MT Business Travel: Frequent Flyer Ken Kamoshida's Guide to Tokyo

HOW TO GET THERE: I use All Nippon Airways. The company arose as competition to Japan Airlines after deregulation, so it ensures service is good. BA also flies direct. Flights from Heathrow take 12 hours.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

AIRPORT TO TOWN: Take the train. Tokyo's traffic makes road travel frustrating and taxis are expensive. The Narita Express takes about an hour, costs around £16 and always runs on time.

BEST HOTELS: Tokyo has plenty of luxury accommodation. The Park Hyatt in Shinjuku 1 (3-7-1-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, +81 3 5322 1234, www.tokyo.park.hyatt.com) is modern and first-class. The restaurants and bars on the upper floors offer a great view of the illuminated night scene. For Japanese-run luxury hotels, visit the Okura 2 (2-10-4 Toranomon, 3582 0111, www.okura.com) or Imperial 3 (1-1 Uchisaiwai-cho, 3504 1111, www.imperialhotel.co.jp) - both near Ginza, central Tokyo's shopping district.

BEST BUSINESS RESTAURANTS: Tokyo is cosmopolitan and you can find any food you fancy. Marubiru 4 houses a lot of restaurants, from Chinese to French, again on the top floors. For Italian, try the prestigious Antica Osteria del Ponte (5220 4686). The Kanda area has several traditional Japanese places in its back alleys. Yabu Soba 5 (Kanda Awajicho 2-10, 251 0287) is one of the oldest and best soba noodle restaurants in Japan, and attracts a high-class clientele. A lesser-known but similarly fine restaurant is Botan 6 (Kanda Sudacho 1-15, 251 0577), which serves tori-nabe - a chicken broth - as the only dish on its menu. It is the perfect food for winter, cooked in a charcoal-heated pot in a wooden cabinet by your table.

BEST CAFES AND BARS: Park Hyatt's Manhattan Bar has live jazz - it's a very good place for entertaining business partners. For a special experience, go to Roppongi Hills. Here you'll find Maduro 7 (6-10-3 Roppongi, 4333 8888), a refined bar offering cigars and cognac. Karaoke usually involves private rooms you can hire. Ginza is notorious for it, with charming ladies pouring you expensive wine and whisky.

A FEW HOURS TO KILL? Visit Tokyo's traditional gardens. The Imperial Palace 8 has a garden open to the public. Others are Hama Rikyu 9 and Kiyosumi Teien 10. The oldest Japanese temple in Tokyo is Sensoji 11, in Asakusa. Shinjuku's government building 12 is worth a look for its architecture and observation floors. The hot-spring areas of Hakone and Atami are less than two hours from Shinjuku; their ryokans (inns) offer traditional Japanese accommodation. The best are expensive, priding themselves on their chefs and refined cuisine.

BUSINESS ETIQUETTE: The Japanese are learning from the West here, so manners are largely the same. Many business people have followed prime minister Koizumi's 'cool biz' campaign and abandoned ties, so it may look more relaxed than you'd expect. Social occasions may cause problems - eg, you should take your shoes off before walking on tatami mats. Making mistakes isn't a big deal, though. Business people are used to shaking hands, but bowing is still the accepted manner, so give it a go. While equal rights have been pushed, businesswomen should introduce themselves before male colleagues to make their position clear.

SECRETS OF THE JET SET: Avoid August - it's very humid, and everyday things like using trains can be awful. You'll find interesting things just by walking around the city, large areas of which can be covered on foot. Japanese people are very friendly and will always help you if need be. It's easy to meet people, even though they may not understand you fully. Finally, don't tip - it's not demanded, except in expensive ryokans, and can even seem out of place.

Ken Kamoshida is MD of Yamaha Electronics UK.

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