Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be the very first person to stay in a hotel? To be the first person to sleep in the bed, wear the bathrobe, and — dare I say it – use the toilet? As someone who travels often for work (like many event professionals) these are questions I’ve often pondered — but after a recent stay at the Pullman Tokyo Tamachi, I needn’t ponder anymore.
The doors opened in October 2018, introducing to Japan its very first Pullman brand hotel. In a reflection of Japanese culture, the design blends modern aesthetics with traditional handicrafts; combining bold lines and pops of colour with function, efficiency and style. The kabuki-inspired lobby (below) is particularly intriguing, where a long counter serves as both a reception desk and a bar, which serves coffee and cakes in the morning, and cocktails in the evening.
All 143 rooms and suites feature a tailor-made ‘Pullman Bed’ from Takumi Otsuka, but this is no ordinary mattress. This is heaven. Dozing off into the land of nod atop this bed is like sleeping on a Japanese cotton cheesecake — silken, fluffy and ever so light.
Together with indulgent C.O Bigelow body lotion and an illy coffee machine, this really is the ultimate tool in combating jet lag. Rooms are compact, but well-organised and every amenity has its own perfectly carved-out place.
Everything is softer, shinier and brighter as a first-time guest, and the allure of something that has ‘never been touched’ certainly adds to the excitement. Being the first person to ‘experience’ my room also encouraged me to embrace another first — the Toto Washlet (bidet toilet) with front and rear flush. They say you never forget your first time… and I certainly won’t forgot that anytime soon.
While not every room has a dedicated writing desk, there are a number of quiet nooks and crannies throughout the hotel, as well as an executive lounge, where business travellers can comfortably open a laptop.
The hotel features a 131sqm banquet room, which can be divided into three smaller meeting rooms. An additional meeting room can accommodate up to 15 people for a board meeting. All rooms are located on the ninth floor, with floor-to-ceiling windows and views of the Tokyo skyline. Private cocktail events can also be held on the hotel’s outdoor terrace (adjoining Kasa restaurant, pictured above) or chic rooftop bar.
All-day diner, Kasa, serves Mediterranean dishes with an Asian twist. An open kitchen and live Teppan ice-cream counter add theatre to the dining experience. Meanwhile, at the hotel’s Platform 9 rooftop bar, Japanese-inspired tapas are served alongside creative cocktails curated by renowned bartender, Roman Foltan (head bartender at Singapore’s famed ATLAS Bar), who recently completed a two-month residency at the hotel.
Located at Tamachi Station in one of the city’s most up-and-coming business districts, the hotel is surrounded by beautiful canals and provides easy access to Tokyo Tower, Haneda Airport, and Ginza. It’s only a short walk from the Yamanote train line, which connects to major hubs such as Shibuya, Shinjuku and Tokyo station. The hotel is directly linked to Tamachi Station Tower S, also known as msb Tamachi, a 30-storey shopping, restaurant, and office complex.
Things to do
teamLab Borderless: Billed as the world’s first digital art museum, this immersive art installation finds a natural home in Odaiba, a high-tech entertainment hub built on an artificial island in Tokyo Bay. A series of interactive light and 3D video mapping artworks (pictured above) seemingly follow visitors through this ‘borderless’ space.
The museum opened in June 2018 and continues to attract swarming crowds. Corporate groups are advised to book tickets well in advance and seek VIP access to avoid long queues.
Tsukiji Fish Market: No visit to Tokyo is complete without a stroll through the Tsukiji Fish Market. While the tuna auction and wholesale market has now moved to the shiny new Toyosu Market, the bustling outer market, lined with shops, restaurants and street food vendors, remains very much open for business.
Small incentive groups can battle the crowds to sample fresh oysters, sashimi and takoyaki (battered octopus balls), or escape into a number of sushi bars for an intimate group lunch.