckets and stools made from Hinoki wood – Japanese cypress – a scent known to calm the mind and relax the body. In Japan, where 70% of the land is still covered with forest, Hinoki is the quintessential aroma of nature, so Aman Tokyo blends it into in its bespoke bath products to ensure that all guests are transported to the natural world even amid the metropolis.
Kuromoji, the spicebush, is another of the most celebrated fragrances in Japanese culture. In the days of the samurai, the peace of the tea room was sacrosanct; there were no superiors or enemies – all were equal. Known for its ability to soothe, kuromoji was used to create utensils for the sweets eaten during the ceremony, and cultivate an atmosphere of calm.
Today, it is used to create a tension-easing fragrant oil and features in the Aman Spa’s two-hour Kuromoji Tea Journey, which features a massage with this powerful oil and body wrap to release stress.
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