There’s little doubt that the mere mention of Tokyo will capture the attention of discerning groups seeking their next business event, conference or incentive destination. The city is high up on the bucket-list of people with an insatiable curiosity about what makes Japan’s capital “tick”.
What is it about the combination of ancient traditions and modernism that makes Tokyo so fascinating? How can groups get closer to understanding that particular sense of service and hospitality that is so special the Japanese have their own world for it, ometonashi?
Thanks to the efforts of Business Tokyo Events Tokyo, meeting and event planners have even greater access to the charms, excitement, expertise and the sheer variety of facilities the city has to offer.
Here are some examples of activities that can be deployed at either side of conferences, as part of spousal programmes or as memorable incentive experiences:
Themed events and teambuilding
Sushi-making: Prepare sushi under the expert guidance of professionals and also learn about the history of the dish and the varieties of fish. Then enjoy the team-bonding experience by tasting the sushi you have prepared.
Japanese cooking: The culinary teambuilding opportunities available through Business Events Tokyo extend to a traditional Japanese cooking lesson in which participants also learn about seasonal ingredients and simple recipes.
Wagashi: The art of creating these sweets dates back centuries. Under the guidance of an expert in the craft, delegates can learn how to make wagashi. And there’s no better way to enjoy these treats than at a Japanese Tea Ceremony.
Samurai and Taiko
For groups seeking to raise the thrills a few notches, there’s Samurai Training in which participants are taught the way of the warrior safely while donning a traditional kimono.
To tap into a group’s rhythm, try a Taiko lesson – the traditional Japanese drum. Groups learn the beats before playing the various sized instruments in unison.
To appreciate the finer points of the unique philosophy, sense of beauty and lifestyle that has fascinated travellers to Japan over the years, groups can choose from activities ranging from “Strolling around Town in a Kimono” to learning the ancient Japanese craft of Creating a Bonsai Tree.
Enliven your events
Though professional sumo draws high-ranking contestants from overseas, the tradition is uniquely Japanese. Stable visits where groups can observe sumo training and culture up close have long been a fixture in Tokyo, but now a clash of titans can arranged for your event.
A technological addition is a robot commenting on key parts of the ancient rituals and grappling moves. Group members are even invited to make a friendly challenge against one of the sumo giants.
Tradition again meets modernism when it comes to the dance and theatre forms of Kabuki (below) and Noh. Thrilling audio-visuals combined with the enthralling presence of a Kabuki “lion dance performer” moving around the hall will provide an opening ceremony to remember.
For an equally edifying cultural experience, the classical art of Noh offers a mesmerising stage presence as well as insights into Japanese culture. Unesco has designated Noh an intangible part of World Heritage.
Seeing the city
The experiences in Tokyo extend to dining, water cruises, and shopping – whether department stores or shopping streets to bargains at wholesale market stalls, or the freshness of a local market experience.
Business Events Tokyo can provide sample itineraries and special offers to conference and event organisers. The ideas in this article were selected from the booklet, Tokyo – 40 Special Ideas for Corporate Meetings & Incentive Travel