Tokyo's leading luxury PR and consultant, Nicole Bargwanna of CPR Tokyo shares her best tips.
What are the best restaurants in Tokyo?
OMAE XEX - teppanyaki with style. Melt-in-your-mouth wagyu.
Higashiyama - one of my favourites, super stylish modern Japanese with adjoining bar.
Life Son Sangubashi - perfect for Sunday brunch.
Daylight Kitchen - great with children. Organic food, a fantastic kid’s menu and plenty of room to play while mum and dad relax in stylish surrounds.
Iki-ba - another Harajuku oasis, hidden away from the street kids.
Sato Yosuke Udon - out-of-this-world udon.
Sakurai - for evening drinks, don’t miss AMAZING traditional tea cocktails and the most beautiful, secret hideaway vibe.
What are your ultimate shopping destinations in your city?
Kanetanaka - the perfect zen getaway when shopping just gets too much. Tune out in this minimal Hiroshi Sugimoto designed space and revive with a matcha and delicate Japanese sweets.
Daikanyama T-Site, Tsutaya Books - the building has won several architectural awards over the years, it houses any book you could dream of and their is a cocktail bar upstairs. Perfect!.
Cibone - Tokyo's best interior store and a designer's dream shop celebrating all the latest it-products from all over the globe.
Good Design Shop - a partnership between Comme des Garçons and D&D Dept, a well-known lifestyle and interior store. Stocks cool dead stock items, and well-designed bits and bobs you never knew you needed.
D&Department - packed to the brim with funky miss match modern furniture and always exhibiting a new local artist or collaborations work.
What are the best activities for kids in your city?
Shinjuku Gyoen - 11 Naitomachi, Shinjuku, Tokyo.
Bike rentals at Yoyogi Park - 2-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya, Tokyo.
Miraikan (National Museum of Emerging Science & Innovation) - Tokyo, Koto, Aomi, 2−3−6
Hakone - not technically Tokyo, but a short train ride and a world away!.
Hakone Open Air Museum.
Ghibli Museum - 1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka, Tokyo.
What are the best local cultural activities in your city?
3331 Arts - Chiyoda, Akihabara, 6-11-14 Sotokanda Chiyoda-Ku Tokyo.
Museum of Contemporary Art - Tokyo (MOT) Kiyosumi-Shirakawa - 4-1-1 Miyoshi, Koto-ku, Tokyo.
SCAI the Bathhouse - Taito-ku - 1-23 Yanaka, Taito, Tokyo.
Ginza Graphic Gallery - Ginza - 7-7-2 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo. Edo-Tokyo Museum - Ryogoku - 4-1 Yokoami, Sumida, Tokyo.
What is your favourite ‘precinct’ or area of your city?
There are so many pockets of Tokyo that are fantastic.
Naka-meguro - great shops and cafes along tree-lined canals, especially when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom in the spring.
Kiyosumi-Shirakawa - great area in an older part of Tokyo with cutting-edge galleries and a beautiful traditional old garden.
The main roads in Ginza are closed to cars on Sundays, making the whole area a festive shopping paradise with old-school charm.
Your pick of best hotels?
In order of recommendation:
The New Andaz - amazing, but a little inconvenient in terms of position, the rooms and facilities more than make up for it. If you’re taxiing everywhere, it’s fine anyhow. Modern Japanese vibe and a favourite with the fashion crowd.
The Grand Hyatt - another huge favourite with the fashion crowd, for its great position, luxury vibe and close proximity to the fashion axis of Shibuya/ Aoyama/ Daikanyama. Handily adjoins Roppongi Hills where Estnaiton and Mori Art Museum are located. It’s an easy taxi to Comme des Garçon too!
The Park Hyatt - also a big fashion crowd favourite, but it hasn’t been renovated since it opened, so not so new anymore. That said, it’s an oldie and a goodie, with beautiful views of My Fuji and the buzzing NY Grill. Also nothing much around it, but an easy taxi to Aoyama.
Hoshinoya Tokyo - a new luxury ryokan-style hotel near the imperial palace, run by Japan’s leading resort developer. Great for an inner-city zen experience. Near Ginza.
Do you have any insider tips for your city that most people wouldn’t normally know about?
One thing I would suggest is to always look above and below street level, because that’s where you’ll find some of the most interesting shops, restaurants and bars. Tokyo is short on space, so there is so much more than you see at eye level. Some of the coolest places are where you least expect!