Bursting with life from the ground up, the vibrant city draws in travellers with its incredible blend of modern cityscapes and traditional elegance. Beyond Tokyo’s iconic locations, such as the Shibuya crossroads and the Sensō-ji Temple, the opportunities for truly unique experiences are almost limitless. The Conte Club introduces you to the secret gems of the city with the most exclusive bars and restaurants. Tokyo boasts some of the world’s most impressive, authentic dining experiences, for a glimpse at some of the world’s best views enjoy inventive cocktails as the city turns from day to night.
Feel transported to another world by exploring the teamLab Borderless immersive exhibition at the Digital Art Museum. Just outside Tokyo you can explore the region’s most iconic spots from the comfort of the Royal Express, Japan’s latest offering for the luxury train market. This luxury rail journey winds through rugged mountain terrain and villages offering remarkable stays in opulent, yet traditional ryokan. No matter where you go you will be in awe of this city’s beauty and zest for life. A trip to Tokyo is a head-first dive into a new adventure. But don’t forget to also take it easy with a stroll through one of Tokyo’s many gorgeous parks.
From March through to the end of April the beautiful spectacle of the annual cherry blossom bloom hits Japan and some of the best spots to view cherry blossoms in Tokyo can be found the many parks where it is traditional to enjoy a Hanami (flower viewing) Picnic.
The bullet train offers visitors a great way to extend the reach of private tours or a day trip outside of Tokyo. Visit a traditional Onsen or hot spring in the beautiful town of Hakone at Hakone Yuryo where you can enjoy one of the indoor or outdoor communal baths or one of the 19 private open-air hot spring baths, whilst being overlooked by the iconic sight of Mount Fuji.
Privately guided tours of the city are a great way to find the secret gems known only to locals whilst giving that little bit of insider knowledge during a private tour of site such as the Imperial Palace and its gardens, or have a private guide take you on a day tour of the famous cherry blossoms.
The rich tapestry of any culture is expressed through its striking ﬂavours and its traditions in the kitchen. Your personal journey of Japan will be deﬁned by its extraordinary cuisine and authentic dining experiences.
Tokyo is the beating heart of Japan’s food industry. Its sprawling population growth and industry during the Edo period made the city integral to the development of Japanese food as we know it today. Yatai food carts or izakaya bars have been feeding the city’s thronging crowds for hundreds of years, perfecting quick bites into masterpieces. For an amazing range of soba noodles or sushi rice dishes places like Shirube in Shimo-Kitazawa are the best way to throw yourself into Tokyo’s authentic food scene. For real-time tips on where to ﬁnd the freshest sashimi in Tokyo, rise with the sun for an exclusive seat at the new Toyosu ﬁsh market’s famous auction. It, and its original counterpart, Tsukiji market, offer an unparalleled glimpse behind the scenes of Tokyo’s vibrant restaurant industry.
One of the most singular dining experiences can be found at Tapas Molecular Bar in one of the luxury hotels in Tokyo the Mandarin Oriental. With a capacity of just eight diners at a time it offers a unique insight into its intricate and innovative menu. A more traditional experience is that of the Shojin Ryori, a style of Buddhist devotional cuisine. Its carefully balanced, plant-based recipes adhere to the Buddhist principle of ahimsa through its natural ingredients and ﬂavours. The best way to experience Shojin Ryori is to dine with Buddhist monks in a restaurant at a temple. Or, nestled in Tokyo’s northern Taito Ward, Bon is a favourite for locals and visitors alike, but still remains a tranquil escape for the most discerning of travellers.
Sumo here is huge and discovering this truly one-off sport is like nothing else – even for those who have no interest in the competition itself. Have lunch with the Sumo’s before they compete or watch them train as you perch on small stools on the saw dust floor.
Words By Idgie Beau