I’ve travelled to Tokyo more times than I can remember—the number hovers between six and eight, and I’ve lost old passports to verify this—and yet the city continues to mesmerise me like it’s my first time. Over the years, I’ve crafted my own little pilgrimage in Tokyo. Nakameguro for its charming shops and cafes along the canal, Daikanyama for T-site, Aoyama for that Prada architectural beauty, and various Blue Bottle coffee shops to keep me charged up for the intense labyrinth of energy the city is. On my last trip, after a three-night stay, I added The Tokyo Edition, Toranomon, to a list of places I will always return to.
It felt particularly magical one afternoon in November last year to be seated outdoors at the Garden Terrace at The Tokyo Edition, Toranomon, sunglasses out and champagne in hand. The Tokyo Tower glittered casually in the distance that perfect autumn day, while Chef Tom Aikens busied himself in the kitchen with dishes that are an experimental blend of East and West. Aikens, with two Michelin stars under his belt, had flown in for the grand opening of the Jade Room + Garden Terrace, the hotel’s elegant new restaurant. As our table of journalists engaged in merry chatter under the sun, Aikens rolled out his culinary prowess in the form of bright, sumptuous dishes. There was a delicate wood-roasted celeriac carpaccio with truffle shavings and a gorgeous flounder flanked by hamaguri clams, accentuated by Tokyo’s freshest produce.
“I love being able to honour and respect Japanese ingredients in my style of cooking, which is European-influenced,” said Aikens of his inaugural four and six-course menus at the Jade Room. If you’re dining in the evening, make sure to pop down to Gold Bar at Edition to wrap up the day. Indulge in one of their classic cocktails, reinvented for the discerning millennial, or partake in their vast selection of Japanese whiskies and gin.
The Tokyo Edition, Toranomon is the first Edition hotel in Tokyo, with a second slated to open in Ginza this year. Designed in partnership with renowned architect Kengo Kuma, the genius behind Olympic Stadium in Tokyo and The Opposite House in Beijing, the hotel is in equal parts minimalist and contemporary with touches of Japanese culture. I was ensconced in a luxury nest the second I entered the soothing, dimly-lit lobby, with natural light streaming in from the windows. The lively global metropolis felt like eons away, as I took in the hotel’s signature Le Labo scent is infused with black tea—it’ll take all your willpower not to buy a candle or bath set home.
The hotel lobby takes inspiration from Buddhist temples, where there is a central courtyard surrounded by other structures, each serving a specific purpose. At The Tokyo Edition, Toranomon, this is where social interaction takes place—the hotel’s reception melds seamlessly into a functional space with low-lying tables designed for sharing. You’ll find a chic crowd here at any point of the day—co-working at midday or having a cocktail together at sundown.
A few of its 206 rooms come with wood-panelled terraces overlooking the Tokyo Tower, and these are worth shelling out extra coin for. It’s rare to get rooms in Tokyo as large as the ones at The Tokyo Edition, Toranomon—the deluxe room is 42 square metres—and even rarer to have rooms that afford fresh air in. It was a cool 14 degrees Celsius in the evening when we landed, and I thought there could be nothing more sublime than ordering in room service and having a glass of champagne on my 35th floor private terrace. I was right, and took my post-landing stupor to a new high.
Tower Suites range from 108 to 124 square metres and is massive enough for a family of four. The living and dining area remain separated from the bedroom, and you also have the option of enclosing the bedroom from the main bathroom. A smaller bathroom, fitted with a toilet and sink, is located by the front door. Its colour palette is beautifully neutral, which appealed very much to my design sensibilities, with touches of light oak and grey. The Tokyo Edition, Toranomon’s lush faux fur throw is in perfect disarray on the bed—a trained art form, I believe—and Le Labo amenities glimmer invitingly from the suite’s natural stone bathrooms.
Ultimately, it was also the little touches in The Tokyo Edition, Toranomon, that won me over. Service is paramount, especially when differences are tiny in the vast landscape of luxury hotels. I often take pride in keeping my hotel room neat, but housekeeping still found ways to impress me. The team rolled up all my Apple charging cords with Velcro bands, arranged all my toiletries, and sat an impeccably-folded lens cleaner for a pair of sunglasses which I left on the dining table. On my second morning, the waiter at the Yves Klein-inspired Blue Room remembered my earl grey tea preference at breakfast and scuttled off promptly to complete the order.
Leaving The Tokyo Edition, Toranomon, for home was an insurmountable task. I’m due back in Japan in a couple of months and I will return—even if it’s just for a meal at Aikens’ fusion restaurant or an inviting cup of tea. That glorious view of the Tokyo Tower is certainly bait, too.
Find out more or book a stay at The Tokyo Edition, Toranomon.