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イ ン タ ッ チ マ ガ ジ ン 二 〇 一 七 年 一 月 一 日 発 行  


毎 月 一 回 一 日 発 行  

平 成 三 年 十 二 月 二 十 日 第 三 種 郵 便 物 許 可 定 価 八 0 0 円

The Road Ahead

本 体 七 四 一 円

New Club President Michael Alfant shares his vision for the Tokyo institution JANUARY 2017

R E F U G E E R E S P O N S E + A G E - O L D STA N D U P + S A D D L E W O R KO U T

Contents 22 A STE ADY HAND

IT entrepreneur Michael Alfant explains how his many start-up successes will help him in his new role as Club president.


Two performers from a notable kyogen dynasty bring their theatrical art form to the Club.

5 6






17 19 21 22












Member Angie Bell shares the challenges and rewards of supporting refugees in Greece.








Representative Governor Michael Alfant (2017)

Editor Nick Jones

First Vice President Michael Benner (2018)

Second Vice President Alok Rakyan (2017)

Assistant Editor Nick Narigon

Secretar y Ginger Griggs (2017)

Senior Designer Enrique Balducci

Treasurer Hiroshi Miyamasu (2017)

Designer Anna Ishizuka

Governors Jesse Green (2018), Sandra Isaka (2018),

Designer Tatia Gimmig

Lance E Lee (2017), Gregory Lyon (2018),

Production Administrator Yuko Shiroki

Mark Miller (2017), Anthony Moore (2018),


Machi Nemoto (2018), Jerry Rosenberg (2018)

Anthony L Cala

Statutor y Auditor Kazuakira Nakajima (2018)

CLUB COMMITTEE CHAIRS Compensation Mark Miller Culture, Community & Enter tainment Dan Smith (Sandra Isaka)

ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGERS Business Suppor t Lian Chang Business Operations Brian Marcus

Finance Paul Kuo (Hiroshi Miyamasu)


Food & Beverage Jim Weisser (Ginger Griggs)

Member Services & Guest Relations Jonathan Allen

House Ray Klein (Jesse Green)

Communications Shane Busato

Human Resources Per Knudsen (Anthony Moore)

Engineering Darryl Dudley

Membership Steven Greenberg (Machi Nemoto)

Revenue Management Suranga Hettige Don

Nominating Dieter Haberl

Human Resources Shuji Hirakawa

Recreation Bryan Norton (Gregory Lyon)

Management Office & Membership Wayne Hunter

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Dean Rogers (Jerry Rosenberg)

Information Technology Toby Lauer

Parentheses denote Board liaison.

SUBCOMMITTEE CHAIRS Frederick Harris Galler y Yumiko Sai

Finance Naoto Okutsu Recreation Scott Yahiro Food & Beverage Nori Yamazaki


Wine TBC Facilities Management Group Douglas Schafer


Fitness Tom Schinaman

Joan Bailey

Golf Steve Doi

Jerome Finck

Librar y Judith Ann Herd

Tim Hornyak

Logan Room Christa Rutter

Alison Kanegae

Squash Pete Juds

Hiroshi Miyamasu

Swim Alexander Jampel


Youth Activities Betsy Rogers

Yuuki Ide Ken Katsurayama Kayo Yamawaki



Explore the Club’s range of advertising possibilities by talking to

To arrange a tour of the facilities, contact the

the Club’s exclusive advertising agency, Custom Media.

Membership Office.

Custom Media President Robert Heldt

Tokyo American Club

Custom Media Publisher Simon Farrell

2-1-2 Azabudai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-8649


03-4540-7730 |

03-4588-0687 |

All prices referenced in INTOUCH exclude 8 percent consumption tax.





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The suit connoisseur will be staying at Tokyo American Club January 19–20





y reelection as treasurer at November’s Board meeting prompted me to think about what I wanted to achieve for the Club in 2017. This is my third consecutive two-year term as a Club governor and, in accordance with the Club’s Articles of Association, the maximum number of successive terms I can serve. Working with the Club’s new president, Michael Alfant, Board, committees and management team, I am keen to do something for the Club’s long-term future. In particular, I’d like to think about how the Club can better forecast the key membership turnover periods, which, in turn, would enable us to revise our TAC 20/20 financial plan when necessary. Our community of more than 3,800 Members is made up of a variety of nationalities, who stay for varying lengths of time. But among the monthly comings and goings, there are some patterns. In general, foreign Members on expatriate assignments stay in Japan for three or four years, while Japanese Members remain at the Club for an average of 20 years. What has changed over the past few years is the number of expats sent to Japan by their companies. Twenty years ago, for example, large multinationals would regularly rotate staff in and out of the country. But following the global financial crisis, firms started to recruit local talent, regardless of their nationality. I have many friends at the Club who fall into this category. In addition, investment in Japan is declining. Many foreign companies see Japan as a solid market, but one that has limited growth potential due to its graying, shrinking population. Naturally, these two trends have a clear effect on our community. The Club’s net revenue for last year was nearly ¥4.7 billion, with about ¥635 million of that, or almost 14 percent, from entrance, transfer and Life Membership fees. With fewer Members leaving and joining the Club, and a membership cap a possibility at some point in the future, the Club must be prepared for a potential decrease in the entrance, transfer and Life Membership fees we receive each month. Such a scenario would require an examination of various Club expenses and revenue streams, including our dues structure and operational costs. I have visited various reciprocal clubs abroad. Some, like the 151-year-old Harvard Club in New York, are exceptional institutions. There are others, though, that have since closed. The difference between the two types seems to be a club’s vision and its ability to adapt to changing circumstances. As we look ahead to the coming year, let us be ready to grasp opportunities and adapt.


Hiroshi Miyamasu is the Club treasurer.




Cocktails and Chat

The Power of Polls

Barrel-Rested Negroni  Campari  The Botanist Islay Dry Gin  Carpano Antica Formula 1786 Red Vermouth  Served on the rocks with orange zest

CHOP Steakhouse is inviting Members to toast the New Year at its new bar from January 11. The stylish, inviting space will feature a wood-topped bar counter with four chairs, along with bottle displays and beer taps (see interior rendering below). Nathan Baggs, the Club’s beverage director, says the remodeled CHOP Bar is “a sophisticated alternative to Traders’ Bar” and its design encourages socializing among Members while they enjoy a pre-dinner drink or casual midweek meal. In celebration of this new imbibing spot, CHOP is offering barrel-rested negroni cocktails for just ¥2,200 a glass. Refreshing and packing plenty of punch, CHOP’s take on this Italian classic is rested in charred American oak barrels for at least eight weeks. “Resting the spirits gives them a rounder flavor profile while infusing them with a soft nuttiness and mellow char,” Baggs says. NJ




Most people don’t need too much convincing to share their opinion. Which is a good thing if you’re a company and want to hear what your customers think about your product or service. In 2010, it was reported that adult Americans received 7 billion online survey invitations. As our lives become increasingly intertwined with the Internet, we can safely assume that we’re being asked to give feedback even more now. Feedback is an invaluable resource for organizations, and the digital world makes gathering it much easier. But while surveys can provide useful insights, customer service expert Adrian Swinscoe says they are most effective when they’re short, acted upon and conducted soon after a customer’s experience. In this month’s cover story, “A Steady Hand,” IT entrepreneur and new Club President Michael Alfant expounds the importance of continually listening to Members. Besides the well-established Tell TAC feedback system, the Club also conducts an annual satisfaction survey with Members. Last year, Members were also sent a Club communications survey. Following our redesign of INTOUCH last year, we were keen to hear what Members thought. Seventy-four percent of respondents said the new-look magazine was either good or excellent. People also told us how often they read INTOUCH, which sections they read, how many people read their copy and whether they read the online version. This kind of feedback allows us to fine-tune and evolve the publication in response to shifting Member preferences. With this mind, you can expect another (concise) survey later in the year. Happy New Year!



Killer Wines from California

Spa Surprises

Renowned wine critic Robert Parker wasn’t short of superlatives in his review of Colgin’s 2012 IX Estate red blend. Besides highlighting the wine’s “spectacular aromatics” and “pristine harmony,” he bestowed this Napa Valley “sensational tour de force” with an extraordinary 99-point rating. Limited bottles of the Ann Colgin-crafted wine are available at The Cellar for ¥71,900. Traveling south to downtown Berkeley, the Donkey & Goat Winery is a stone’s throw from the shores of San Francisco Bay. Currently available by the glass through the Winter Garden’s Enomatic wine dispenser, the winery’s intriguing 2012 Stone Crusher Roussanne is an orange-colored white wine and well worth enjoying on its own or with something off the American Bar & Grill menu. NJ Everyone’s a winner at The Spa this January. Spend at least ¥7,000 on any treatment this month, and you’ll automatically receive entry into the New Year lucky draw, with the chance to win from a host of prizes, including free products and discounts for treatments. Contact The Spa for details. NJ




Learning the Lingo

Cowboy Classic

A Secret Worth Sharing

Taeko Kamiya’s Speak Japanese Today: A Self-Study Course of Learning Everyday Spoken Japanese is the perfect book to jump-start that New Year’s resolution. Its concise lessons and review chapters are designed to make learning (and remembering) Japanese easy. Other new titles at the Library include Andrés Reséndez’s illuminating The Other Slavery and the tragicomedy Kids of Appetite by David Arnold. AK

Denzel Washington leads a Wild West posse in last year’s stunning remake of The Magnificent Seven, in which a band of misfits protects a small town from a gang of corrupt officials and bandits. This month’s other new titles at The Cellar include Disney’s live-action version of Pete’s Dragon and Meryl Streep’s delightful turn as the tonedeaf Florence Foster Jenkins. NN

One good turn deserves another. So if you introduce a friend, colleague or acquaintance to the Club, and that person becomes a Member, we’ll be happy to show our appreciation with a ¥40,000 Club voucher. To learn more about this offer, contact the Membership Office at 03-4588-0687 or NJ




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A presentation that educated top diplomats and corporate leaders



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Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter management in Japanese and English for


Impactful, customizable


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Kitzbühel Country Club

Aya Kishida

Kitzbühel Country Club is the perfect destination for Members looking to enjoy Austria’s breathtaking mountain scenery or its renowned ski runs. Located in the Tirol region, close to one of the world’s largest ski resorts, the club is the country’s only private members’ club. Naturally, Kitzbühel boasts an array of outdoor programs, from skiing and horseback riding to fishing and climbing. The club also features restaurants, a gymnasium, spa, pool and even its own movie theater. NJ  SKY POOL

Olympic Clinic

Just a few months after competing at the Rio Olympics, top swimmer Miguel Ortiz-Cañavate dropped by the Sky Pool to offer tips to members of the Club’s masters swim program. Ortiz-Cañavate, who was a member of Spain’s 4x100-meter freestyle relay team, spent 90 minutes coaching the class of 11 swimmers in freestyle techniques. Sky Pool manager Haldane Henry says the clinic was an excellent opportunity for Members to learn from a pro. “Miguel clearly showed that even if you’re a strong swimmer, when it comes to competing, technique is everything,” Henry explains. NJ

“ There’s so much context to his paintings,” says Aya Kishida of Diego Velázquez, the 17th-century portrait-painting darling of the court of Spain’s King Philip IV. Velázquez’s works, introduced to Kishida by an art teacher at her school in Hong Kong, ignited a deeper interest in art. Her creative exploration continued at Ontario College of Art and Design University in Canada, where she studied drawing and painting. “It was about improvement in the way I thought about things and interpreted things,” the 24-year-old says. Kishida’s degree thesis was on a subject far removed from Baroque-period painting: Japan’s kawaii culture of cute. A one-time kawaii disciple herself, Kishida later spent 10 months working at a clothes store along Takeshita Street in Tokyo’s kawaii hub, Harajuku. As a fluent English speaker, she regularly handled the queries of curious foreign tourists. “It made me happy that I could put people at ease and help. Then I thought I could use English in the same kind of way,” she says of her subsequent move to the Club in 2015. When she first visited the Club, she found the atmosphere “familiar,” after the international environments of her schools in the Philippines and Hong Kong. Kishida now works in the Club Reservations Center, the Club’s frontline for phone inquiries. “I think it’s been great so far,” says November’s Employee of the Month. Meanwhile, her days of kawaii frills and stuffed toys appear banished to the past. “I think I’ve left that phase,” she says. NJ





Events in January


 Bowling Center  ¥300  Details online

Keep boredom at bay with a weeklong session of New Year fun. For ages 3 to 9.



 Members: ¥45,000 (non-Members: ¥60,000)  Sign up online

The Club takes a break on New Year’s Day and welcomes back Members on January 2.

Counselors lead an exploration of interactive exhibits and displays. Recommended for ages 6 to 12. Transportation and entrance fee included.

Club Closure


New Year’s Buffet

Celebrate 2017 at Rainbow Café with a spread of family favorites.

Tally two scores for a chance to win fun daily prizes.

Science Museum Field Trip

 9am–5pm  ¥10,000  Sign up online


Mommy and Toddler Time

 11am–7:30pm  Rainbow Café  Adults: ¥2,980; juniors (12–17 years): ¥1,900; children (7–11 years): ¥1,390; kids (4–6 years): ¥950; infants (3 & under): free

Meet fellow moms and toddlers at a fun, weekly get-together. Continues every Friday.


Mother Farm Field Trip

New Year’s Bowling

Ring in the New Year with pins and prizes.  Bowling Center  Adults: ¥620; children: ¥520


Winter Break SAT Class

Students targeting admission to top US universities learn essential strategies for entrance exam success.  9am–6pm  Jean Pearce Classroom  ¥280,000  Sign up online


Winter Reading Program

Kids win prizes for reading 10 books and collecting stamps at the Library.


Championship Football Season

Catch every NFL playoff game and college football’s top bowl games on the Traders’ Bar screens.  Details online


Exceptional Celebrations

Kick off the year in style with a shinnenkai party at the Club. Contact the Club’s event organizers.  Details online


Lucky Break Bowling



 2pm  Childcare Center  Free


Pet farm animals and enjoy the great outdoors of Chiba on this counselor-led trip. Recommended for ages 6 to 12. Transportation and entrance fee included.  9am–5pm  ¥10,000  Sign up online


New Member Orientation

Learn about the Club while meeting other new Members. Also at 6:30pm on January 25. Contact the Membership Office to reserve your spot at least one week in advance.  10am  Washington & Lincoln rooms


World Weekend Buffet

Rainbow Café’s weekend buffet features authentic East Asian delicacies.  Adults: ¥2,980; juniors (12–17 years): ¥1,900; children (7–11 years): ¥1,390; kids (4–6 years): ¥950; infants (3 & under): free


Lucky Gods Walking Tour

Garner good fortune for the New Year at seven venerated temples in Tokyo’s storied Yanaka district.  10am–12:30pm  Details online


Camp Discovery: Holiday Edition


American Classic New Year Parties

Make it a spectacular start to 2017 with an intimate celebration at American Bar & Grill.  Details online


NCAAF Football Championship

Traders’ Bar airs live the winnertakes-all battle between college football’s top two teams. Opens from 10am.  Details online


New CHOP Bar Launch

Toast the New Year in the intimate setting of CHOP Steakhouse’s remodeled bar. Read more on page 6.

12 & 31

Squash Social Night

Meet fellow players and test yourself against former national squash champ Hitoshi Ushiogi.  6:15pm  Squash Courts


Fitness Fair

Learn more about the Club’s impressive array of group fitness classes and receive session discounts. Two Member instructors share their passion for indoor cycling on page 19.  2–5pm  Gymnasium  Free  Sign up online


Family Night at CHOP Steakhouse

The Club’s home of steaks hosts an evening of American classics for families of all ages.  5pm  CHOP Steakhouse  Reservations recommended


Gallery Reception: Nobuko Hamano Noboku Hamano’s mixed-media works are an intriguing blend of color and material. On display at the Frederick Harris Gallery between January 16 and February 5, the abstract pieces are reminiscent of the Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte, known for his depiction of ordinary objects in unusual contexts. For Hamano, a professor of visual media design at Kagawa Junior College, the lily serves as her muse.

Her images of flowers set in paradoxical surroundings, such as the cosmos or the ocean, are ruminations on the fragility of life. “I attempt to express the universal beauty which everything in this world entails,” says Hamano, who has earned multiple awards in Japan and Europe. NN  6:30–8pm  Frederick Harris Gallery (B1 Formal Lobby)  Free  Open to adults, invitees and Members only

JANUARY  | 1 1


16 & 23

Introduction to Wine Make 2017 the year to finally decipher the wine list. The Club’s inaugural Introduction to Wine course is a two-day beginners’ guide to the world of wine. Taught by Sera Goto, the Club’s wine program director, the course follows the highly regarded Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 1 curriculum. Students explore the main types and styles of wine through sight, smell and taste, while learning how to describe wines accurately and make food and wine pairings. Those who pass the final exam receive a certificate, lapel pin and the confidence to read any wine label. NJ  7–10pm  Washington Room  ¥28,000  Sign up online by January 13


Birth Preparation for Couples

Expectant parents prepare for the life-changing day during this Women’s Group class with experienced nurse Ann Tanaka.  10am–4pm  Beate Sirota Gordon & Haru Reischauer classrooms  ¥34,300  Sign up at Member Services


World Weekend Buffet

Rainbow Café’s weekend buffet features a Hawaiian splash of aloha spirit.  Adults: ¥2,980; juniors (12–17 years): ¥1,900; children (7–11 years): ¥1,390; kids (4–6 years): ¥950; infants (3 & under): free


Science Museum Field Trip

Counselors lead an exploration of interactive exhibits and displays. Recommended for ages 6 to 12. Transportation and entrance fee included.  9am–5pm  ¥10,000  Sign up online





Tech 101: Robotics

Curious kids dive into the world of robotics and programming during an eight-week, hands-on course.  2:30–4:30pm  Sundays  ¥96,000  Ages 8–10  Sign up online


Tech 101: Minecraft Programming

Tech-curious kids learn basic programming through the popular adventure game during an eight-week, hands-on course.  5–7pm  Sundays  ¥96,000  Ages 10–12  Sign up online


Monthly Program: Kyogen Performance

The traditional comedic performing art form of kyogen takes center stage at a Women’s Group luncheon. Find the full story on page 17.  11:30am–1pm  Manhattan I  Women’s Group members: ¥3,000 (non-Women’s Group members: ¥4,000)  Sign up online


Spring Enrichment Program Registration

Discover a new passion or skill from among the myriad Women’s Group programs on offer.  10am  Sign up online


Cocktail Connections

The Women’s Group hosts a fun, informal evening of (happy hour) drinks and chat. Open to all Members.  5–8pm  CHOP Bar


T-Bone Tuesdays

Order a Certified Angus Beef T-bone steak and you’ll enjoy a petite tenderloin on the house.  6–11pm  CHOP Steakhouse  Reservations recommended


Napa Valley Wine Dinner

The Club celebrates America’s most famous wine region this month with a dinner in the company of six stellar Napa Valley wineries. A carnival of flavors awaits diners, as courses of Californian cuisine are paired with the signature varietals of such winemaking giants as Darioush, Cakebread Cellars, Grgich Hills Estate, Schramsberg Vineyards, Trefethen and Luna Vineyards.

“This is the first time we are able to invite representatives from several Napa Valley wineries to one dinner, which is a great occasion to showcase the wide range of great wines produced in the region,” says Sera Goto, the Club’s wine program director. NJ  7–9:30pm  Manhattan I  ¥15,000  Sign up online


Toastmasters Luncheon

Members pick up tips from their peers on public speaking and leadership skills at a nurturing workshop.  12pm  CHOP Steakhouse  ¥2,200 (guests: ¥2,560)  Sign up online or at the Library


Early Pregnancy and Birth Planning

Registered nurse Ann Tanaka prepares parents to be for the big day during this Women’s Group session.  10am–12pm  Jean Pearce Classroom  ¥6,700  Sign up at Member Services


A fun, 30-minute session of engaging stories and activities awaits children ages 2 to 6 every Wednesday. Also on January 21 (11–11:30am).

Ages 4 and above make their own traditional Japanese talisman for a year of good luck.

 4–4:30pm  Children’s Library  Free


Library Book Club

The Club’s band of book lovers discuss Janice P Nimura’s fascinating Daughters of the Samurai.  11am–12:30pm  Café Med  Free

Weight-Loss Challenge The Fitness Center’s annual weightloss competition helps Members shed pounds through one-on-one workouts with a personal trainer and a session with Takeshi Hirata, the Club’s nutrition expert. Hirata, who also teaches the Nutrition Coaching Workshop, offers advice on sticking to a nutrition plan. NN

What is your favorite diet food?


Story Time


New Year Daruma Making

 10:30am–12pm  Toko Shinoda & Yukiko Maki classrooms  Members: ¥3,500 (guests & walk-ins: ¥4,200)  Sign up online


Story Time

A fun, 30-minute session of engaging stories and activities awaits children ages 2 to 6. Also on January 18 and 25 (4–4:30pm).  11–11:30am  Children’s Library  Free

Everything is about moderation, but I enjoy seasonal fruits. A long time ago, I religiously drank vegetable juice and my skin turned orange from beta-carotene deposition. It took three months for the color to return to normal.

How is your program different?

Traditional diets tell people what not to do, such as no carbs, no dessert, et cetera. I help clients build healthy habits that last. There are no meal plans or calorie counting. Those are for bodybuilders and high-level athletes.

What is the biggest obstacle to maintaining a diet?

People change things all at once, which doesn’t work in the long term. When we want to improve ourselves, we need to take one step at a time. Weight-Loss Challenge: January 23–April 3 (10 sessions)  Fitness Center  ¥73,000  Sign up online Nutrition Coaching Workshop: January 23–April 3 (five sessions)  Fitness Center  ¥25,000  Sign up online






Alsace Wine Tasting The region of Alsace, in the east of France, is well known for its quality white wines, and this month’s Wine Committee tasting will introduce participants to the area’s famed varietal of Riesling. Due to Alsace’s geological diversity, Riesling is able to fully reveal its character, and the evening, which includes three courses of pairings, even features a wine made from grapes grown on volcanic soils. As a native Alsatian, I look forward to leading this exploration of the many expressions of Riesling, from sparkling to dessert wine, and the makers behind them. JF  7–9:30pm  Washington & Lincoln rooms  ¥10,000  Sign up online





Greece. Read her story on page 21.

Take a tour around Europe with Rainbow Café’s buffet of continental classics.

 11am–1:30pm  Manhattan I  Women’s Group members: ¥3,000 (non-Women’s Group members: ¥4,000)  Sign up online

World Weekend Buffet

 Adults: ¥2,980; juniors (12–17 years): ¥1,900; children (7–11 years): ¥1,390; kids (4–6 years): ¥950; infants (3 & under): free


Bridal Fair

The Club’s wedding pros help brides and grooms start crafting their picture-perfect wedding day.  10am–7pm  New York Ballroom, Brooklyn Rooms & CHOP Steakhouse  Free  Open to the public  Details online


World Weekend Buffet

An assortment of mouthwatering specials from the Rainbow Café chefs.  Adults: ¥2,980; juniors (12–17 years): ¥1,900; children (7–11 years): ¥1,390; kids (4–6 years): ¥950; infants (3 & under): free


Let’s Discover Koreatown

Join the Women’s Group for a halfday tour of the stores and vendors of Tokyo’s Shin Okubo district.  10:30am  Women’s Group members: ¥1,000 (non-Women’s Group members: ¥1,100)  Sign up online


Coffee Connections

Expand your horizons and your social circle at this monthly gathering. Contact the Women’s Group Office to organize free childcare.  10:30am  CHOP Steakhouse  Free

Coming Up February 1–28 Bowl and Draw

Collect a chance to win for every game you bowl this month at the Bowling Center.  Details online

February 2

Monthly Program: Refugee Crisis: One Volunteer’s Story

February 3

Setsubun Zojoji Temple Walking Tour

Drive away evil and beckon good fortune during a centuries-old rite of spring.  10:30am–1pm  Women’s Group members: ¥1,700 (non-Women’s Group members: ¥1,870)  Sign up online

February 3

First Friday: Mardi Gras

Ahead of Fat Tuesday on February 28, the Winter Garden hosts a French Quarter-themed carnival of its own. 6–8pm  Winter Garden  Members: ¥2,000 (non-Members: ¥3,500)  Details online

February 6

Super Bowl LI at the Club

Head to the New York Ballroom for an atmosphere just as fun as the one at Houston’s NRG Stadium.  7:30am  New York Ballroom & Brooklyn Rooms  Details online

February 6

Super Bowl LI at Traders’ Bar

Watch the Super Bowl live from Houston on the Traders’ big screens while enjoying a Tex-Mex breakfast buffet.  8am  Details online

February 11

Father-Daughter Dinner Dance

Dads and their little princesses enjoy an evening of food, photos and dancing.  Details online

February 17–19

Winter Fun at Minakami Kogen Ski Resort Head to the mountains of Gunma for a family-friendly weekend of winter sports and fun.

February 4

20th Anniversary Carpet Auction During a study abroad experience in Japan several years ago, then-architectural student Alba Zamarbide discovered the community-building concept of machizukuri, which emphasizes the participation of local residents. Now studying for her PhD in urban planning at Waseda University, the Spaniard has applied the holistic management model not only to disaster planning in Tokyo, but also to preservation efforts of a Vietnamese World Heritage site. “[The work] is difficult, but it is beautiful,” says Zamarbide. “It is for the future and you can leave something good for the community.” Zamarbide was last year’s recipient of the ¥2 million CWA J-Tokyo American Club Women’s Group non-Japanese graduate scholarship, which is funded through proceeds from the annual Carpet Auction. “Having this support provides enormous motivation and a boost of energy,” says Zamarbide. NN  5:30–10pm  New York Ballroom & Brooklyn I  ¥2,000 (refundable upon purchase of a carpet; includes two drinks and buffets)  Open to adult Members, guests and CWAJ members  Sign up online from January 4

 Details online

Club Member Angie Bell shares how she was moved to aid refugees in




Professional Guiding and Instructing Hakuba, Nagano, Japan

• Private & Group Lessons • Nagano’s Largest International Children’s Ski Center • Junior Race and Freeride Programs • Daycare Services

• Instructor Training & Certification Courses • Avalanche Safety Training • Steep & Deep Clinics • ‘She Shreds’ Women’s Programs

• Backcountry Ski and Split-board Tours • Lift Accessed Off-Piste Tours • Snowshoe & Cross Country Over 15 years of quality tours and instruction in Hakuba Supported By

I N D E P T H | P E R FO R M A N C E

Not Just for Laughs

This month sees kyogen performer Tokuro Miyake introduce Members to the centuries-old form of comedy. WORDS TIM HORNYAK IMAGE YUUKI IDE

Junko Izumi and Tokuro Miyake


amurai are usually depicted as stern-faced and stoic. But they did enjoy a laugh once in a while. One outlet was through watching performances of kyogen: comedic sketches based on farcical situations. Though Japan’s iconic warriors are no more, their era’s entertainment lives on, and Members will have the opportunity to experience it at the Club this month. People often expect to shake hands with a man when they meet Tokuro Miyake. It’s a natural assumption to make from her name. After inheriting her grandfather’s title, she became the 10th successor to a male kyogen master in a family line that dates back 578 years to medieval Kyoto. She’s also Japan’s first full-time professional female kyogen performer, along with her older sister, Junko Izumi. Their brother, Motoya Izumi, is the 20th-generation master of Izumi-style kyogen. Literally translated as “wild speech,” kyogen is often presented as comic relief between austere Noh plays. The sketches feature only a few characters, but they require assiduous training to perfect the elaborate gestures and vocalizations. Miyake and her siblings

began learning the art form as young children, rehearsing on their home stage every day under the tutelage of their father. Her first stage appearance was at 3, and training continued for some 22 years. “My brother had no choice in being a master because he was born a boy, but my sister and I had a choice of whether or not to do it,” says Miyake, 44. “Female performers are not so welcome in Noh theater—even today—because male actors are already facing a shrinking acting market.” Many kyogen plays were written in the Muromachi period (1336–1573) and were performed with Noh pieces in the Edo period (1603–1868), officially sanctioned by the ruling samurai classes. Along with a repertoire of 254 pieces, Miyake’s family has a precious collection of stage kimono, masks and accoutrements handed down for generations. Miyake is passionate about bringing this ancient Japanese art to a wider, modern audience, including audiences outside Japan. She has performed in English, and her Izumi family troupe has toured 13 countries, including the United States, where she held a work-

shop at North Dakota State University. “Even though the language is different, the tradition and spirit of kyogen can overcome many borders,” she says. “Kyogen makes full use of body and mind to express laughter, so it’s really physically and mentally satisfying.” Attendees at this month’s Women’s Group luncheon will be able to try their hand at kyogen after Miyake and her sister perform and discuss their craft. “Kyogen is comedy, but it was originally conceived as a dedication to the gods and we mustn’t forget that origin,” says Miyake. “In my opinion, kyogen lies somewhere between ritual and entertainment. I don’t aim for laughs, but I’m very happy if the audience has a great time.” Tim Hornyak is a Tokyo-based freelance journalist. MONTHLY PROGRAM: KYOGEN PERFORMANCE  January 16  11:30am–1pm  Manhattan I  Women’s Group members: ¥3,000 (non-Women’s Group members: ¥4,000)  Sign up online or at Member Services




I N D E P T H | F I T N E SS

Alyson Jenkins and Christina Siegel

Pedal Power

Ahead of the Club’s Fitness Fair this month, two Club Members explain the health benefits of taking a bike for a spin indoors. WORDS NICK NARIGON IMAGE ENRIQUE BALDUCCI


hristina Siegel tightens the laces on her new cycling shoes before clipping them on the bike’s pedals. Adjusting the settings on the Life Fitness stationary bike, the doctor begins a 60-minute workout overlooking the fall foliage through the floor-to-ceiling windows of The Studio. “[Indoor cycling] is an all-out aerobic workout and strength training for

the lower body,” says Siegel, 41. “But people come back for the music.” A native of Ireland, Siegel teaches the Club’s Classic Spin class. She first took up indoor cycling 13 years ago while living in Santa Barbara, where she trained with the South African founder of Spinning, the trademarked indoor cycling regimen. “He’s real high energy and attracts high energy,” she says of Johnny Goldberg. Goldberg, a competitive endurance cyclist, invented the workout in 1987, when he added a weighted flywheel to an exercise bike to simulate road racing. In a typical class, the instructor leads participants through a variety of “terrain” by changing the tempo of the ride. “People like it because they get all their [cardio] in one spot,” says Siegel, adding that students are able to adjust flywheel resistance to match their abilities. “You can get more done in less time.” The mother of eight says the low-impact nature of the exercise, similar to swimming, allowed her to continue training throughout pregnancy. The Spinning trend reached its zenith in the 1990s, but indoor cycling has experienced something of a resurgence in recent years due to trendy indoor cy-

cling chains in New York and Los Angeles and celebrity endorsements. Member and experienced personal trainer Alyson Jenkins, who became a certified Spinning instructor last summer, incorporates weight training in her Spin Theory group fitness class at the Club, while students in her Spin 45 class typically burn more than 500 calories in 45 minutes. “High-intensity interval training constantly challenges your body in a new way, forcing your body and your heart rate to try to adapt to new movements, timing and stress,” says Jenkins, 38. “It sounds intense, and it is.” Jenkins says she was drawn to indoor cycling not only for the obvious health benefits, but also because it allows her to exercise in a group while maintaining her own space. She particularly enjoys building a new soundtrack for each class. “When you’re rocking out to amazing music, surrounded by people all pushing to better themselves, Spinning feels equally like a dance floor where no one is watching,” she says. “And like a race you know you can win.” FITNESS FAIR  January 14  2–5pm  Gymnasium  Free  Sign up online





Challenge Yourself, Do an MBA


n Japan, a country where the glass ceiling is still very much frosted, making it to the executive level as a woman requires more than just a few years of experience. Post-graduate education is a highly sought after advantage for any woman looking to carve out a career in male-dominated fields. The McGill University MBA Japan program offers an opportunity to gain the skills, knowledge, and experience to further a career in international business.

SETTING THE RIGHT GOALS After 14 years in sales at Inficon, a provider of world-class instruments for gas analysis, measurement, and control, 2014 graduate Naomi Kumagai decided to set personal long- and short-term goals. “I was thinking, over the next three years, [to] either keep doing sales as a professional or change direction to management,” she said. Her boss at the time told her that, if she wanted to be a successful woman in their field, she needed a good education. So she decided to get an MBA from McGill University.

“Without change, we cannot grow,” she said. “It was a good challenge for me to become the business unit manager first.” She achieved more than 10 percent growth for Inficon Japan after just two years, and in the third she was named president, becoming the first woman to hold the position with Inficon globally. Her journey was not without its challenges. “As a woman, there is a ceiling, but you can’t break it in one day; it takes time,” she explained, noting that many were shocked by her quick rise to the position, especially in a technical field. “But I try to just listen, and think I can also do it.” Many of her fellow MBA graduates have gone on to better jobs and positions. “Most of my classmates were very ambitious, high-energy people.” Her advice to anyone considering an MBA at McGill? “Don’t hesitate, just jump in and you will reach your goal.”

WHY McGILL? Kumagai highlighted the global reach of the McGill program, from its eclectic mix of international students to the opportunities within the program to work elsewhere—even to go on the Study Trip to the home campus in Montreal. McGill has a widely respected reputation—another element that appealed to her—and the quality of the program was a key factor. “I learned a lot of different skills. I can understand all of the business and financial aspects of my work now. We had a lot of team projects at McGill and there were people with different characters,” she explained. “I learned how to deal with everyone to bring out their highest potential.” These skills transferred Global Top-Ranked Weekend classes in English taught directly to her current role and have been key to her workCanadian MBAcampus in Tokyo by professors from Montreal place success. let you study while you work She also highlighted the ability to consider issues from Weekend classes in English taught different perspectives when solving problems. As she by professors from Montreal campus マギル大学ジャパン経営学修士課程(MBA)日本プログラム explained, although challenges arise in her role as presilet you study while you work 文部科学大臣指定外国大学日本校 dent, “I encountered harder things during my MBA and マギル大学ジャパン経営学修士課程(MBA)日本プログラム now I can get through anything.” 文部科学大臣指定外国大学日本校

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Kumagai owes some of her success and ability to deal with endless change, sleepless nights, and hard work to the MBA course.



Offering Help and Hope

Due to speak at the Club next month, Member Angie Bell recounts her experiences volunteering with refugees in Greece. WORDS JOAN BAILEY


ngie Bell did something unexpected a year ago. “I’d just sent my daughter off to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, when I realized I wasn’t doing anything myself,” she says. Like many, Bell had followed the worsening refugee crisis in Europe and donated to relief efforts. But it was the shocking photo of Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi washed up on a Greek beach that prompted her next move. “I saw that and said to my husband, ‘I really need to go.’ He said ‘OK, let’s go,’” says Bell, a British elementary school teacher now living in Japan. On the day after Christmas 2015, the couple arrived in Lesbos, the Greek island that was receiving thousands of refugees a day. There, for 11 days, they managed one of three family tents at a refugee camp. “We’d wake up around 10am and head down to Mytilene Port to buy supplies: socks, gloves, sneakers, in all sizes, and

fresh fruit. We’d get to the camp just before 2pm to meet with the other volunteers and get organized before the doors opened at 3pm. We’d get the families settled and then, during the night, the boats would arrive. We’d keep going until about 3am, then go back to the hotel and try to sleep,” Bell explains. Back in Japan, the mother of two continued to follow events in southern Europe. She decided to return, and last July, she arranged to help at a camp in Athens, which shut down soon after she arrived. “I did a few volunteer tasks, but I didn’t really feel like I’d found my niche,” Bell, 48, says. “So I decided to go to the City Plaza Hotel and see what I could do.” Abandoned after the 2004 Olympics, the hotel housed 400 refugees, including nearly 140 children. A coordinator mentioned to Bell that they needed activities for the youngsters. The suggestion

struck a chord. “‘I’m a teacher, I can do that,’” Bell recalls thinking. Bell and four other volunteers created an afternoon children’s program. “Our goal was to get these kids ready to go to school in the fall. They needed basic skills, and I mean basic. They needed to learn to share, to not fight, to not take the supplies,” she says. The first few sessions were a challenge. “The kids took the paper we gave them and threw it off the balcony or at us and ran all over the place,” Bell says. “We were very consistent. We just kept showing up, and once we had a couple kids on our side, everything started to improve.” When she left more than two weeks later, the program had 40 regular attendees and 15 dedicated volunteers. More importantly, it continues to run today. “I’d never done anything like this before,” she says. “I always thought you needed specialized skills to volunteer in a crisis situation, but you don’t. No matter who you are, how old you are or where you come from, you can help.” Joan Bailey is a Kanagawa-based freelance journalist. MONTHLY PROGRAM: REFUGEE CRISIS: ONE VOLUNTEER’S STORY  February 2  11am–1:30pm  Manhattan I  Women’s Group members: ¥3,000 (non-Women’s Group members: ¥4,000)  Sign up online or at Member Services





A Steady Hand The Club’s new president, Michael Alfant, shares his thoughts on leadership and the future of the Club. WORDS NICK NARIGON IMAGE YUUKI IDE









ichael Alfant surveys the Traders’ Bar salad bar. Introduced last year, the lunchtime offering was one of the initiatives started during his two-year tenure as chair of the Club’s Food & Beverage Committee. He notes the spread could use more protein. Even an option of egg would suffice, he says. “Now that I’m president, they still probably won’t listen to me,” says Alfant with a wry smile. The longtime Member and successful entrepreneur was elected as the Club’s new president (or representative governor, as the title is officially known) after serving one year as second vice president on the Board of Governors. Alfant succeeds John Durkin, who tasked Alfant in 2013 with bringing the budget for the Club’s restaurants into the black for the first time in Club history. “There was just less of a focus on the commercial aspects of certain business functions of the Club, because there didn’t need to be,” says Alfant, who accomplished the directive in 2014. “During my first [Food & Beverage] committee meeting as chair, I said I want everybody to understand that we are not afraid of ideas.” As president, the 55-year-old says he intends to make small, incremental changes to the Club, the same style that has brought him business and committee success. Besides examining Club dining’s bottom line, Alfant oversaw the installation of craft beer taps at Traders’ Bar, renovation of Rainbow Café’s kids’ play area and, on a larger scale, the launch of CHOP Steakhouse. One of his first goals as president, he says, will be to find a solution to the congested family dining restaurants. He also has his eye on reducing the waiting list for the men’s locker room, installing new starting blocks and touchpads at the Sky Pool and increasing transparency in the governing of the Club. “I don’t think this Club wants—or needs—sweeping changes or new initiatives. We need to keep iterating what we are doing and doing it better,” says Alfant. “I am a big believer in your customers will tell you exactly what they want. It’s up to you to listen to them.”




“I am a big believer in your customers will tell you exactly what they want. It’s up to you to listen to them.”

As Alfant talks, the experienced lecturer uses the occasional analogy from his field of expertise, information technology, using such terms as modular integration points to describe his ideas for Member outreach. The Brooklyn kid, who once dabbled in programing for now-extinct computers like Altair for fun, sold his first software company in 1999 for $60 million. Since then, the New York sports fan and avid hiker has launched more than 20 companies and owns a technology consultancy with offices in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Los Angeles. “[My first computer] was a homebuilt one. That was the only thing you could do, was build one yourself,” he says of the mail-order kit he assembled at the age of 14. “It was good training. You don’t want to make a mistake and have to redo it. It teaches you patience and precision.” The computer science grad spent a good portion of the 1980s working on Wall Street as a junior partner in an IT firm that serviced top financial institutions, which meant mainly switching out reels of tape, changing printer paper and, when time allowed, writing code. When a West Coast investment bank sent Alfant to its Tokyo office to update its primitive IT infrastructure, a one-week project turned into 18 months. Alfant, meanwhile, discovered an affinity for Japan. So when his request for a transfer was denied, he relocated to Tokyo in 1989. Without any contacts, access to financing or Japanese-language ability, he says he “hustled” for clients. “I was young and naïve and overconfident. I didn’t particularly feel like it was a risk, as much as I felt like it was a calling,” says Alfant. “My character and personality is much more suited to the Japanese style rather than the New York style. In Japan, we say the customer is a god and I really do feel that is one of the keys to business.” In 1992, Alfant launched Fusion Systems Japan, creating business software for Tokyo’s major banks. Through aggressive recruiting of top talent, the company grew to a staff of 150. One notable success was the firm’s development of a financial trading system for

“If you have a great team, you look great as a manager. It’s funny how that works.”

the Tokyo Stock Exchange. He sold the company in 1999, the year he joined the Club. Just three years later, he overhauled the Club’s IT infrastructure while serving as the volunteer chief information officer. “If you have a great team, you look great as a manager. It’s funny how that works,” he says. “To me, it’s a lot about building that team, especially the nucleus, that core team around you. If you can do that and get out of their way, you can make a lot happen.” While he admits that a private members’ club operates differently from a tech start-up, Alfant, who served as president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan from 2011 to 2012 and as its chairman in 2013, says he welcomes the challenge. Alfant says long-term plans include determining membership capacity. “It’s the same as when you get on an airplane,” he says. “If it’s too crowded, your experience diminishes.” He also plans to work with the Membership Committee on alternative approaches for recruiting non-Japanese Members. He says the demographics of expats in Japan are trending younger, and the Club should explore beyond the traditional industries that have been the organization’s “happy hunting ground.”

Another goal of Alfant’s is to create a path for younger Members to become involved in Club governance, and to support the Club’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Committee in its ongoing bid to serve as USA House during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. “In a club with close to 4,000 memberships, which encompass 13,000 Members, there are going to be a lot of points of view,” he says. “There will always be people who are just on one side or the other of the line on every decision we make. We need to be sensitive to that, but we can’t let it paralyze us.” With the Club having recovered

from its dramatic drop in membership following 2008’s global financial crisis and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, Alfant says the Club is in a strong position, with cash in the bank, an impressive facility and a positive financial outlook. “There is no reason we can’t be the best club in Asia, and be everything we want to be under the current financial situation,” says Alfant. “Obviously, it requires constant attention and diligence, but the ship is sailing in the right direction.” Follow Michael Alfant on Twitter at @TACprez.




C O M M U N I T Y | S I X D EG R E E S

Home, Sweet Home Member Nuala

Connolly reflects on the highs and lows of designing her dream home in Tokyo. IMAGES KAYO YAMAWAKI





had been here about 15 years and realized I wasn’t going anywhere else. I had been in [an apartment] in central Shibuya, and the older it got, the less appealing it was becoming. That was happening the same time some friends were building a house. I went along and saw this house and thought, “I want to do that.” I had already got an introduction to their architect from Yamagata, someone who had been quite flexible and who likes working with wood. So I set off to try and find some land. That took about three or four months. I saw lots of land, and, in the end, I think I was being worn down by it. One day the architect rang, quite excited, and said, “Look, I’ve got something and the real-estate agent will show you now.” The sun was just going down over the land as I came around the corner. It was just so quiet, and somebody came out and said, “Hello.” It was a square on the side of the hill and you can’t bring a car down, so in some ways it wasn’t ideal, but it just felt right.

I had to get a mortgage for the land and then the second mortgage to build the house. Then the Japanese government tightened the earthquake [construction] laws, literally as I bought the land, so we had to resubmit all of the plans. That was 2008, but in 2011 I was really grateful for those stringent laws. The house didn’t move in that earthquake. I did want some outdoor space. When it came to this house, it became clear it was going to be a roof garden. That was something I wasn’t going to compromise on. I think Japanese weather is perfect for outdoor dining. The heat of August is when you don’t want to be outside, but the rest of the year it’s great. I wanted a light space and something Japanese, and I had my heart set on a hinoki [cypress wood] bath. The kitchen was important. I wanted working space that was open. I was the seventh child in our family, and we had a massive kitchen where everyone used to gather. So I did want the kitchen to be a part of the home.

Nuala Connolly


I hadn’t thought about all the [interior] details until the house started to develop. Looking back, I’m not quite sure how I did it. Every evening and weekend was spent in window shops or furniture shops or kitchen shops. The [part] I found most challenging was the lighting. The man came in and just wanted to put in central lights with fluorescent tubing. He couldn’t understand [what I wanted]. Once [the process] started, I was taken by surprise at how quickly it all came about. The builders would involve me with lots of decisions, then plastic things would appear in the bathrooms and they had this really disgusting [linoleum flooring] down [in the entrance]. I told them, “You can’t not consult me on this kind of thing.” There were debates about the roof. They really begged me to put the air conditioners on the roof, and I really

had to fight that. The air conditioners are now hanging on one of the [outside] walls. I’m really glad now because if they were up on the roof, there would be that constant noise and heat. I travel a lot and stay in a variety of places, and I would occasionally take notes if I saw something. If you’re happy with what’s on offer in the showrooms, it makes it a lot easier. But if you’ve been to great places and want to bring some of that into your home, I think it is possible to implement it. Opening that door [when I moved in], there were all these strong wood smells. It’s a quiet neighborhood and such a tranquil place to be. And going downstairs and having that bath and being in that tatami room, it’s like having a mini break in your own home. As told to INTOUCH’s Nick Jones.




Happy Year of the Chicken

Art Gallery Tokyo Tower Zojoji


Tolman Collection

drug store exit A6 7Eleven

2-2-18 Shiba Daimon Minato-ku, Tokyo 03 3434 1300 closed: Mon-Tue

Don’t be a chicken yourself Sometimes people are afraid to take a stand. Come to

The Tolman Collection


police box

Subway Daimon stn

JR Hamamatsu-cho stn

and find a bold painting to make you feel strong and your surroundings beautiful.


Established in Tokyo in 1934, Kagami Crystal is Japan’s fi rst crystal glass factory, receiving commissions from the Imperial Family, the Japanese government, and Japanese embassies and consulates around the world. The Kagami Crystal shop has an impressive selection of Edo Kiriko (cut glass) decanters, perfume containers, vases and other vessels in traditional Japanese designs. Custom engraving of names, family emblems or other motifs is available. Come and see for yourself in Ginza. Ginza Store Daiwa Building, 2-1 Ginza 6-Chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061 • Tel: 03-3569-0081 Open: Mon–Fri (11am–7:30pm) • Sat, Sun, and Holidays (11am–6:30pm) • Closed: Thursday



Up Close



Moriaki Kida & Geraint Marsh Ernst & Young Business Initiative Co., Ltd. Derek & Grace Wilson Shartsis Friese LLP

Thomas Frederiksen & Susan Rughave Shure Japan K.K.

JA PA N Yoshihiro & Yumiko Abe Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Arata & Sachiko Endo Jikei University School of Medicine Yasuyuki & Mihoko Harada Itochu Corporation Keni & Megumi Kaneda Ko Design Concept Yuga Koda SMBC Nikko Securities, Inc. Shin & Yumi Maeda Nippon Television City Corporation Kenji Osada ITA System Co., Ltd. Wataru & Ryoka Tamura Oracle Corporation Japan Yuji & Nanako Tsutani Third Street, Inc. Shinichi Yamamoto Pimco Japan Ltd.

C A N A DA Pierre Gaudreault Pfizer Japan, Inc. Takanobu & Ayano Maekita Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities Co., Ltd. Phillip & Hiroko Rubel Cylon Capital K.K.


FRANCE Christophe & Blandine Merkel Nike Japan Group LLC Nicolas & Alice Pillet BNP Paribas Tokyo Branch Nicolas & Clotilde Vassal Sanofi K.K.

GERMANY Axel & Susanne Kuhr ABB K.K.

G R E EC E Agapi Petraki & Konstantinos Ntrongoulis Philip Morris Japan K.K.

INDIA Atul & Ranjana Mathur Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning, Inc.

M A L AYS I A Joe & Elaine Liew Deutsche Securities, Inc.

US A |

Zachary & Cristina Ishida

Kowa Shoji Co., Ltd.

“After moving to Japan, Western holidays and traditions were pretty much forgotten. But thanks to the Club, we look forward to celebrating these holidays in true style. Being able to enjoy a wide variety of amenities, groups, events and more is such a blessing. I don’t think you’ll find another club in Japan that exceeds what TAC offers. My family and I are excited to immerse ourselves in the Club and make long-lasting friendships.” (l–r) Cristina, Akira and Zachary Ishida

UK Andrew Ross GlaxoSmithKline K.K. Peter Tam & Miki Takahashi Vasco Da Gama Offices Shaun & Jane Warren Accenture Japan Ltd.

Tianhua Chen & Wei Shen King & Wood Mallesons Tokyo Joe Jun Yang & Doris Chen BNY Mellon Shan Wang & Hideto Ogawa



Brian Apel

Koichi & Michiko Mimura

Jimmy Hyun Keun Cho & Ji Eun Lee

Millard & Dina Ochs

Guy & Tamara Henriques Akihiko & Chika Kubo Samuel Lee Massimo Melessaccio & Komelia Holzhausen

Jannie & Ilze Oosthuizen


Rodney & Stephanie Rushing Barry & Robin Stuck Yves & Tea Teirynck Tatsuya & Yuriko Ogawa

“Upon hearing that we would relocate from Hong Kong to Tokyo, people around us who had lived in Tokyo gave the same response. After the initial ‘You are going to love it!’ the second sentence was always ‘Make sure you join Tokyo American Club.’ The Club has made all the difference to us and is an incredible resource for its wonderful facility and programs and for broader issues you face settling in and living in Tokyo.” (l–r) Monet, Jannie, Lara, IIze and Evian Oosthuizen

Connections tokyoamericanclub







TAC member Dr Hitomi Hayashi


the first and only bilingual video channel on Business in Japan


LEADERSHIP For our full report: BIJ.TV

Tokyo Shintora Matsuri

The Tohoku Rokkonsai (Six-soul) Festival was created to inspire peace and recovery after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. On Nov. 19-20, 2016, performers from six prefectures converged on central Tokyo for a spectacular display.

To be featured on BIJ.TV, please contact: Anthony Head • • 03-4540-7730


November 8–10 International Bazaar

Hundreds of shoppers browsed the almost 50 stalls selling everything from jewelry and artwork to tableware and handbags at this annual Women’s Group fundraiser. IMAGES YUUKI IDE




Move Management Specialists


November 24 Thanksgiving Grand Buffet

Members and their guests celebrated this all-American holiday in the New York Ballroom with a bountiful turkey feast and Thanksgiving crafts for kids. IMAGES KEN KATSURAYAMA




Exceptional Celebrations Make it a memorable start to 2017. Let the Club turn your party into an occasion.

03-4588-0308 | |


December 2 Member Bonenkai Celebration

More than a thousand partygoers enjoyed a fun evening of free food, drink and live music at the Club’s annual year-end party in the New York Ballroom. IMAGES YUUKI IDE





Final Figures


number of Guest Studios


size of each Guest Studio in square meters


average length of stay in nights

Peter Thomas Guest Studios IMAGE ENRIQUE BALDUCCI

“I try to use the Guest Studios once a week on the weekends as a work getaway. The facilities, staff, food and ambience are awesome. My family lives in San Diego and I travel here frequently, and the Studios really help me relax, think and get my mind and body ready. I often come up with my best ideas in the middle of the night during these weekend work sessions.”  Reservations: Guest Relations (daily, 7:30am–10pm)  03-4588-0381 




© Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2016

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The Road Ahead

本 体 七 四 一 円

New Club President Michael Alfant shares his vision for the Tokyo institution JANUARY 2017

R E F U G E E R E S P O N S E + A G E - O L D STA N D U P + S A D D L E W O R KO U T

January 2017 INTOUCH Magazine  

Tokyo American Club's Monthly Member Magazine

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