As a luxury sports travel company, it’s no surprise that we spend a lot of time traveling. Most recently our travels have taken us to Tokyo, Japan, where Roadtrips President Dave Guenther was doing some scouting for the 2020 Summer Games. We managed to catch up with him to hear about his trip, find out whether Tokyo is worth visiting, and capture a few Tokyo travel tips before he heads back out on the road again. He had only good things to say about this world capital!
Let’s start with an easy one. Give us your overall impression of Tokyo in one sentence.
I love Tokyo; It’s a feast for the senses.
You’ve travelled all around the world and seen dozens of cities. In your opinion, what makes Tokyo unique? Is Tokyo worth visiting? What aspects of it stood out to you?
Tokyo is all things Asia but with a distinct American influence. English even creeps into the advertising culture. It’s a place where you can feel completely foreign but also very comfortable at the same time. It’s ultra-modern. Highly organized. Super clean. And the food… don’t get me started about the food!!
You’ve mentioned to many of us in the office how much you enjoyed the food in Tokyo. What can you tell us about the city’s culinary scene?
On my trips to Tokyo I’ve been pretty wowed by the food. A lot of people say that Tokyo is definitively the number 1 food city in the world and I’m on board with that. One of the reasons is the Japanese obsession with perfect ingredients. And when I say obsession that can’t be overstated. In North America we have 4-5 qualities of beef, in Japan it’s something like 200!
I can’t imagine going to Tokyo and not having teppanyaki. The steak is just so good. It’s among the best and most memorable meat I’ve had in my life. Some standout restaurants include Morimoto, an ultra vibey teppanyaki restaurant in Roppongi; Steak Misano, more incredible teppanyaki in Ginza; and Shima Steak, a more casual place that uses the leftovers to make really cute steak sandwiches for you to take with you as you leave.
What was your favorite meal?
I’m a beef guy and the Kobe beef that I had at Misono, which bills itself as the original teppanyaki restaurant, was my highlight.
Kobe beef, Misono
Tell us about the accommodations in Tokyo and what our guests can expect from their 2020 Summer Games hotels.
That’s top secret! Just kidding. But it is in process. I was in Tokyo specifically to work on securing accommodations for our guests. There is already very high demand for this event and we are expecting the Tokyo Summer Games to be record-setting. That said, we’re hoping to have announcements to our past clients and wait list guests in the next couple of months.
Did you get a chance to do any sightseeing? What were some of the highlights of this trip (besides the food, of course)?
I often like to take in the vibe of a city more than seeing specific sights. Going for a good walk, taking a bike tour, or just grabbing a chair on a patio and having a drink and watching the world go by are some of my favorite ways to experience a new place. Tokyo is amazing that way. It’s a great people-watching place and folks are very fashionable. As you might expect, it’s a place where things are always on the move!
What kind of host will Tokyo make for the 2020 Summer Games?
People are going to love it! Tokyo is this great blend of the exotic mixed with the manageable and familiar. The Japanese are excited, too. You’ll already see signs up around the city and I did drive by the site for the New National Stadium which is going to be a fabulous piece of architecture.
What are you most excited for our guests to experience while in Tokyo for the 2020 Summer Games?
It might be a little early for me to say, but then again each Summer Games has its own magic. The Games are my favorite sporting event and in part that has to do with how people come together to celebrate not only sport but the human interest stories behind the competitions. Tokyo is a bucket list city for many people so it’s going to provide tons of thrills and great experiences on its own. Add in those special stories that are yet to be told and the whole thing will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
There you have it: Tokyo is absolutely worth visiting!
If you want to discover everything else Tokyo has to offer, we’d love to be your host at the 2020 Summer Games. Our early bird packages are coming soon. For front of the line access, please get in touch with one of our Sports Travel Specialists to secure your spot on our waiting list.