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May 30, 2007 10:50 PM

One day in Tokyo near Mandarin Oriental

Bringing my husband to Malaysia for first time and transiting through Tokyo. We have 2 days and 1 night, staying at Mandarin Oriental Tokyo. It will be first time in Japan for both of us. Since we have so little time and prefer not to navigate the subway, we would like to stay within walking distance (up to 30 minutes) of our hotel. Can you recommend any breakfast, lunch or dinner places not to be missed? We are planning a visit to the fish market but he prefers something warm for breakfast! We are going to save our sushi meal for lunch or dinner. Ramen for lunch sounds good as well! Dinner can be more fancy.

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  1. I am afraid I have some bad news for you. If you want to stay within 30 mins, there really aren't much around the Mandarin. It is a pretty dead area of town aside from office buildings and a big department store. Your best bet are either inside the hotel (i.e. the Molecular Tapas Bar) or in the Coredo building which is probably a 15 mins walk.

    There are obviously tons of places not to be missed in Tokyo but they just don't happen to be near the Mandarin. My suggestion would be to switch to either the Four Seasons Marnouchi, Conrad, Grand Hyatt or the new Ritz Carlton. I go to Tokyo for business a couple times a year and after one stay at the Mandarin, will never go back again given the poor location.

    9 Replies
    1. re: HKTraveler

      Thanks for the invaluable advice! We are staying at Ritz Carlton instead. Any suggestions for places to eat and hang out? What's the best way to get there from Narita?

      1. re: xanderjoon

        The Limousine bus is usually the easiest (but not the fastest) way to get to hotels that aren't close to Narita Express stops. If it's rush hour and you don't want to be stuck in traffic, then take the Narita Express (to Shibuya probably) and then a taxi.

        1. re: xanderjoon

          Bus or the express train to Shibuya. Otherwise, it will cost you close to $200 to take a taxi from Narita, which is an hour to two hours depending on traffic. (I landed at 2:30 p.m. on my last visit and got into central Tokyo at 6:30 p.m. given immigration, traffic, etc.) When you get to Shibuya, you can easily get a taxi. Email your hotel and ask what they recommend.

          Also, it's a shame to go to Tsukiji and not eat in one of the stands there. You won't be able to help yourself, honestly, there is food everywhere. Remember it's a busy, working market, and you need to be careful that you don't step in something or bump into someone. 5 a.m. is plenty early enough to get the flavor -- and the scent of the place, which will be fairly ripe given that June is hot and humid.

        2. re: HKTraveler

          Oh, I don't know, I think the Mandarin might be a charming place to stay for only one night and two days. There's not a lot of restaurant action within five minutes of the hotel, it's true, but a 30-minute walk radius covers all of Ginza, and 15 minutes covers Tokyo station and most of Marunouchi, which has plenty of good restaurants.

          This map (if it works on your browser) shows restaurants within 1100 meters of the Mandarin (roughly a 15-minute walk):
          Coredo is just 500 meters away.

          The Ritz-Carlton of course is in the heart of Roppongi, with lots of dining options, but also touts on the street, and not much sightseeing.

          1. re: Robb S

            To each their own, but for me, i would recommend the Conrad for a charming one night stay. It is much more accessible to Ginza with a 10 mins walk instead of a 30 mins walk. Tsukiji is close-by for a morning sushi breakfast. And Ginza and Shinbashi offers a good combination of high-end restaurants and working class izakaya.

          2. re: HKTraveler

            What do you think of the Cerulean Towers in Shibuya? Not in the same league as the top tier hotels but comfortable enough for us. Iron chef Chen has a restaurant in the hotel and iron chef Sakai's La Rochelle is across the street from there. Are those restaurants worth going to or overrated?

            1. re: xanderjoon

              Stayed there at least 5 years ago and it was a decent hotel but obviously not of the same standards as the top tiers. Never been to the Iron Chef's restaurants myself.

              1. re: xanderjoon

                La Rochelle's multi-course lunches ( around $40 for four courses ) is one of the best deal in town. Delicious food, picturesquely plated. Service very professional and attentive. Lovely view if you can book a window seat!

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  I worked in Nihonbashi for a few years. Several great places to eat near the Mandarin Oriental.

                  Great ramen at Kyushu Jangara Ramen or Sapporo-ya. If it is hot, go to Sapporo-ya for their hiyashi chuka cold noodles.

                  (The Kyushu Jangara Ramen listed there has a sister shop just behind the Coredo building.


                  Also, for anago, Tamai:
                  Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi 2-9-9 (behind Takashimaya department store)

                  Excellent Japanese cuisine at Yukari:

                  Tempura at Tenmatsu at Nihonbashi bridge.
                  And, of course, Sembikiya at the base of the Mitsui Tower:


                  The Chinese restaurant in the Mandarin is exquisite. And, you have both Takashimaya and Mitsukoshi at your fingertips. And, Ginza is just a hop, skip, and a jump away.

            2. Go no further than across the street to Zakuro, a high-end chain of classic Japanese folk food. In the Goethe magazine article dissing the Michelin guide choices, they picked Zakuro for the best shabu shabu, and I'd agree. Their lunch is a bargain compared to their dinner, which can run high.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Uncle Yabai

                Zakuro has very good shabu shabu . Also ,tomato salad,sesame tofu and turtle soup.They have several branches but I prefer the one opp Mandarin.

                1. re: shrimpwonton

                  Zakuro, I don't know if there is a post on this one. The beef, in Japan, with soy soyce was a revelation for me the first time... And Zakuro is a classic japanese western restaurant and even the "ginza" branch has a menu at lunch with 1,600.-yens, 2,000.-yens, 3780yens prices... Though I don't know the "shabu-shabu", the branch your refering at is different that the other one's ?
                  Another revelation also was the "butter sauted beef with shiso served soy sauce and with steamed vegetables" in an Izakaya near Iidabashi. Unfortunately, the place doesn't have it any more.