Tokyo

The sixth-gen­er­a­tion di­rec­tor of renowned cham­pagne house Krug, Olivier Krug, re­veals the charms of his favourite city

Hong Kong Tatler - - The Last Word -

’ve had a long-term love af­fair with Ja­pan, and Tokyo in par­tic­u­lar, as it’s where I started my ca­reer 25 years ago. The Ja­panese and the res­i­dents of Tokyo are very pas­sion­ate peo­ple and they are all about giv­ing plea­sure rather than col­lect­ing it. It’s a won­der­ful and vi­brant place to visit.

Tokyo’s res­i­dents are at­tached to her­itage and au­then­tic­ity while be­ing rooted in the present, and are ded­i­cated to ex­cel­lence. This gives the city so much en­ergy. On one hand it has such soul and his­tory, and on the other it in­vites you to go for the un­ex­pected. This con­trast catches my breath ev­ery time I visit. Of course, the food is also a key part of the mix.

I usu­ally wake up early and take my break­fast at the Man­darin Ori­en­tal, Tokyo in Chuo-ku, where I stay. From there, we have a fan­tas­tic view of Mount Fuji. When I wake up re­ally early, I love to go to the Tsuk­iji fish mar­ket, which has a very spe­cial at­mos­phere. One of my pas­sions is fish­ing for sea bass and when I’m not trav­el­ling around the world, I go to a tiny, mag­i­cal is­land in the northwest of France called Île d’yeu. The Tsuk­iji fish mar­ket re­minds me of its port, with the same ex­cite­ment early in the morn­ing.

I al­ways look for peo­ple to con­nect with, to talk and share ideas with. Through peo­ple, I re­ally un­der­stand the soul of the place I’m in. Ev­ery­one has some­thing in­ter­est­ing to add; ev­ery­one has a good story to tell. Tak­ing my time, smelling, lis­ten­ing, feel­ing… as if it is my first time in Tokyo. I al­ways seize the op­por­tu­nity to visit my dear friends in their amaz­ing and sin­gu­lar restau­rants: Chikara Ya­mada, Kanda San and Sushi­dokoro Tada.

The Ber­luti shop in Ginza is the ul­ti­mate shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence. The level of care given in serv­ing their clients of­fers a mo­ment of pure plea­sure. And I’m fas­ci­nated by Ber­luti’s non­con­formist spirit, a her­itage that has per­sisted for gen­er­a­tion af­ter gen­er­a­tion.

If I’m feel­ing cul­tural, I love to go for a tea cer­e­mony. The at­ten­tion to each sin­gle de­tail—the se­lec­tion of one par­tic­u­lar tea, served at a spe­cific tem­per­a­ture, in the per­fect cup—draws my ad­mi­ra­tion. A true art. It’s also a mo­ment when I fo­cus on my feel­ings and emo­tions—a mo­ment of in­tense tran­quil­lity in this city that never set­tles.

I would prob­a­bly end my day in Tokyo by hav­ing din­ner in chef Kanda San’s amaz­ing restau­rant in Mi­nato-ku. We have been friends for nearly 30 years. He’s a real sushi mas­ter and al­ways has Krug in his fridge. Then we would fin­ish the evening in a ra­men bar in Ginza or Shibuya.

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