Tour de force: Tokyo

Jul 29, 2009

by QANTAS TRAVEL INSIDER, Qantas Travel Insider

I would never waste a visitor’s time with
Senso-ji. Tokyo’s biggest temple is shabby, tacky and overcrowded.

Best-kept secret
Kagurazaka, an off-the-beaten-path area full of old-world charm and superb restaurants.

Best bar for cocktails
Radio Bar; owner Mr Ozaki has spent 50 years perfecting his concoctions.

For good food, I send people to
The basement of Isetan department store: a square kilometre of gourmet heaven.

Best boutique hotel in town
Park Hotel for value. Claska for design.

Favourite hot spot
The Kinfolk Lounge in Naka-Meguro for cool and cocktails.

Best place to see live music
Red Shoes in Nishi-Azabu, for something unpredictable and unique.

Best fashion precinct
Daikanyama, the best shopping enclave in the world – beautiful people, charming streets and unique boutiques.

If shopping for gifts and mementos, don’t go past
Hakusan pottery shop in Aoyama; Ito-ya’s sixth floor in Ginza for fabric and washi paper.

For a unique Tokyo experience Bon Jovi meets S&M at the Black Rose nightclub.

For a taste of history
Club Edge for surreal ’80s [economic] Bubble Era revival.

For an unforgettable view of the city, head to
Mori Art Museum: a world-class gallery.

Best way to spend a 24-hour stopover
a jog (or stroll) around the Imperial Palace. 9am: visit Meiji Shrine. 10am: Isetan department store at opening time. 11am: Ota Memorial Museum of Art for Japanese prints. Midday: Meiji Shrine. 1pm: soba noodles for lunch. 2pm: modern architecture along Omotesando boulevard. 3pm: boutique shopping in Daikanyama. 5pm: organised chaos at Shibuya crossing. 6pm: New York Bar for cocktails. 8pm: a lively izakaya pub for dinner. 11pm: karaoke. Midnight: Le Baron nightclub. 3am: have a power nap in a capsule hotel. 5am: visit Tsukiji fish market. 6am: have a sushi breakfast. 7am: sayonara.

Most unusual request from a visiting client...
A private performance of Ricky Martin songs.

Don’t forget to pack
Slip-on shoes for temple visits.

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Source: Qantas The Australian Way August 2009

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