Four Seasons Tokyo: Within Walking Distance Fresh food, a peaceful park, museums—even live music is all nearby. Know where to go with these eight tips that can help you explore Tokyo like a local.
1/8 Tsukiji Fish Market: Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market in Tsukiji is ideal when jetlag has you up and ready for adventure at 5 am. The highlight is the frenetic early morning tuna auction, where it’s not uncommon for fish destined for Tokyo’s finest sushi-ya to sell in excess of ¥1 million. While there, don’t miss a super-fresh sushi breakfast at one of the market’s many small restaurants.
2/8 Karaoke: People from all walks of life come to the Ginza branch of the Big Echo karaoke chain, near Yurakucho Station, to unleash their inner pop star, soul diva and rock god. The singing here is done in private rooms, so there is no need to worry about stage fright, and they boast a huge selection of English and Japanese songs.
3/8 Hibiya Park: Just south of the Imperial Palace’s outer grounds, the peaceful Hibiya Koen was the first Western-style park in Tokyo when it opened to the public in 1903. After a morning checking out the Palace and its pretty East Gardens, head to Hibiya Koen at midday and witness an intriguing snapshot of Tokyo life as office workers descend on the park with bento-box lunches in hand.
4/8 Bridgestone Museum of Art: The Bridgestone Museum of Art, a couple of blocks east of Tokyo Station, houses a stunning collection of Impressionist through mid-20th-century Western art that includes masterpieces from Renoir and van Gogh to Picasso and Pollock. Just as compelling is the selection of work from late-19th to early 20th-century Japanese artists seemingly trying to emulate them.
5/8 Tokyo Ramen Street (First Avenue Tokyo Station): Tokyo Ramen Street, in the basement shopping mall First Avenue Tokyo Station, brings together eight renowned ramen shops representing a range of regional ramen flavours, from the rich miso ramen of Hokkaido to a lighter, soy-based Tokyo variety. Just remember that this is a city of ramen obsessives, so be prepared to wait a while for a seat.
6/8 Idemitsu Museum of Arts: Japanese art is the focus of the fantastic Idemitsu Museum of Arts, located a block from Hibiya Park in the Imperial Theater Building. The collection, of which only a portion is ever on display, takes in wood block prints, calligraphy and Zen paintings, but it’s the ceramics, which includes pieces by Ogata Kenzan and Nonomura Ninsei, that steal the show.
7/8 Bic Camera: The giant Bic Camera home electronics store, which looms over Yurakucho Station’s west exit, is awash with the latest in Japanese consumer tech. The eight sprawling floors have everything from high-tech 4G cell phones and the newest camera gear to quirkier items like full-body massage chairs.
Photography Islemount Images/Alamy
8/8 Tokyo International Forum: One of Tokyo’s architectural standouts, the Rafael Viñoly-designed Tokyo International Forum hosts all manner of concerts, conferences and fairs, including the brilliant OEDO Antique Market on the first and third Sunday of each month. Even if there’s nothing on, it’s worth visiting to check out the boat-shaped main hall, which features a 60-meter high atrium comprised of 2,600 sheets of earthquake-resistant glass.
Photography Robert Miller/Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
The Marunouchi district has been transformed in recent years from a dedicated business area into one of the sleekest parts of central
Tokyo. Not that it’s all glistening high-rises: Marunouchi and its surrounding districts, all an easy walk from Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo, are also rich in heritage and cultural treasures. Plan Your Visit
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Four Seasons Magazine Current Edition
The best of luxury travel, style and culture from thought leaders and tastemakers
Issue 4 2013