Best sushi in Tokyo
There are thousands of sushi restaurants in Tokyo. So even if you visit a sushi restaurant a day for a year, it's still not easy to narrow down thousands (some say nearly 4000) of sushi spots to a top ten. To make it more practical, we've stuck to high-end (chef's selection from ¥10,000) restaurants, which are semi-easy to get a reservation at least a few weeks in advance. On top of that, they have a distinctive preparation style, and not be excessively far from central Tokyo. Most importantly, they ought to be a good option for high-end sushi restaurant first-timers, or those who can't speak Japanese. Welcome to the wonderful world of fine-dining sushi.
Tokyo's best restaurants and cafés
Tokyo's best bars and pubs
Tokyo facts and trivia
Best restaurants by cuisine
Getaway tips and ideas
Guide to climbing Mt Fuji
July doesn’t only mark the beginning of summer, it’s also the kick-off season for adventurous hikers who plan to conquer Mt Fuji (3,776m), the iconic peak that have to symbolise Tokyo and Japan as a whole. This active stratovolcano is also the highest mountain in Japan. Climbing season lasts roughly three months until early September; any attempt out of this period is prohibited. Before taking on the challenge, there is quite a lot to prepare – so let’s get right to it.
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The best events in Tokyo
Mikkeller Beer Celebration Tokyo
To celebrate its first anniversary, Mikkeller Tokyo is hosting a special beer festival in Meiji Jingu Gaien. You can sample 320 kinds of craft beer offered by breweries from North America, Europe and Asia – don't miss the limited edition brews as well that are exclusive to this festival. Tickets are based on time slots (11am-2.30pm and 4.30pm-8pm) and you can get them here for ¥12,500 each.
Dancing in the Universe
Konica Minolta Planetarium will take the audience on a journey into outer space while jamming to music by the Underworld, including their top hits like “Born Slippy Nuxx” and “If Rah.” An optical projector,” “Infinium Σ,” will project stars onto the walls and floors of the planetarium, creating a magical atmosphere.
Eco Edo Nihonbashi Art Aquarium
Deploying a range of lighting tricks, projection mapping and traditional Japanese motifs, not to mention thousands of live goldfish, self-proclaimed ‘art aquarium producer' Hidetomo Kimura’s annual exhibition is back again with an eclectic combo of stylised Edo culture and modern-day technology. Go after 7pm for a hot atmosphere, cocktails and DJ tunes courtesy of local stars including Ken Ishii, Kuniyuki Takahashi and Rina (gigs only on weekends). Finally, you'll need to keep in mind that this is usually one of Tokyo's most popular summer happenings – there will be queues.
Kita-ku Fireworks Festival
Northern Tokyo’s hanabi kicks off the autumn season with 7,777 fireworks colouring the clear autumn sky. Since it takes place behind the old Iwabuchi sluice gate, get your cameras ready for a magnificent shot where the vibrant explosions in the sky bring out the bright red hues of the antique dam.
Where to stay in Tokyo
Grand Hyatt Tokyo
Though it shares a celebrity buzz with its sister hotel the Park Hyatt, the effortlessly sleek Grand is pleasingly low-key. Its location in the upmarket Roppongi Hills complex might not suit those who like their Tokyo served straight up, but by the same token it provides a restful retreat. And having high-end shops and restaurants, a 53-floor panorama and world-class art on your doorstep can be considered quite an amenity. As is the Nagomi spa (though there’s a charge for guests) which, in addition to the usual list of artful treatments, has a lap pool, steam and sauna and a luminous white jacuzzi. Though not flashy, the guest rooms are extremely comfortable and well thought out, with dimmable lights, Bose stereos and free high-speed internet, and a tub you could park your car in. A 10th anniversary renovation has added Oxford chairs, original washi paper artwork and Bluetooth connectivity to the amenities.
Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo
Focusing not just on Tokyo, but on the historic Nihonbashi area in which it sits, the Mandarin is the antidote to that feeling that luxury hotels are the same the world over. Many of the materials are sourced from local artisans. The lobby and rooms all hint at traditional Japanese motifs, from the torii shrine gates and washi paper lanterns to the woven fabrics that hang in place of paintings. The view from the rooms trumps most of its top-end rivals, with a mosaic of lights from the business district in the foreground, and Mt Fuji straight ahead.
Just when it was starting to feel that Tokyo ryokans were on the verge of extinction, along came a major new player. Opened in July 2016, Hoshinoya Tokyo is one of the capital's very few luxury ryokans – and it's located in central Otemachi, just a short walk from Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace. The 19-storey (including two underground floors) building houses tatami-floored suites, as well as a spa, Japanese restaurant and conference facilities, while offering the same standard of service that's earned awards for its sister resorts in places including Karuizawa and Kyoto. Given the lack of similar establishments in the city, it promises to present a serious challenge to Tokyo's glut of luxury hotels, though a night's stay sure doesn't come cheap here. Check out more photos and information on our blog.
The Hyatt group’s lifestyle brand Andaz opened its frst Tokyo hotel on the top of the 52-storey Toranomon Hills complex in June 2014. The hotel houses 164 guestrooms, a partially open-air rooftop bar, and a whopping 50m2 guestroom, the largest of its kind in Tokyo. To allow guests to enjoy their own style of stay, the Andaz Hosts, who take on the traditional roles of doormen, receptionists and concierges, are there to assist in any way. To make you feel more at home, they don’t wear black uniforms or name tags and will engage with guests to provide the best recommendations and suggestions for exploring Tokyo like a local.