City Break: Tokyo Diaries

Discover the quirks and traditions of a unique city like no other.

Does any other city bring as much excitement as Tokyo? The bright lights, the high tech, funky fashions, the food scene – all of these are uniquely Tokyo. The best concept to grasp Tokyo is that it is a constellation of cities – rather than a single city. Every district boasts its unique personality and sights.

Located in the Nihonbashi district, the Mandarin Oriental is an outstanding hotel that offers a bird’s eye view of the city’s breathtaking skyline. The hotel boasts 157 spacious rooms and 21 luxurious suites, designed in a contemporary style. Top picks would be the large Presidential Suite, the Mandarin Suite, and the Oriental Suite for the discerning guest. The acclaimed spa at the hotel explores the concept of a ‘spa journey’. The day spa offers spectacular views of Tokyo from its prime position on the 37th and 38th floors of the Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower. The soothing environs include nine treatment rooms and five private suites for patrons, with exclusive signature rituals and bespoke services and beauty treatments.

With the world’s highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants, there is no dearth of fine dining in Tokyo. Three-starred restaurants like Azabu Yukimura and Kanda are well-known for their mastery of Japanese cuisine. For a taste of danger, Usukifugu Yamadaya is highly recommended for its poisonous-if-improperly-prepared fugu or puffer fish dishes. Head chef Fumie Yamada has undergone a three-year apprenticeship and ten years of training to be able to safely feed his patrons. For the freshest and most acclaimed sushi, head to Sushi Yoshitake or Sushi Saito. Celebrated Michelin-starred French chef Jöel Robuchon’s Château is a must visit for a taste of French cuisine in Japan. Tokyo comes alive at night with revelers out in great numbers. Karaoke can be a very delightful experience that should not be missed. Watch out for live gigs by international DJs. 

No sightseeing tour of Tokyo is complete without visiting the Imperial Palace gardens, or the shrines of Meiji Jingu and Sensō-ji Temple. Take in the entire city from the Eiffel Tower-inspired Tokyo Tower; or get lost in a sea of humanity at the famed Shibuya crossing often called the ‘Times Square of Japan’. For a once in a lifetime experience, head to Tsujiki fish market – the world’s largest and busiest – in the wee hours of dawn and catch the tuna auctions. Feel one with nature at the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden or Yoyogi Park.  Travel-08 (Medium)

For a fun family experience, Tokyo Disneyland is a paradise destination. The 115-acre theme park was the first to open outside the United States, and features seven themed areas for unlimited fun. Tokyo’s rich cultural history appeals to aficionados of art and history. An evening at the Kabukiza Theater in Ginza is the best place to enjoy the art form of Kabuki. Take a break from history and art with interactive museums like The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, The National Science Museum, and Studio Ghibli’s interactive displays.

Tokyo is more than just bright lights and a big city – it is a melting pot of colors, cultures, and flavors from around the world. It is the perfect place to visit to get a glimpse of modernity and tradition living in harmony.

Quotes:

“Bright lights, the high tech, funky fashions, the food scene – all of these are uniquely Tokyo.”

“With the world’s highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants, there is no dearth of fine dining in Tokyo.”

“For a fun family experience, Tokyo Disneyland is a paradise.”

“Take a break from history and art with interactive museums.”

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