The world’s most populous metropolitan area, Tokyo may be known for its big bright lights but look beyond the blinding billboards and you’ll find hidden backstreets that are awash in a glow of their own. Here, custom and innovation live side by side, like the city’s multiple districts which each boast a distinct character. The city’s revered traditions, cuisine, and entertainment intertwine and offer you an incomparable and inimitable experience that is as exciting as it is enriching.
Two minutes from Jimbocho station is Jimbocho Den, a one star Michelin star restaurant where a playfully delicate feast awaits you. An intimate and relaxed culinary experience, the only seats in the house are the eight across the bar from which you can witness the renowned chef and owner, Zaiyu Hasegara and his talented sous-chefs prepare your courses. With innovative and tongue-in-cheek plates like ‘Dentucky Fried Chicken’ and ‘Foie Gras Monaka with Japanese Plum’, Den’s dishes are not that of your predictable Michelin menu, and similarly the restaurant’s refined but relaxed atmosphere is far from the uptight ambience you might typically expect. Zaiyu’s wife, Niroko, is a kind and knowledgeable host, serving each of your dishes with enlightening expertise on their origins, ingredients and Zaiyu’s vision.
Trunk (Stay) is one of Tokyo’s first design hotels. Appropriately sat in the heart of the fashion-forward Shibuya neighbourhood, Trunk looks and feels more like your dream home than a hotel. Fusing tradition and trend, expect upcycled materials in clean, slick shapes, complete with a Japanese flair. Trunk invites you to experience Shibuya as a local. What is most special about this hotel is a concept they have named ‘Activities’. Through 'Activities' the hotel will organise premium experiences that allow guests an exclusive peek behind the curtains of Tokyo whether that means securing tickets to a sold-out sumo match followed by an intimate meal with one of the fighters, or connecting with locals over an authentic home-cooked meal in a Shibuya family home.
Dating as far back as 1935, this icon of Tokyo is the world’s oldest and biggest fish market. The rusty old structures that house the energetic buzz contrast with the neighbouring skyscrapers of posh Ginza and seem to contain a whole world of their own. Here is where your jet-lag is an advantage, because when it comes to Tsukiji - the earlier, the better. By 4am the market is up and alive, with trucks and trolleys weaving around and fishmongers unloading seafood bigger than you’ve ever seen! If you want a chance at witnessing the renowned tuna auction, you’ll want to get there for as early as 3am to put your name on the list - but check with Trunk (Activity) who may be able to secure a place for you without all the hassle. For a deliciously fresh sushi breakfast, head to the famous Sushi Dai or Daiwa-Zushi but be prepared to wait in their infamous queues…