Be­tween meet­ings?

Qantas - - Qbusiness. -

Yes, it’s touristy but Tokyo Skytree (tokyo-skytree.jp), at 634 me­tres, of­fers im­pres­sive views over the en­tire city. Visit late in the af­ter­noon af­ter the school groups have left and you’ll get a stun­ning view of the sun slip­ping be­hind Mount Fuji. Be­low the tower, there’s a stylish shop­ping cen­tre sell­ing plenty of sou­venirs. Also check out the com­pact, sur­pris­ingly grown-up Su­mida Aquar­ium, where you can have a beer while watch­ing gam­bolling pen­guins. There’s no bet­ter way to re­lax than soak­ing in a hot min­eral bath, though be­ing naked in front of strangers takes some get­ting used to. Spa LaQua (laqua.jp), next to Tokyo Dome, is open all night so you can de-stress any­time. You’ll get cot­ton py­ja­mas and a wrist­band that func­tions as your pay­ment sys­tem for mas­sages and re­fresh­ments. As at most Japanese pools, on­sens and gyms, there’s a strict no-tat­toos pol­icy. The Su­mida area is known for sumo and it’s not un­usual to see the wrestlers, with their sig­na­ture top­knots, shop­ping in their yukatas (robes). But it’s the new Su­mida Hoku­sai Mu­seum (hoku­sai-mu­seum.jp), ded­i­cated to Su­mida’s most fa­mous artist, that’s get­ting all the at­ten­tion. De­signed by Pritzker Prize win­ner Kazuyo Se­jima, the façade has echoes of the Guggen­heim Mu­seum in Bil­bao. Hoku­sai’s wood­block print, The Great Wave, is promi­nently dis­played. The very cool Beams Ja­pan (beams.co.jp) in Shin­juku sells off­beat sou­venirs (think Hello Kitty shower san­dals) and fash­ion over six floors and has a con­stant stream of funky pop-up shops. The city’s best depart­ment store, Ise­tan, is just steps away; don’t miss the amaz­ing food hall in the base­ment.

You’d never guess that one of the world’s busiest busi­ness dis­tricts would also be home to a spec­tac­u­lar and very peace­ful gar­den. Orig­i­nally the es­tate of Lord Naito dur­ing the Edo pe­riod, Shin­juku Gy­oen (env.go.jp) was opened to the pub­lic af­ter World War II. It fea­tures a for­mal French gar­den and a ram­bling English land­scape but it’s the clas­si­cal Japanese gar­den, with koi ponds, arched bridges and tra­di­tional tea houses, that draws the most vis­i­tors, es­pe­cially in spring and au­tumn.

Get a bird’s-eye view of Tokyo from the Skytree tower in Su­mida

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