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Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock


Short stop in: Tokyo

The Japanese capital is compact enough to get around quickly if you want to see the sights, and, if time permits, make sure you sample some of its wonderful food and more unorthodox cultural activities.


Sure, you could have miso soup, grilled fish, fermented soy beans and steamed rice for breakfast, but sometimes you wake up salivating for blueberry pancakes and hot coffee. Or huevos rancheros or eggs Benedict. On those days, Clinton St. Baking Company is the place for you.

Clinton St. Baking Company

5-17-1 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku

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While Tokyo’s “business hotels” are generally more affordable than 3- and 4-star accommodation in New York or London, they don’t offer much in the way of workout facilities. Running around the Imperial Palace is free (and a good run), but if you want gym or swimming facilities, the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium is excellent.

Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium

1 Chome-17-1 Sendagaya

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Temporary closed until January 2020


Remember the good old days, when people ate proper lunches rather than sandwiches or salads at their desks? Wakanui Grill remembers too, serving up fine grilled New Zealand beef and lamb.

Wakanui Grill

3 Chome−4−30 Shibakōen

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The Snack is a great co-working space in Tokyo. It incorporates a café and one beverage is included with the ­admission charge.

The Snack

7 Chome-5-4 Ginza

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If you like souvenirs with a bit of local flavor, stop at Tabisuru Market, which is run by the Isetan Mitsukoshi department store.

Tabisuru Market

2 Chome−16-1 6, Minato-ku

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Yes, it’s a cliché, but we mean it in the best possible way. If you’ve never been to a sumo tournament, you should go. Two-week-long tournaments are held in Tokyo three times a year, in April, August and December. Naked, sweating fat men. What’s not to like?


Kaiseki is the Japanese version of dégustation, a multi-course meal following the ­traditions of imperial court cuisine. While ­kaiseki can be extremely expensive, ­amazing bargains can also be had. If you can get a table (reserve well in advance), we recommend Kien, in Akasaka. But don’t take our word for it – Kien has a Michelin star.


2 Chome-18-8 Akasaka, Minato-ku

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