Tokyo symbolises the confluence of the modern with the traditional. The language is an issue, so don’t be caught out without a translator or a phrase book! If you are vegetarian, check in advance for availability of vegetarian options before you book a table.Favourites
I like staying at the Grant Hyatt Roppongi Hills. It is in the cultural heart of the city, close to sightseeing points of interest. From Roppongi Hills, one is also treated to great views of the city. It has a choice of many restaurants and lounges, which serve a variety of cuisines. I also like Hotel Nikko Tokyo. It has spectacular views over the sea and is called the “balcony of Tokyo”. It has a variety of restaurants serving all nature of food from Mediterranean, Japanese, Chinese to Teppan Grill.
There is a quaint Buddhist restaurant, Tokyo Shiba Tofu-ya Ukai: Traditional Japanese décor, sliding wooden and paper partitions, and seating on the ground. It serves vegetarian food made in the traditional manner. Another place — I can’t remember the name, but it’s right next to the TV tower — an old rice wine mill converted into a restaurant, which has beautiful gardens and water bodies.
It was a fabulous gastronomic experience. For the non-vegetarians, I understand one must have Kobe Beef and the choice of sushi and sashimi is mind-blowing.
I am a big fan of reflexology treatments and would recommend them as an ideal way to chase away fatigue.
Roppongi Hills has excellent night life. I have not had the opportunity to experience it myself.
Some of the great Japanese things to buy when visiting are mikimoto pearls, silk and traditional kimonos.
If you’re on a longer trip, I recommend the Meiji Shrine. There are nice places to walk around, especially the moat surrounding the Emperor’s Palace in the heart of town. We also went to Mt. Fuji and had a gondola ride. The ride in the bullet train is also a great experience. There are several nice places to shop for souvenirs, electronic goods and other gizmos.
On one of my future trips, I would love to see a sumo wrestling match!
(This story appears in the 14 August, 2009 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)