bassike travel : tokyo city guide

Japan is a country, and a culture, that bassike has always had a natural affinity with. The appreciation of heritage and craftsmanship and the ability to find beauty in simple things done exceptionally well, have always been aspects of the Japanese culture that have helped inform our design philosophies.

For the first in our series of bassike travel guides we took a close look at Japan’s cosmopolitan heart and capital city; Tokyo. We cross checked our itineraries and came up with some of the best places to eat, stay and explore in the city where old and new Japan exist side by side.

bassike travel
bassike travel

The Park Hyatt.
Hotel Claska.

stay

The Park Hyatt

Made famous by Sophia Coppola’s ‘Lost in Translation’, Tokyo’s Park Hyatt offers an unequivocally luxurious home away from home for the discerning traveler. Occupying the top 14 floors of Shinjuku Park Tower, the hotel enjoys dramatic views across the city skyline and is home to some of the cities best restaurants and bars.

Hotel Claska

Tokyo’s most well appointed boutique hotel, Claska, opened in 2003 in the centre of Tokyo’s design district. Offering both traditional Japanese and contemporary rooms, the hotel is a favourite with design minded travellers.

bassike travel
bassike travel

Dover Street Market.
Daikanyama Tsutaya Books (T-Site).

shop

Dover Street Market

Dover Street Market’s Ginza outpost is arguably one of the global retailer's most impressive. With six sprawling floors of high end fashion, homewares, books and art as well as a local iteration of Paris’s famous Rose Bakery located on the top floor, it’s easy to spend an entire morning getting lost in this store.

Ron Herman

Iconic Californian retailer, Ron Herman opened its doors in Japan just over five years ago. Known for its well-rounded mix of contemporary and higher-end designer brands, including bassike, Ron Herman’s So-Cal roots translate perfectly to the streets of Tokyo. 

Daikanyama Tsutaya Books (T-Site) 

T-Site is a sprawling book shop set over three separate pavilions in Tokyo’s Daikanyama district. Designed by Klein Dytham Architecture the space was created to feel more like a library than a book store, with six different departments, a cafe and an extensive archive of fashion and design publications, it’s easy to come home with excess baggage after spending time at T-Site. 

bassike travel

21_21 Design Sight.

visit

21_21 Design Sight

21_21 Design Sight is one of Tokyo’s most exciting contemporary art galleries. Designed by visionary architect Tadao Ando, the stark, minimalist interiors of the gallery work to both house and compliment the roster of ever changing exhibitions on show within its walls.

The Mass

Hidden away in Harajuku, The Mass is an up and coming independent gallery becoming increasingly popular within the local art scene. With recent exhibitions featuring work by artists including Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol and Azuma Makoto it is well worth adding to any art-based itinerary.

bassike travel
bassike travel

Tonki.
The Apollo.

eat & drink

Narukiyo

A traditional izakaya located on the outskirts of Shibuya, visit Narukiyo for a taste of bustling Japanese night life, fresh seasonal dishes and some of the best sashimi in Tokyo.

Tonki

Tonki is an example of a Japanese institution that does one thing incredibly well and doesn’t deviate from it. Since 1939 Tonki, in the Meguro district, has been serving up some of the cities most sought after Tonkatsu, with only two variations on the menu it’s the perfect place to go if you find it difficult to decide what to eat.

The Apollo

One of our favourite Sydney institutions, The Apollo, has recently opened up in Tokyo’s Ginza district. We usually like to be adventurous and eat local cuisine whilst abroad, however, we simply can’t miss an opportunity to indulge in The Apollo’s modern Greek menu, anywhere in the world. Also offering a taste of home is Bill Granger's Tokyo flagship perched a top Tokyo Plaza in Omotesando.

bassike travel

Hakone.

explore

Hakone

If you’ve managed to exhaust all that Tokyo has to offer or are simply craving a change of pace from the city; take a day trip to the spa village of Hakone. Here you’ll find a range of traditional Japanese onsen and hot springs set amongst a wooded backdrop looking out to Mount Fuji. Hakone is also home to an open air museum featuring large scale sculptural works and installations as well as an exhibition hall dedicated to the sculptural work of Pablo Picasso.