The asterisk (*) denotes mandatory group outings. Anything without it is completely optional.

LUNCH AT TSUKIJI OUTER MARKET

A historic food stall market outside of the former Tsujiki Market.

WHY GO HERE?

  • Eater considers it, "An essential pilgrimage for anyone with an interest in eating!" (source)

  • It’s shops, restaurants and stalls sell some of Tokyo’s freshest sushi, grilled seafood and other delicacies, making it perhaps Tokyo’s best food market experience. (source)

WHAT SHOULD YOU GET HERE?

  • The miso-enriched horumon-don, flecked with bits of konyakku (yam cake) and garnished with a pile of sliced negi greens, is Kitsuneya’s signature dish and particularly unique among Tsukiji’s many offerings. (source)

  • Kagura is uniquely renowned for aburi sushi, with toppings that have been seared or grilled. Their showcase aburi set includes seven pieces of nigiri (standard bite-size sushi) for around ¥2,700. (source)

  • The most unique experience of chirashizushi (raw seafood scattered over a bowl of rice) is at Tsukiji Itadori Uogashi Senro. There, you can get its signature Ganso Kaisen Hitsumabushi, a mixed bowl filled with tuna, salmon roe, uni (sea urchin) and a variety of other rotating delicacies, which the staff will help you turn into a three-course meal — all in the same bowl. (source)

  • The corn fritter at Ajino-Hamato is one of its most popular offerings, and the fried fish cake stuffed between slices of renkon (lotus root) is also an excellent choice. (source)

 

COFFEE AT CAFE DE L’AMBRE

A legendary kissaten (traditional Japanese coffee shop) that's been open since 1948. (source)

WHY GO HERE?

  • Coffee celebrity and centurion owner Sekiguchi Ichiro (who recently passed), had been working with coffee for 70 years, roasted his own beans, invented a kettle, and even designed his own coffee cups all for the purpose of improving the coffee drinking experience. (source)

  • Eater calls it, "A venerable Tokyo treasure.", "the crown jewel of thousands of Tokyo kissaten's" (source)

  • They have a coffee-only menu, with some aged beans that go back some 40 years! (source) (source)

WHAT SHOULD YOU GET HERE?

  • Don’t be put off by the large menu because the tiny size of each serving means that you can sample at least a couple of items. (source)

  • Try a curiously smooth two-decade-old Mocha or the sweet Blanc et Noir, which is served over ice. (source)

  • Black coffee — double strength — is a must, but cafe oeufs is the cup with allure. Once ordered, the barista sets a small cup of strong coffee down on the counter, and slowly pours a beaten egg yolk into the drink. Stir and drink quickly before the egg curdles. It's much thicker than cream, like pouring liquid velvet down your throat. (source)

  • “Iceless iced coffee,” which turns out to be chilled coffee poured over ice cubes made of frozen coffee so that when they melt, the coffee is not diluted. (source)

 

SEE THE NAKAGIN CAPSULE TOWER

A mixed-use residential and office tower designed by architect Kisho Kurokawa and located in Shimbashi, Tokyo, Japan. (source)

WHY GO HERE?

  • Completed in just 30 days in 1972, it was the world's first example of capsule architecture built for permanent and practical use. (source)

  • It’s a rare remaining example of Japanese Metabolism (a post-war Japanese architectural movement that fused ideas about architectural megastructures with those of organic biological growth). (source)

  • It was featured in the 2013 superhero film The Wolverine. (source)

  • Nicolai Ouroussoff, architecture critic for The New York Times, described it as "gorgeous architecture; like all great buildings, it is the crystallization of a far-reaching cultural ideal. Its existence also stands as a powerful reminder of paths not taken, of the possibility of worlds shaped by different sets of values." (source)

  • See it while you can. Though there is an organization that is trying to preserve the tower it is highly likely that it will be demolished due to its heavy deterioration and prime location. (source)

 

CHECK OUT TEAMLAB PLANETS*

A digital art museum full of 7 immersive exhibits inviting visitors to explore a world of art through sight, touch, and sound. (source)

WHY GO HERE?

  • The artworks are “Body Immersive”. (Installations in which the entire body becomes immersed in the art, and the boundaries between the viewer and the work become ambiguous). (source)

  • The 7 works are spread out across a full 10,000sqm, giving them lots and lots of space each. (source)

  • It is a must-visit for anyone interested in experiencing the captivating fusion of technology and art. (source)

 

SEE TEAMLAB BORDERLESS*

An interactive and multi-sensory all-digital art museum in Tokyo, Japan.

WHY GO HERE?

  • It’s billed as the world’s first all-digital museum devised by self-described “ultra-technologists” – from the University of Tokyo. (Bloomberg) (NY Post)

  • The art’s scenery is linked, in real-time, to the seasons and is constantly changing. (NY Post)

  • Inside there is a tea house called EN Tea House. A server pours tea into a cup -- give it a few seconds and a flower blooms in the teacup; different flowers open up as long as there is tea left. (Bloomberg)

  • Nas and Swizz Beats shot this video here.

  • There are about 50 kaleidoscopic installations that are triggered by motion sensors and projected across every surface of the 100,000-square-foot exhibit space. (Bloomberg)

 

EAT AT NEMURO HANAMARU SUSHI GINZA SHOP

A conveyor belt sushi restaurant.

WHY GO HERE?

  • It’s one of the most — if not the most — beloved conveyor belt sushi restaurant in Japan. (Eater)

  • The chain is so highly respected by its peers in the sushi industry that Hanamaru buyers are known to have special access to some of the best fish of the day at Tokyo's Tsukiji Market. (Eater)

  • One of the absolute best affordable sushi restaurants there is in Japan. (source)

WHAT SHOULD YOU GET HERE?

  • The plate of medium-fatty tuna is a popular choice. (source)

  • The "yari ika" (spear squid),a type of squid that has a deeper sweetness than most other kinds, is one of the restaurant's recommendation. (source)

  • You can even have some local sake from Nemuro to pair with your sushi! (source)

  • The Japanese omelette topping is made with some dashi (seafood broth) so they are very savoury and a little sweet. (source)

  • The "uni", or sea urchins, sushi is really popular too. They put a generous amount of it so these are really worth it. If you haven't tried them already, you'll love their smooth custard-like texture and their savoury sea taste. (source)

  • "Buri" or yellowtail. This fish is extremely popular in Japan as a sushi topping. The taste is somewhat similar to tuna. (source)

  • Another must try at Hanamaru is the Kurose Buri (黒瀬ぶり), which is Kurose Amberjack mostly found in the waters of Miyazaki. (source)

  • Another favorite side dish is their Karaage (唐揚げ), or fried chicken, topped with a slice of lemon. (source)

  • You can also custom make your sushi, so simply ask the waiter for some Sabi-Nuki (サビ抜き) sushi, which means sushi without the little dab of wasabi under the fish; if you see something you like on the menu, but can't find on the conveyor belt, just order it from their English menu! (source)

 

DRINK AT STAR BAR GINZA

A speak-easy style bar in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan.

WHY GO HERE?

  • Founded by Hisashi Kishi (the first Japanese to ever win the International Bar Association's world championship title at the age of 31) - a bartender so masterful and revered that fellow bartenders are often too intimidated to enter his place. (source) (source) (source)

  • In 2018 Star Bar Ginza ranked 43rd in the 50 top bars in Asia, it’s by far Japan's most famous bar. (source)

  • They offer a wide range of hand-cut ice and originated some legendary ideas such as “Ninja Ice,” which is so transparent that you can’t see it inside the glass, to “Brilliant Ice,” which sparkles like diamonds. (source)

  • Some of Tokyo’s most respected barmen—such as High Five’s Hidetsugu Ueno and Land Bart Artisan’s Daisuke Ito—honed their skills here, under the watchful eye of owner Hisashi Kishida, one of the godfathers of Japanese bartending. (source)]

WHAT SHOULD YOU GET HERE?

  • In the Japanese tradition, there is no menu, so a bartender will ask what you like and take it from there. This Tokyo bar’s specialty lies in rare Japanese whiskey so request a cocktail built from a whiskey base to receive something extra special. The knowledgeable bar staff will suggest and create bespoke potions according to your tastes. (source)

  • The Manhattan strikes the perfect balance between sweet and dry. (source)