Where many hotels host outlets of sushi chains, Aman Tokyo was honoured to invite Master Chef Musashi, a talented authentic Edomae-style restaurateur into the Aman family. So passionate is Mushashi about every ingredient having honourable origins, that he began planting his own rice just two hours outside of Tokyo to allow true transparency around an organic growing process and provenance. The hotel is now 70% self-sufficient when it comes to rice, and the exceptional flavour of Musashi’s creation can be tasted across Aman Tokyo’s dining venues.
Aman Tokyo’s menus share all the details of their kitchen’s small-scale suppliers. In Japan, discerning diners have a real desire to consider respectful animal welfare and farming practices for all that they eat. The country has a less pronounced emphasis on a movement towards vegetarianism than in other parts of the world, but an unrivalled reverence for provenance. The hotel’s team of chefs regularly visit these suppliers to maintain a strong relationship, and other team members are often invited to join, learning the value of the origin of ingredients - from planting to harvesting – to share with guests.
The commitment to a more circular rice-growing system extends to the spirit of innovation shown by Chef Musashi, who has transformed his personal rice harvest into a truly sophisticated saké perfectly matched to his sushi. In this fermented-rice alcohol, or nihonshu as it’s known in Japan, the most seemingly simple of natural ingredients come together to create a drink of tremendous depth and complexity, an extraordinary interplay of flavours conjured from just rice and water. His brand of premium extra dry sake is available to enjoy at Aman Tokyo.
The world of Sumo
As Japan’s national sport, which began in the Edo period (1603–1868), professional sumo is deeply ceremonious, and the wrestlers lead extremely regulated and hierarchal lives. The cultural preservation of this sport’s traditional elements maintains this remarkable discipline today. Aman Tokyo invites guests through an exclusive intimate journey to experience the power of sumo up close. This private visit to Ryogoku – the Tokyo district that serves as sumo’s heartland – includes meeting the wrestlers of a renowned sumo-beya stable (their residence) during a gruelling, spirited practice session and takes in the Ryōgoku Sumo Hall or Kokugikan Arena and museum.
Volunteering and charity work
From Aman Tokyo’s rooms and suites, the magnificent Imperial Palace - formerly known as the Edo Castle or Chiyoda Castle – can be admired without interruption. The former stronghold of the Tokugawa Shogunate, the hotel is part of a volunteer programme to help keep the palace and its surroundings clean and free of litter. The Aman Tokyo team also supports Second Harvest Japan, the country’s first-ever food bank, and Caritas, an organisation that provides aid to those affected by natural disasters.
The Otemachi Forest, which grows among the Tokyo’s skyscrapers, harbours an invisible power that exceeds the imagination, purifying the air and soothing the spirit. As a young, urban forest it takes on the role of a natural forest, central to the social function, environmental conservation, and biodiversity of its surroundings. For those visiting the city or working in the business district, a simple walk through the forest can help provide a reset. An urban oasis, the forest is an important foundation of Aman Tokyo, exemplifying the brand’s ethos of coexistence with nature.
Further championing biodiversity, the hotel also supports the Ogasawara Islands, home to a wealth of fauna, including the Bonin Flying Fox, a critically endangered bat, and 195 endangered bird species. Also referenced as the Bonin Islands, Aman Tokyo contributes to the protection of this Unesco World Heritage Site through the service of an Ogasawara Cocktail in The Lounge by Aman. An extremely popular tipple, Ogasawara Rum is the cocktail's main ingredient, and is made from sustainable local sugarcane which draws attention to the significance of using small-scale craft producers.