A heady mix of traditional and modern, the largest metropolis in the world is ever-changing and always innovating, making Tokyo the exciting choice for your conference abroad.
With more people than any other urban area in the world, Tokyo is a hub for people, things, information and so much more that keeps the bustling economy moving. Hosting 269 major international conferences a year, Tokyo ranks as the fifth convention city in the world according to the UIA International Meetings Statistics Report (2017) in terms of the number of conferences, with a proven track record of accommodating MICE events of every scale and type.
A city with a population of over 13 million needs a vast international flight network, unrivaled public transportation system, venues of all types and an abundance of lodging choices. Cited as among the best in the world, Tokyo’s infrastructure has been built to cope with the constant flow of business people and leisure travellers that are consistently drawn to the city at the centre of Japan’s archipelago. Business Events Tokyo, the professional team which works in cooperation with the city, provides the support needed to make your business event a success.
From historic temples to iconic skyscrapers, Tokyo is an architectural wonderland balancing innovative design with appreciation for its remarkable past. Tokyo boasts an exciting blend of artisanal and contemporary culture that dates back 400 years. The city’s charm and refinement can be seen in its vibrant cuisine, innovative architecture, trendsetting fashions and historic areas.
Part of every must-see tour of Tokyo is the Imperial Palace, where the emperor and empress reside. Located on the former site of Edo Castle, a large park area surrounds it with moats and massive stone walls and is a short walk from Tokyo Station.
Edo Castle used to be the seat of the Tokugawa shogun who ruled Japan from 1603 until 1867. In 1868, the shogunate was overthrown, and the country’s capital and imperial residence were moved from Kyoto to Tokyo. In 1888, construction of a new Imperial Palace was completed. The palace was even destroyed during the Second World War and rebuilt in the same style afterwards.
The palace’s outer garden, east garden and Kitanomaru Garden are open to the public without charge, but reservations are required to visit the area around the palace itself. A favorite photo opportunity for many tourists is before the Nijubashi Bridge in the east garden when the cherry blossoms are in bloom.
Tokyo loves a good tower! Tokyo Skytree® is one of the iconic landmarks of the city’s skyline, and the highest freestanding tower in the world, at 634 metres. The tower features over 300 establishments, including a planetarium, cafés, restaurants and a spiral corridor, 450 metres up. Tokyo Tower however, built in 1958, remains a beloved city icon. Taller than the Eiffel Tower by 13 metres, but lighter by 3,000 tons, some 34,000 litres of paint covers the structure. Lit by 180 floodlights, it remains the classic symbol of the city. FootTown, a four-story building directly under the tower, houses museums, restaurants and shops.
Established in honor of the bodhisattva, Kannon in the 7th century, Sensoji Temple in Asakusa is the oldest temple in Tokyo. Local souvenirs can be found on the Nakamise shopping street approaching the temple, and rickshaws are available for guided tours of the Edo period neighborhood. 170,000 trees of some 234 species of grow around Meiji Jingu Shrine and the cypress wood torii gate at the entrance is over 1,500 years old. Dedicated to Emperor Meiji, who reigned during the turn of the last century, the emperor supposedly designed the garden for his wife.
From large sites accommodating thousands to intimate meeting rooms, Tokyo offers convention venues of all shapes and sizes to suit your needs.
Tokyo Big Sight, which is the largest exhibition centre in Japan, is located in Tokyo’s vibrant waterfront area. The Conference Tower is a landmark of the area, the East and West exhibition halls have a combined total floor space of 95,420 sqm. The South Exhibition Halls, with 20,000 sqm, will be completed in July 2019, providing a total of 115,420 sqm. The International Conference Room has a capacity of 1,000 people, and there are 22 other conference rooms of various sizes.
In central Tokyo is the Tokyo International Forum (TIF), the largest international conference centre in the area. Located between the business district of Marunouchi and the popular Ginza shopping district, it’s just a five-minute walk from Tokyo Station. TIF consists of eight distinctive halls ranging from multi-level theatres to open spaces, 34 conference rooms, galleries, a refreshing ground level plaza with greenery and a variety of shops and restaurants. Its largest hall features 5,012 seats and includes an exhibition hall with a large glass atrium, giving it an artistic elegance.
Transforming the Tokyo Bay area, Ariake Garden City is a multipurpose facility including a spa, shopping centre and rooftop pool terrace. Set to open in May 2020, this event hall will accommodate up to 2,000 people in each event space, making for a total capacity of 8,000. Adjoining hotel facilities with 750 rooms will offer a convenient place to stay nearby too.
Located near Tokyo Tower and within walking distance of the National Art Center is Tokyo Midtown, a premium MICE events venue. Containing two convention halls of 770 sqm and 540 sqm, the venue also includes conference rooms which can accommodate up to 180 delegates in a reception style set-up. The Ritz-Carlton is located on-site and also features a stunning ballroom and meeting rooms.
A Wealth of Knowledge
Tokyo has dozens if not hundreds of museums, spanning nearly every topic and interest. Museum fans with limited time should consider a visit to Ueno Park where a variety of first-class museums are concentrated closely together, along with some smaller museums. Those planning to visit multiple museums should consider using the Grutto Pass. For 2,200 yen, the pass provides entrance or discounted entrance to more than 90 museums, zoos and aquariums.
A highlight is Mori Art Museum, located on the 53rd floor of the Mori Tower. It aims to take the lead in introducing the newest art from Asia and other regions of the world, with a key emphasis on the concepts of being contemporary and international. The National Art Center and Museum of Contemporary Art both have themed exhibitions that celebrate all kinds of artwork and pieces of national interest. Edo-Tokyo Museum has a replica of the Nihonbashi Bridge leading to the permanent exhibit covering more than 400 years of history, while the Tokyo National Museum holds a collection of some 116,000 works, including painting, calligraphy, sculpture, archaeology and examples of the decorative arts, of which 4,000 items are exhibited at any one time.
Venues to Remember
Hotel Gajoen Tokyo is an iconic museum hotel comprised of banquet rooms, restaurants, accommodation and a gallery. Decorated by leading Japanese artists of the 1920s, it features a combination of lavish sculptures, vivid murals and ceiling paintings. Each of the 23 banquet rooms has its own special character, and the Maiogi ballroom is large enough to welcome up to 1,200 guests.
Happo-en is a picturesque venue, combining traditionally styled buildings with a beautiful Japanese garden dating back nearly 400 years. Containing 14 banquet halls with flexible room layouts and surrounded by lush greenery, the largest hall, Jour, can be configured to welcome up to 800 guests. The Hakuho-kan, a Japanese-style annex to the rear of the garden boasts a 240 sqm banquet hall that can be changed to tatami mat flooring, the largest of its kind in Tokyo. The stunning natural setting of Happo-en makes it ideal for outdoor parties, with potential guests enjoying al fresco cocktails in the heart of the city.
Direct flights from London’s Heathrow Airport to Tokyo’s two main airports Narita International Airport and Haneda Airport are available from British Airways and Japan’s ANA airline. ANA also organises regular journeys from Birmingham Airport, Manchester Airport or Glasgow via Brussels, Munich, Frankfurt or Dusseldorf. There are plenty of public transportation options to reach central Tokyo from the airports including the JR Narita Express train, the Keisei Skyliner electric train, buses, taxis and even helicopters.