With less than 3 years to go before Tokyo hosts the summer Olympic games, you’ll be hearing about these unique Japanese gems soon. Here is an exclusive sneak peek of my latest finds…
An art collective formed in 2001, http://www.zenzero.be/xubolagy/ teamLab is an interdisciplinary creative group that brings together professionals from various fields of practice in the digital society: artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians, architects, web and print graphic designers and editors.
Referring to themselves as ultratechnologists, the group aims to go beyond the boundaries of art, science, technology and imagination, through co-creative activities. With art installations throughout the world, their vision has made a leap over to the chic city of Paris. Incorporating interactive digital art forms and crafting a spectacle for the ears and eyes, it’s an experience for all ages.
Visit the head quarters for a behind the scenes look at one of the world’s largest camera companies. The Nikon Museum has a 600 sq ft museum that is packed with exhibits and movies. The vast Nikon camera collection from 1917 onwards is displayed creatively on the wall in a chronological formation. Tucked away in Minato-ku, the museum is in industrial area but a must-see for any photographer enthusiast.
Find your favorite sake with a tasting at SANWA 720. “SANWA” means three peace, and represents the trinity of manufacture, distribution (including restaurants) and consumer. Located in the Kappabashi (or Kitchen Street) in Tokyo, the experts deal with small run bottles of sake and shochu (distilled liquor of potato, wheat and rice). Most bottles carried in store are 720 mL, which is difficult to find abroad.
Get your luxury shopping on at GINZA SIX. With 6 levels of fashion and an additional two levels dedicated to food and beauty, one can easily whittle away an entire afternoon at the complex. Japanese culture is prevalent even in its architecture and interior design, where shoji paper sliding doors and paper lanterns are seamlessly incorporated in the shopping mecca. Rest your weary feet and wallet with a crafted cocktail at the largest rooftop garden in Ginza, located on the thirteenth floor.
Dress up your nails from award-winning nail artists at JoliNails. With three locations in central Tokyo (Grand Hyatt Tokyo at the Nagomi Spa, Shirokane and Roppangi Hills), there is no excuse not to indulge in some mini-masterpieces like Mt. Fuji or tsunami waves.
Bringing Andaz’s international appeal and “personal style” to Japan, The Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills has 164 rooms (with 8 suites), 5 restaurants (Andaz Tavern, Rooftop Bar, BeBu, Pastry Shop and the SUSHI), 24 hour in-room dining and the apothecary-focused AO Spa & Club.
Guest rooms average at 500 sq ft and offer unobstructed views of the Tokyo skyline, with soaking tubs inspired by Japanese bath culture. Common spaces are adorned by beautiful works of wood and washi art by Shigemitsu Kotaka, Tetsuya Nagata and Charlie Whinney.
Feast amongst floral and fauna at the Aoyama Flower Market Tea House. Each location (Aoyama, Kichijyoji and Akasaka) has a unique greenhouse concept. The menu incorporates edible flowers in its fare, both drinks and entrees. Browse the attached flower market for colorful bouquets and arrangements.
One of the ten restaurants at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo, Shunbou offers traditional meals made with local ingredients, including specially-made sake harvested from Shunbou-mai rice from the Kurosawa Farm in Yamagat prefecture. Guests may enjoy their traditional kaiseki (formal multi-course meal) in private ryotei rooms, enveloped in a serene atmosphere with Aji-ishi Japanese granite stone counter and cherry wood tables.
By Elena Murzello