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Nate Fong's Guide to Toyko

By Nate Fong
Director, Business Development
APCA

| January 26, 2018

Nate lays in the snow, posing for a picture with a snowboard strapped to his feet

Nate Fong's Guide to Toyko

I started at TransPerfect in 2010 as an Account Manager in Portland, Oregon. At that point, the furthest extent of my travels was Vancouver – and I was born in a town with less than one million people. I had a major itch to see the world. Enter TransPerfect – sending me on trips to New York, San Diego, New Orleans, Washington DC, Boston… but it wasn’t enough. I was looking for a bigger challenge. Before I knew it, I had a one-way ticket to Hong Kong, and it was the best decision of my life. Boat parties, 100+ floor skyscrapers, and a mammoth culture shock from both a professional and personal perspective.

Two short years later, I was called north to Tokyo. Japan is peaceful, clean, and the food scene is off the charts. Sometimes it feels like you’re in a video game; sometimes it feels like you’re simultaneously living in 1985 and 2100.

After four years in Asia, an opportunity with TransPerfect presented itself in Los Angeles, so I was off yet again! I’ve now been in L.A. since April, and the amount of opportunity is staggering. I’m more excited than I ever have been in my nearly seven years with TransPerfect, but I’ll always have a special place for Tokyo and the “wild wild East” that Asia brings.

What is your favorite restaurant?

Teppen Otoko Dojo. In addition to delicious beef, they serve great highballs. An insider tip: be sure to head over to the bar across the street afterward. It has tambourines, so you can dance the night away!

Where should we go for a cocktail?

Golden Gai is an area that’s famous for tiny bars, known as “dens,” that each fit a maximum of ten people. There are more than 270 bars crammed into seven streets. Remember to bring plenty of yen here, as they only take cash.

Best bar to meet up with friends?

Make your way to Roppongi, and you’ll have a good time wherever you end up.

Being a sports fanatic, where should I go?

I say forget about the bars and head to a live baseball game. My daughter loves the synchronized umbrella dances.

Can you recommend any good clothing boutiques?

Harijuku has a number of local shops with brand-less, but good quality clothing.

We’re celebrating a special occasion, where should we go?

A private On-Sen outside of Tokyo. It’s a natural, hot spring bath and my go-to place for relaxation.

Local speciality?

You’d be crazy not to head to the Tsukiji fish market for the freshest sashimi and sushi around.

What is Tokyo known for?

Sushi. Being polite. Cute things. Odd fetishes.

What is the best area to stay in when visiting town?

Shinjuku is the central hub. It’s where you can experience Tokyo either at its quietest or at its loudest.

Fun fact

Japan has the highest density of vending machines in the world: 5.52 million.

Don’t leave the city without…

Having a night out in Golden Gai or Drunkards Alley.

Tokyo
  • 'Teppen Otoko Dojo. In addition to delicious beef, they serve great highballs.'

  • Nate
  • 'You’d be crazy not to head to the Tsukiji fish market for the freshest sashimi and sushi around.'

  • Nate
  • 'Golden Gai is an area that’s famous for tiny bars, known as “dens,” that each fit a maximum of ten people.'

  • Nate
  • 'Make your way to Roppongi, and you’ll have a good time wherever you end up.'

  • Nate
  • 'Harijuku has a number of local shops with brand-less, but good quality clothing.'

  • Nate
  • 'A private On-Sen outside of Tokyo. (i.e Niwa no Yu)'

  • Nate
  • 'Shinjuku is the central hub.'

  • Nate
  • 'Drunkards Alley'

  • Nate

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