Tokyo, Japan
Kyoko, 39
Entrepreneur & Temple Enthusiast
see her Tokyo city guide

ask Kyoko about

japanese food cocktail bars desserts bbq joint café temple shrine

What are the Tokyo spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

Tough question... we have many spots that are must-see for first-time visitors! Skytree if I had to choose one. There are breathtaking night views, I think the best in the world. It is the new highest tower in Japan so you can really see Japanese technology everywhere. Shibuya Crossing is Tokyo's symbol. You can feel in reality that Tokyo looks like the film "Lost in Translation" (Directed by Sofia Coppola).

Do’s and don’ts in Tokyo: (Ex: Tipping: yes/ no, public transport tips, safety tips etc.):

You don't need to tip anywhere in Japan. But Japanese people really love to serve with hospitality. Therefore it's appreciated if you say "Arigato" after the service :).

What do you do and why do you do it?

I'm a consultant for foreigner travelers in Japan. I realized Japan is really beautiful and the dream country everyone from all over the world loves to visit after I'd lived in NY for 12 years. I know loads of great spots in Japan but I wouldn't want them to be seen only by the Japanese. I'd love to share with everyone how Japan is amazing! It's my pleasure helping foreign tourists to feel satisfied by having a good time in Japan.

How much do you spend on an average night out on the town?

¥3,000-¥15,000 - it depends on the plans! Sometimes I just spend enough to have yakitori and a beer at a cheap Izakaya. Sometimes I'll go to have Omakase sushi at a fancy sushi restaurant.

Which Tokyo shops do you hit up when you’re itching for something new?

Tokyu Hands! Their big building in Shibuya has 8 storeys. They have cool new stuff of all types except clothes.

Your all-time favorite musicians:

Beatles, Kanye West, Beyonce (Queen!), Passion Pit, Pink, Phoenix, Beastie Boys.

Which neighborhood is it best to experience during the day / night?

The Day: Daikanyama - cool shopping area. You should visit the T-site. There are cool cafes and lounges. For the Night: Shinbashi - great food Izakaya all around Shinbashi, try a variety of Japanese foods with the Japanese white collar suits guys aka Salarymen.

What’s the area in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

Idn.

What’s the one place in Tokyo you think is underrated?

Ikebukuro. Just not my type...

Where would you take a date for a romantic night out?

Having dinner and cocktails at Grand Hyatt's 55th-floor bar at Roppongi or chilling with great night view from Skytree and then walking around the outside park illuminations.

Drunk and hungry - where do you go in Tokyo?

Going to eat yummy ramen and gyoza in Shinjuku!

It's freeeeezing out - what should a visitor do?

Oedoonsen in Odaiba! Toyko's largest artificial hot spring complex - bathtubs with different temperatures, textures, and focus points, such as the special foot baths.

Where do you take your guest when you want to impress?

An excellent fancy Japanese restaurant. They serve really beautiful Kaiseki style Japanese cuisine and the atmosphere inside and outside is the old and beautiful Japanese style. The chef and servers all wear kimonos.

Your go-to brunch spots:

Ginza has many Japanese western cuisine restaurants. Try Japanese Omurice, hamburgers, and Napolitan spaghetti :).

Which local creators do you admire?

Takashi Murakami, Ken Kumago.

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Madashi Kuroha