City Guides

By Nicole Bargwanna

May 11, 2015

Tokyo’s leading luxury PR and consultant, Nicole Bargwanna of CPR Tokyo shares her best tips.

What are the best restaurants in Tokyo?

Teppanyaki with style – melt-in-your-mouth wagyu. 7-21-19 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo.

One of my favourites, super stylish modern Japanese with adjoining bar. Yubinbango153-0043 Meguro-ku, Tokyo.

Maru, Aoyama
Kyoto-style modern kaiseki. Aoyama KT Bld/2F,5-50-8,Jingumae,Shibuya-ku,Tokyo.

Beautiful, beautiful food. A Harajuku hidden gem. Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo.

Stunning Hiroshi Sugimoto-designed interior. Minato-ku 107-0061, Kita-Aoyama, Tokyo.

Life Son Sangubashi
Perfect for Sunday brunch. 4 Chome-5-13 Yoyogi, Shibuya, Tokyo 151-0053, Japan.

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. Yubinbango150-0031 Shibuya-ku, Tokyo.

Another Harajuku oasis, hidden away from the street kids. Jingumae 3-chome 21-17, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo.

Sato Yosuke Udon, Ginza
Out-of-this-world udon. Deihonkan 1F, 6-4-17 Ginza Chouo Ku, Tokyo.

Fuglen, Little Nap in the Tomigaya area.
For great people watching and superb coffee.

Sakurai on the 5F Spiral building in Aoyama
For evening drinks, don’t miss AMAZING traditional tea cocktails and the most beautiful, secret hideaway vibe.

What are your ultimate fashion/shopping destinations in your city?

The Secret Closet
Hidden away in the back streets of Jingumae, The Secret Closet is like a hidden closet of the best international brands and their own brand, Cylas, which now shows in Paris. A veritable Tokyo gem.

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.

Arts & Science
Artfully inspired leather goods and luxury linnen suiting and knitwear. 6-6-20 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo.

The flagship of Tokyo’s most talked-about brand. Interior is industrial, rough and yet so inviting. Hidden away in the back streets of Aoyama and heaven for fans.

Visvim, Gyre
An oasis amid the bustling city, and your man can shop the latest japanese cult label whilst you sip lattes at the in store cafe. 5-10-1 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo.

The Pool
This picture says it all. The japanese are the kings of conceptual cool! 5 Chome-12-24 Minamiaoyama, Minato, Tokyo.

Daikanyama T-Site, Tsutaya Books
The building has won several architechtural awards over the years, it houses any book you could dream of and their is a coktail bar upstairs. Perfect!. 17-5 Sarugakucho, Shibuya, Tokyo.

Tokyo Midtown
A shopping centre that feels more like a 5-star hotel. The interior floor is especially great. 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo.

Tokyo’s best interior store and a designer’s dream shop celebrating all the latest it-products from all over the globe. 2-14-6 Kita-aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo.

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.

Packed to the brim with funky miss match modern furniture and always exhibiting a new local artist or collaborations work. 8-3-2 Okusawa, Setagaya, Tokyo.

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

Not technically Tokyo, but a short train ride and a world away!. The Hakone Open Air Museum, Hakone Tozan Railway through the mountains, and hot springs. You can go up for the day or stay overnight in a beautiful ryokan.

Ghibli Museum, 1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka, Tokyo.

What are the best local cultural activities in your city?

3331 Arts ChiyodaAkihabara, 6-11-14 Sotokanda Chiyoda-Ku Tokyo.

Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (MOT)
Kiyosumi-Shirakawa – 4-1-1 Miyoshi, Koto-ku, Tokyo.

SCAI the BathhouseTaito-ku – 1-23 Yanaka, Taito, Tokyo.

Ginza Graphic GalleryGinza – 7-7-2 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo.

Edo-Tokyo MuseumRyogoku – 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, with its great shops and cafes along tree-lined canals, especially when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom in the spring.

Kiyosumi-Shirakawa is a 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 in Roppongi 
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, but a bit far from the fashion areas of Aoyama/ daikanyama etc.

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!

Stay connected with CPR Tokyo through Instagram or read more through Nicole Bargwanna’s blog for ELLE Japan.

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