At the Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills in the Japanese capital, Hiroki Nakajima, Mai Sunaga and Rikako Eguchi are members of a front-desk team guiding visitors toward the best sights, activities and dining options in this fascinating city. Here they offer expert tips for business travelers to Tokyo.
What should a business traveler pack when heading to your city?
Bring a foldable umbrella; the weather in Tokyo changes often, regardless of the season. Also, mobile devices with self-contained Internet access are helpful because there aren’t as many free Wi-Fi spots in Tokyo as you’ll find in other cities.
What are your top restaurant recommendations for a business lunch or dinner?
Tofuya-Ukai in Shiba (4-4-13 Shiba-Koen, Minato-ku, Ph: 03-3436-1028), next to the Tokyo Tower, plays tribute to the city’s historical culture at a popular new venue. Enjoy the exquisite taste of the tofu dishes amid views of a 71,000-square-foot Japanese garden. Mon Cher Tonton is a Teppanyaki restaurant that serves high-quality Kobe beef. The restaurant has two locations: B1,3-12-2,Roppongi, Minatoku, Ph: 03-3402-1055, and Shinjuku Sumitomo Building, 52nd Floor, 2-6 Nishi-Shinjuku Shinjuku-ku, Ph: 03-3344-6761. Fureika (3-7-5, Higashiazabu, Minato-ku, Ph: 03-5561-7788) near the Azabu-juban Station is a Chinese restaurant famous for Peking duck, dim sum and some of the best fried rice in Tokyo. It offers private dining rooms in quiet location—perfect for a business-oriented meal.
What’s something that surprises guests about your city or hotel?
Andaz Tokyo is located on the top part of the new 52-story Toranomon Hills building. It’s one of the tallest buildings in Tokyo and a new landmark of the Toramonon area. It’s near an under-construction road that leads to one of the venues being built for the 2020 Olympic Games. On the other hand, our hotel is surrounded by history. The Atago Shrine, Konpira Shrine and Zojoji Temple are nearby, as are traditional Japanese houses, shops, restaurants and bars. Guests definitely enjoy a mixture of ancient and modern Japan.
If business travelers only have a few hours for leisure, what must they see?
We recommend a half-day bus tour of the city, if there’s time. If you can only see a few sights, go to the Imperial Palace or the Asakusa district for a feel of true Japanese spirit and culture. If you’d like to shop for high-quality Japanese goods, try department stores in Ginza or Shinjuku. And if you want a taste of young Japanese culture, visit Shibuya and Harajuku.
What’s the best option for outdoor exercise?
You can jog around the Imperial Palace, rent a bike in Yoyogi Park or take a stroll around Tokyo. The Japan National Tourism Organization offers a guide to walks that show you the city.
Top tips for getting business right Tokyo:
Tip 1: Be on time. Punctuality is essential.
Tip 2: Respect elders. Defer to older colleagues and clients in meetings and business gatherings.
Tip 3: Get used to people bowing. It’s a traditional sign of greeting and respect.