The In-Tray

The World’s Most Breathtaking Spa
And Other Tokyo Tips

Aman Tokyo spa swimming pool.

Tokyo has always held a fascination for MECCA co-CEO and founder Jo Horgan. To celebrate the launch of Japanese skincare brand Tatcha in Mecca Cosmetica, she shares her must-do experiences. And for good reason, the brand’s entire philosophy is rooted around omotenashi, the spirit of Japanese hospitality. “Every time I go there—and I’ve been there around 10 times—from the moment I land at the airport it reminds me of everything I want the MECCA service culture to be,” says Horgan. “Everything from the beauty to the politeness to the cleanliness to the absolute focus on you as a guest, I just find it incredibly inspiring to be there.” Horgan visited the Japanese capital earlier this year and to celebrate the launch of cult Japanese skincare brand Tatcha in Mecca Cosmetica stores this month she shares her must-do experiences.

Heavenly Zen moments in the Aman Tokyo spa and treatment room.

THE WORLD’S MOST BREATHTAKING SPA

“This really did induce one of those ‘I think I’m in heaven’ moments. Not only do they have truly exceptional therapists but the setting is incredibly beautiful. Perched on the top of the Otemachi Tower this postmodern Japanese-style sanctuary with sweeping views is just mind-blowing. Imagine padding about between a modern-day version of an onsen and a basalt-lined swimming pool—all floating 34 floors above Tokyo. It’s a truly unique way to see and experience the city. And on a clear day you can spy Mount Fuji whilst soaking. Did I mention the world-class massage?"

The Spa at Aman Tokyo

THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS ANIME STUDIO

“The museum in Studio Ghibli gave me a window into anime, and what a fascinating world it is. This Japanese animation studio has produced some of the most highly-acclaimed works in this space, including Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away which earned director Hayao Miyazaki an Oscar. The museum was quirky and intimate. It’s not for everybody but for me and my family, we just loved it, it lifted the bonnet on just how intricate and complex and time-consuming animation is, and it presented another version of the narrative, because you are used to understanding animation through Disney, and its pretenders, whereas this was just truly authentic. And it is intimate as it only accommodates a few hundred people…all of whom have booked months in advance."

Studio Ghibli

Breathtaking views towards Mount Fuji across the Tokyo skyline.

A RESTAURANT WHICH CELEBRATES SIMPLICITY: YAKUMO SARYO

“It’s a kaiseki restaurant (they serve a multi-course, seasonal menu) and while you can book in on your own for breakfast and lunch you need to be introduced to go for dinner (thank you Dennis). It’s the brainchild of designer Shinichiro Ongata and it was extraordinary, just everything you can imagine about Japanese food, preparation, presentation—the experience is pared back to the most exquisite simplicity or most simple exquisiteness, it’s one and the same, just sublimely beautiful. It’s a visual feast from the place, the room, the setting, the utensils—every detail was thought through and presented in such a disciplined fashion so you could focus on the true hero of the night, the food.”

Yakumo Saryo

the last word

“No-one should go to Japan without visiting Naoshima and Teshima islands, the art meccas on the east coast of Japan on the Seto Inland Sea. Museums and buildings designed by architects Tadao Ando and Kazuhiro Ishii respectively, works by Turrell, Warhol, Monet, Kusama, where do I stop. Just go.”

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