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Work and Play – Tokyo

For business with pleasure, this is the best of the Japanese capital.

Marc Handl knows what business travellers want in Japan. Formerly the general manager of the Ritz-Carlton Osaka, he’s now the GM of the Aman Tokyo (and the regional director of the Aman Resorts group). These are the highlights of his little black book.

To kill three hours before a flight…
Ginza Mitsukoshi department store, in the centre of the Ginza district, is directly connected to the Ginza subway station. Even if you’re just window-shopping, it’s an interesting place to be. You can’t help but learn lots about Japanese food.

The best tailor in the city…
I go to a bespoke shoe shop called Spica, in Azabu-Juban, in a renovated old Japanese house. They repair shoes, but also do very high-quality custom-made pairs. You have a nice chat with the craftsman so they can create the best pair possible.

Best place for dinner with friends…
Sushi Ozaki. The food, décor, setting, service and passion are all excellent. The owner-chef, or taisho is Ozaki, and his place is in the back streets of Azabu-Juban, an area famous for many of Tokyo’s top restaurants. The restaurant has a neighbourhood feel; you see groups of friends here and that makes for a very different atmosphere to sushi places in Ginza, where there are mainly business people. Ozaki uses the best ingredients available at the Tsukiji market [the world’s largest fish market]. His sake selection is also excellent, featuring lots of hard-to-find labels.

The personal trainer worked for the Japanese military and trained as a kickboxer in Thailand

And for a business dinner…
Sushi Musahi is a classic style sushi restaurant hidden in the basement of a building in the back streets in Minami-Aoyama, just behind the fashionable Kotto-Dori shopping street. You get the feeling that you’ve escaped the city and gone back in time. Only open from 6-9pm every night, it has just seven tables for two, and many customers are locals from the neighbourhood who appreciate top quality sushi. Discrete and quiet, so you can have a conversation, and the price is reasonable.

A personal trainer at short notice…
Nagisa Takahashi, the trainer at our spa at Aman Tokyo. He offers customised personal training including TRX, kickboxing and functional training. He used to work for the Japanese military and trained as a kickboxer in Thailand, too.

The gallery or museum not part of ‘tourist bingo’…
Kamiya Art, in the Nihonbashi-Honcho district, is a gallery beneath a long-established shop selling traditional papers and inks. So you can see an exhibition of paper art (not just origami) or calligraphy or sumi-e ink painting in the basement, then go upstairs and buy some of the raw materials to take home.

Samuel Muston is Deputy Editor at MR PORTER’s The Journal.