You can see it everywhere, in the recent spate of new hotel openings, expanding airports, busy restaurants, and hotel lobbies: Tokyo has emerged like a phoenix from the dark days following Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami, re-assuming its position as an Asian hotspot for business travel. Ever as vibrant, Tokyo will challenge your senses and will leave you in awe and wonder. There are a lot of places and attractions to cover, so knowing in advance what will please you most after a long day at work, will save you the time once you are there.
In the mood for a little sightseeing? The center of Tokyo’s sprawl is the Chiyoda district, the area around the Imperial Palace and gardens. It encompasses a 3.5 square kilometer green space as well as the residence of the Emperor Akihito and his wife Empress Michiko. Other districts to keep in mind for business travelers include Marunouchi (to the east of the palace), Roppongi, Shibuya (both to the southwest), and Shinjuku (to the west). Here, you can find the most international hotels, multinational offices, and western-style restaurants.
All are very well connected by the efficient Tokyo Metro system. You can get different rechargeable metro cards at the airport already. Ask at the information booth to hear about the different options and coverage. For those without the time to figure out the complex Metro system, you can use taxis. But beware as they might be plentiful and clean but very expensive. You will pay 710 yen just to get in. So when possible, choose a hotel that is close to your meetings or events.
Most business travelers prefer to arrive at Tokyo’s Haneda International airport, which is favored due to a sparkling new international terminal, a fourth runway, proximity to the city center, and an increasing number of international arrivals. Prior to 2010, Haneda was primarily Tokyo’s domestic hub because most international operations took place at distant Narita International Airport. However, Haneda is located just 14km south of the city. Taxi fares are within the 7,000 to 9,000 yen range, as compared to 20,000 to 25,000 yen from Narita, which is located 60km away.