A Frenchman's guide to trendy Tokyo


City guide: Tokyo, Japan

Originally from France, Philippe now lives in Japan and runs TFC, a company that helps fashion companies set up in Japan. We ask him about his Tokyo.

How long have you lived in Tokyo?

25 years!

What are your favourite boutiques in Tokyo?

Multi-outlet boutique brand Tomorrowland
With multiple labels of its own, the boutique also carries other independent foreign brands.

Multi-brand shop Super A Market
Eclectic selection of local and international brands

Jean-Paul Knott, Sacai and Dries Van Noten in Aoyama

Restir in Roppongi
Eclectic selection of rock-inspired men's and ladies' clothing.

Saturday's in Daikanyama
This is the Tokyo outpost of the New York surf-inspired, preppy brand

Tomorrowland (tomorrowland.co.jp), Super A Market (superamarket.jp), Jean-Paul Knott (jeanpaulknott.com), Sacai (sacai.jp), Dries van Noten (driesvannoten.be), Restir (restir.com), Saturday's (saturdaysnyc.com)

Saturdays Surf NYC Sacai Dries van Noten Pictured above: Saturday's (credit: Marcus Troy and Hipshops), Sacai (credit: Lane Crawford), Dries Van Noten (credit: Hint blog)

Design in Tokyo

Mint Designs Photo credit: Mint Designs

Who are some Japanese designers the world should be watching out for?

Mint Designs (pictured above) for their bright colors and playful symmetry
They do some incredible work with textiles.

Ambush has great statement jewelry
Their collection features experimental, unisex designs.

Facetasm for their bold streetwear
Men's contemporary fashion started by Tokyo designer Hiromichi Ochiai.

Womenswear label Hyke for simple, modern simplicity
They have a strong emphasis on aesthetics like materials and tailoring.

Enfold Photo credit: Enfold

Muveil features playful, thematic designs
This collection by Michiko Nakayama's influences in her daily life.

Fashion label Enfold (pictured above) for stylish comfortable wear
Its bold color palette brightens other typical autumn/winter collections.

Somarta for its stunning, attention-grabbing pieces
Dare-to-be-different designs, Somarta features a collection for experiential fashion.

Mint Designs (mint-designs.com), Ambush (ambush design.com), Facetasm (facetasm.jp), Hyke (hyke.jp), Muveil (gallerymuveil.com), Enfold (enfold.jp),Somarta (somarta.jp)

Where do you go to get inspired and creatively recharged?

Nezu Museum because of the total quietness
Perfect tranquility amidst the busy fashion center of Aoyama.

Scai the Bath House is cool culture haven
It is an ex-bathhouse converted into art gallery, set in a remote area in Tokyo.
It is a must-see for all art lovers.

Mori Art Museum
They showcase some very interesting and relevant exhibitions.

T-Site in Daikanyama for its architectural beauty
T-Site also boasts a well-curated selection of art books.

Nezu Museum (nezu-muse.or.jp), Scai the Bath House (scaithebathhouse.com), Mori Art Museum (mori.art.museum), T-Site (www.tsite.jp)

Nezu Museum Pictured above: Nezu Museum, 6 - 5 - 1 Minami- Aoyama Minato- ku , Tokyo 107- 0062

Dining in Tokyo

Honmura An

Where are your favourite eats?

Honmura An for exquisite soba
A short walk from Roppongi Hills.

Cool and trendy izakaya Narukiyo (pictured below)
This izakaya is located in the elegant neighborhood of Aoyama.


The Japanese are always inspired by the French - where can you find good french food in Tokyo?

Tokyo is a city with a good supply of French restaurants. Here are some of my favorites.

Benoit, a bistro by Alain Ducasse in Aoyama
Quintessence, 3 Michelin stars
Lauburu, for Basque cuisine that focuses on pork dishes.
La Pitchouli de Loulou for casual and hearty French fare.
Narisawa, for something more sophisticated.
L'embellir in Aoyama
Chez Inno for classic French cuisine.
Le Mange Tout, 2 Michelin stars

Benoit (benoit-tokyo.com), Quintessence (quintessence.jp), Lauburu (lauburu.jp), La Pitchouli de Loulou (chez-tomo.com/loulou), Narisawa (narisawa-yoshihiro.com), L'embellir (lembellir.com), Chez Inno(chezinno.jp), Le Mange Tout (www.le-mange-tout.com)

We hear you are setting up a French dining concept of a butcher shop. Can you tell us more about this?

People are becoming more conscious about the quality of the food they get. The idea is to bring to Tokyo food lovers, a good selection of meat products that come from grass-fed animals, who are not given any antibiotics and hormones, and are raised in the most traditional way.

Hugo Desnoyer, a butcher in Paris, became famous for the high quality of his products, choosing his animals at their birth and accompanying them all their lives with a controlled and healthy diet. After success in his Paris boutiques/meat bars, we decided to propose the same experience to Japanese consumers, gourmets and connoisseurs in quality meat.

The Japanese have so many ways of cooking their meat. What are some good places for meat in Tokyo?

Shonzui in Roppongi, is a small French restaurant with a small and simple menu, and a great selection of meat.
Nakasei for their selection of quality Japanese beef. Hama for a traditional Japanese teppanyaki dinner with beef.

Shonzui, Nakasei (naka-sei.com), Hama

What are some of your favorite bars in Tokyo?

Bar Costume National - Wall for its amazing living wall in a bar.
Trench in Ebisu for their lovely cocktails.
Bridge in Shibuya.
Trump Room is totally dedacent and the place to be seen.

Bar Costume National (cnac.jp/wall/), Trench (small-axe.net/bar-trench), Bridge, Trump Room

Stylish stays in Tokyo

In Tokyo, it's all about location. Here are a few Tokyo apartments in the heart of the city.

alt Bright and spacious in the heart of Shibuya

alt 2 bedroom apartment within walking distance of Tokyo Tower

alt Prime location in Roppongi Hills