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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

Mardi Gras Unmasked

本 体 七 四 一 円


Member and New Orleans native Joseph Bodenheimer talks krewes, throws and Fat Tuesday





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Security camera detects people, cars, and animals Discrete but effective, the NETATMO PRESENCE security camera instantly tells you, wherever you are, who and what is on your property.

NETATMO PRESENCE is now available in Japan at:



Member Chris Lewis recalls his six-day race through a dramatic Antarctic landscape.

7 8







Outdoor fun in Japan’s wild north is on the itinerary for young Members this summer.

21 22 23 24














INTOUCH examines Mardi Gras’ evolution, from family festival to boisterous blowout.








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 (Michael Benner)

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

Sandra Isaka

Librar y Judith Ann Herd

Alison Kanegae

Logan Room Christa Rutter

Kazuakira Nakajima

Squash Pete Juds


Swim Alexander Jampel

Yuuki Ide

Youth Activities Betsy Rogers

Ken Katsurayama Illustrator Tatia Gimmig



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.




This is my school Join me at ASIJ’s Early Learning Center

asij_official asij The American School in Japan Early Learning Center (N–K)

6-16-5 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032   03-5771-4344

Chofu Campus (K–12) 1-1-1 Nomizu, Chofu-shi, Tokyo 182-0031  0422-34-5300 

Developing compassionate, inquisitive learners prepared for global responsibility.


suits from $395 blazers from $275 tuxedos from $595 trousers from $135 overcoats from $650 shirts from $69 (minimum of four shirts) (mini Other superfine quality suits from $550 to $2,600

The suit connoisseur will be staying at Tokyo American Club February 13–14




ix years ago, my wife and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary with a trip to London and the chance to watch the famous Wimbledon tennis tournament. We stayed at the East India Club, a reciprocal club conveniently located near Piccadilly Circus tube station in the center of the city. According to the club’s website, members and guests are expected “to be dressed in a manner appropriate for a formal gentlemen’s club.” This meant that we had to change from our formal breakfast clothes into something more suitable for watching tennis each day. There are a number of private clubs in the Kanto area, including the likes of the Tokyo Club, the Tokyo Lawn Tennis Club and Hodogaya Country Club. Much like Tokyo American Club, these clubs were founded by a group of members. While they are run by a professional management team, the clubs are owned by their respective members, who are ultimately responsible for the fortunes of their club. Such clubs tend to have a strict selection process for those wishing to join. Applicants are expected to visit the club as a guest and be familiar with its activities before applying. An applicant’s suitability are scrutinized, even down to their style of dress and demeanor. Since these clubs are much smaller than the Club, it’s imperative that all members are able to socialize and mingle easily with one another. Such rigid procedures, rules and codes make these clubs an attractive proposition. Waiting lists to join are long and unsuccessful applicants are typically not informed of the reason they failed to be accepted. When members spend so much time at their adopted second home, they have to feel comfortable there. Passing through the Winter Garden recently, I noticed a young Member sitting with his feet on the table. I told him that the table wasn’t for his legs. Staring at me, he reluctantly took his feet off the tabletop. Unfortunately, such incidents aren’t infrequent. I often see this kind of behavior in the Library, which is hardly a good example to set for those children using the facility. After a period of uncertainty, the Club is fiscally secure and boasts more than 3,800 Members. Now then is a good time to think carefully about the caliber of person we wish to have as a fellow Member and mix with when enjoying our special retreat in the center of Tokyo.


Kazuakira Nakajima is the Club’s statutory auditor.





Love Is in the Air The Roman Empire wasn’t all about conquering countries and building straight roads, it also produced the patron saint of love. In celebration of the third-century’s Saint Valentine of Terni, the Club has a number of romantic offers for February. NJ

Valentine’s Pampering Give that special someone the gift of relaxation with one of The Spa’s three discounted treatments. Choose between a 75-minute aromatherapy massage (¥12,500), a 60-minute customized facial and 30-minute massage (¥14,400) and a 60-minute couple’s aromatherapy massage (¥19,200).  February 1–28  10 percent off Dermalogica skincare products  February 1–14  15 percent off gift certificates for regular treatments

Say It with Flowers In collaboration with Bloom & Stripes, the Club’s floral tokens of love include a classic dozen red roses (¥5,000) and bouquets of roses and blossoms (¥5,000/¥3,000).  February 1–14  Order at The Cellar (B1)

Cupid Package This extravagantly romantic getaway at the Club includes one night’s Guest Studio stay, dinner at American Bar & Grill, breakfast, a 60-minute couple’s aromatherapy massage treatment and a bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne.  February 1–28  ¥53,500 (without aromatherapy massage treatment: ¥43,500)  Reserve at 03-4588-0381 or




Add a Little Fizz Nothing says Valentine’s like bubbles. Enjoy 10 percent off all sparkling wine at The Cellar this month.  February 1–28  The Cellar (B1)



Blending Two Art Forms

Party Power

Taking its name from the bridge that links the Institute of France with the Louvre in Paris, Pont des Arts is the brainchild of Thibault Pontallier and Arthur de Villepin. Their project marries fine Bordeaux and Burgundy wines with eye-catching label artwork by Chinese artists. Members can order a bottle of their 40-year-old Pont Des Arts Cognac XO Infinity, emblazoned with Yue Minjun’s “The Snake,” from The Cellar for ¥50,000. Once a brand ambassador for the renowned Bordeaux estate Château Margaux, where his father, the late Paul Pontallier, was managing director, Thibault Pontallier hosts a wine dinner at the Club on February 22 (see page 17 for details): WINE THAT CHANGED MY LIFE. I tried a bottle of Margaux 1990 when I was 12 years old, and even to this day it is, in my opinion, the most beautiful and elegant wine in the world. DREAM DRINK PARTNER. Winston Churchill, Elvis and The Doors. NJ



A Timely Take on America

Twists and Turns

A New York Times bestseller, You Can’t Touch My Hair is a collection of essays on feminism, race, gender and politics from comedian Phoebe Robinson, whose trademark wit and pop-culture references make this book as entertaining as it is insightful. Other new titles at the Library include The Black Presidency by Michael Eric Dyson and Zadie Smith’s Swing Time. AK

Tom Hanks reprises his role as Robert Langdon in this Ron Howard adaptation of Dan Brown’s Inferno, in which the Harvard cryptologist must decipher the scheme of a Dante-obsessed geneticist. Other new rental movies available at The Cellar include The Girl on the Train, featuring a mesmerizing performance from Emily Blunt, and the courtroom drama The Whole Truth, starring Keanu Reeves and Renée Zellweger. NN

Street parties are big business. Particularly, it seems, those with their roots in the Christian calendar. Carnival, with its legions of samba dancers and wildly extravagant floats, draws nearly 1 million visitors to Rio de Janeiro and generates almost $800 million for the Brazilian city. During the same period in February each year, around 1.4 million people visit the US city of New Orleans for its world-famous festivities that culminate in Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday. The Cajun carnival earned the Louisiana city $164 million in 2014, although the Mardi Gras brand is worth much more to New Orleans over the year. Even Trinidad and Tobago’s five-day carnival pulls in more than 40,000 tourists, nearly 10 percent of the total number of visitors to the Caribbean nation each year. Wily organizers have capitalized on the potential of such festivals to draw larger and larger crowds. In this month’s cover story, “Big Easy Bash,” Member Joseph Bodenheimer discusses the transformation of Mardi Gras from the celebrations he knew as a boy growing up in New Orleans. Japan’s tourism officials could do worse than to spend a few days partying in Rio or New Orleans. As Member Sandra Isaka points out in her Voice column, so much of Japan remains unexplored by the growing numbers of foreign tourists visiting the country. And Japan’s ubiquitous matsuri festivals could be a way to put local regions on the map. After all, who doesn’t love a good party?




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Stoke Park

Yoko Imai

Astute James Bond fans will recognize Stoke Park from its star appearance in the 1964 flick Goldfinger, when 007 plays golf with criminal mastermind Auric Goldfinger (accompanied by his golf ball-chomping henchman, Oddjob). That 27-hole, championship golf course remains, and the country club’s setting amid 300 acres of stunning parkland continues to draw filmmakers. Located only 10 kilometers from Heathrow Airport, Stoke Park is a five-star hotel, complete with luxurious suites and bedrooms, three restaurants, 13 tennis courts, an indoor pool, fitness facilities and a range of play equipment and programs for children. NJ  WOMEN’S GROUP

Community Support

The Club’s Women’s Group will distribute ¥8.8 million to local charities over the coming year. Of the funds to be donated, ¥2.3 million was raised at the International Bazaar, the group’s annual, three-day sale in November. Eight organizations will receive financial contributions, including HELP women’s shelter, Family House, which supports the families of seriously ill children, Sanyukai homeless shelter (pictured) and Second Harvest Japan food bank. “These donations are very important, and we receive a lot of appreciation letters,” says Tomomi Fujita, chair of the Women’s Group’s charities committee. “For example, we donate ¥100,000 to Sanyukai every year, which they use for overthe-counter drugs for the homeless.” NJ

While her fellow students spent their senior year at university on Japan’s job-hunting merry-go-round, Yoko Imai was dreaming of life abroad. “At that time, I felt like I wanted to go to another country to live,” she says of her last year at college in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture. “I didn’t want to work at a Japanese company.” A keen musician (she plays the piano and sings), Imai finally left her Aichi hometown and flew to New York City in 1999. “I was so scared, and I was totally alone,” she says. “I couldn’t say anything [in English], even a basic conversation.” After a few months at an English-language school, she headed home in 2000, returning to the Big Apple in 2002. “I could be myself very easily [in New York],” says Imai, 40. Music has been a constant in her life. In New York, she joined a Japanese choral group and formed a band with an instructor from the business college where she studied. “We [played] shows and recorded some music,” she says. The band even played the legendary East Village venue of CBGB, which once hosted such groundbreaking acts as the Ramones, Blondie and Talking Heads. In 2015, Imai began working at The Cellar, the Club’s B1 retail and movie rental space, and was voted Employee of the Month in December. In many ways, the Club’s international atmosphere has more than a passing resemblance to Imai’s former home. “I have met different people from different backgrounds,” she says. “It has opened my mind.” NJ





Business in the Heart of Tokyo


hether they are a fintech start-up, a bluechip corporate giant or a transplanted Silicon Valley venture, internationally minded companies have discovered that Marunouchi is the place to put down their Japan roots. Covering some 120 hectares of the most sought-after land in Tokyo, the Marunouchi district lies between Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace and was formerly a residential district for feudal lords. Today, it has been transformed into the center of international business for the world’s third-largest national economy. The district has more than 100 office buildings that incorporate the latest safety features and environment-friendly technologies, and is home to some 4,300 companies, both domestic and foreign. And every day of the working week, 280,000 people go about their business here. “Many people, when they think about the Marunouchi district, tend to assume that it is primarily focused




on the finance sector, but finance only accounts for around a quarter of the companies that are here,” said Kentaro Suzuki, deputy general manager  of the Office Leasing and Tenant Relations Department for Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd. “The area is constantly evolving and recently we have seen an increase in technology firms that want to have their headquarters in Marunouchi,” he said. Those companies include cloud computing firm Salesforce, money transfer service TransferWise, and artificial intelligence developer Preferred Networks. Start-ups, law firms, trading companies and IT experts are also migrating to Marunouchi from other parts of Tokyo, attracted by the area and its facilities—but also the growing realization that this is now the heartbeat of the whole city and the place where they need to be in order to make the new contacts and contracts that will enable their businesses to thrive.

Key to this strategy is the creation of a number of innovative hubs catering to the needs of different sectors, but with significant crosssector appeal. “We opened EGG JAPAN in 2007 the initials stand for Entrepreneur Group for Growing—to target Silicon Valley companies that are already unicorns there but now want to come to Japan,” said Yoshio Sakai, manager of Mitsubishi Estate’s Office Leasing and Tenant Relations Department. “These are companies that want to be in a very central location and they want to be in an area that is fastgrowing,” he said. EGG JAPAN provides private office space and the business-oriented Tokyo 21c Club to support companies as they create and develop their B-to-B business. Similarly, Global Business Hub Tokyo opened as recently as July 2016 with 50 furnished office units and event spaces, while the FinTech Center of Tokyo—more commonly known as FINOLAB—is the first space in Tokyo dedicated to compa-

nies operating in the finance, securities, blockchain and future cities technology spaces. “These are companies that need to be able to come in and be functioning on day one,” said Sakai. “We provide them with everything they need to be able to do exactly that, from phones and desks to locations with legal and accounting specialists and networking events to help them settle in and make contacts.” In addition to their direct working environment, many companies choose to base themselves in Marunouchi because of its excellent transport links. Tokyo International Airport at Haneda is just 30 minutes away and Narita International Airport around 60 minutes. Bullet trains from Tokyo Station mean that Kyoto is a twohour journey and Osaka a further 30 minutes away. And amid a  network of underground and above-ground railways, all of the major stations in Tokyo are less than 20 minutes away by train, making Marunouchi an easy commute from anywhere in the city and points beyond.

Marunouchi also has built a reputation for having branches of some of the world’s most famous retail outlets—from Baccarat to RIMOWA and The Conran Shop—while there are numerous fine dining options as well as more informal drinking establishments for some post-work relaxation. A great deal of thought has also gone into making the district as liveable as possible, with green spaces incorporated into the overall blueprint, along with public art installations, wide boulevards and plans to create relaxing pedestrianized zones. Marunouchi also enjoys museums, art galleries, gyms and education opportunities, while the surrounding area has hotels, meeting and symposium venues, theatres and a wide selection of other sources of entertainment. Mitsubishi Estate is constantly looking to upgrade its facilities, however, and has three new major projects under way. The Otemachi Park Building was just completed in January 2017 and has about 152,000 square

meters of floor space across 29 floors, including serviced apartments managed by The Ascott Limited, as well as exclusive lounge and daycare facilities for mothers who are working in the area. The Marunouchi 3-2 Project is scheduled to be completed in October 2018 and will have 173,000 square meters over 30 floors, while the Tokiwabashi Project will be two separate towers, the second of which will have 61 floors and be the tallest building in Japan when it is finished in 2027. The process of meshing all the key components together is already well under way, Suzuki said, and the ultimate intention is to create a district of “dynamic harmony,” with Marunouchi evolving into the part of Tokyo that is renowned for being open, interactive, networked, diverse and sustainable. “We need to constantly have new talent and creativity, and our task is to provide companies and organizations with the space they need to interact,” said Suzuki. “Innovation is more and more becoming a buzzword in society and Marunouchi will change and grow with these new ideas and technologies,” he said. タイプA







Events in February 1

American Classic Bites Enjoy a complimentary appetizer from American Bar & Grill with your first drink off the Winter Garden happy hour menu. Runs through April 30.  Weekdays  5–7pm  Winter Garden


Lunch Break Bowling The Bowling Center offers a special price for afternoon sessions on the lanes. Runs through April 30.  12–3pm  Weekdays  Bowling Center  ¥300 per game YUUKI IDE


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


Spring Meeting Packages Let the Club help you kick off a successful business year with a generous offer on meeting packages. Runs through April 30.  Contact for details

1 & 15

Toastmasters Luncheon Members pick up tips from their peers on public speaking and leadership skills at a nurturing workshop.  12pm  CHOP Steakhouse (February 1)  Washington & Lincoln rooms (February 15)  ¥2,200 (guests: ¥2,560)  Sign up online or at the Library


Tokyo Bay Distance Challenge Swim the length of Tokyo Bay from the comfort of the Sky Pool and earn great prizes.  ¥2,500  Sky Pool  Sign up online


First Friday: Mardi Gras Ahead of Fat Tuesday on February 28, the Club celebrates New Orleans’ legendary carnival season with an evening of Big Easy drinks, Cajun eats and, naturally, some live N’awlins-inspired music. Member Joseph Bodenheimer talks about growing up in the French Quarter and the excitement of Mardi Gras on page 24. NJ  6–8pm  Winter Garden  ¥2,500 (guests: ¥4,500)  Sign up online



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

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

 Details online

 2pm  Childcare Center  Free



Club Member Angie Bell shares how she was inspired to help refugees in Greece at this month’s Women’s Group luncheon.

Learn about the Club while meeting other new Members. Also at 6:30pm on February 22. Contact the Membership Office to reserve your spot at least one week in advance.

 11am–1:30pm  Manhattan I

 10am  Washington & Lincoln rooms



Bowl and Draw

Monthly Program: Refugee Crisis: One Volunteer’s Story

Setsubun Zojoji Temple Walking Tour Drive away evil and beckon good fortune during this centuries-old rite of spring.  10:30am–1pm  Meeting point: Family Lobby (B1)




Mommy and Toddler Time

New Member Orientation

Be My Valentine Crafts Creative kids celebrate Valentine’s Day early with a fun craft-making session.  11am–12:30pm  Beate Sirota Gordon and Haru Reischauer classrooms  ¥3,500  Sign up online


Story Time A fun, 30-minute session of engaging stories and activities awaits children ages 2 to 6. Also on February 1, 8, 15 and 22 (4–4:30pm).  11–11:30am  Children’s Library  Free


World Weekend Buffet Rainbow Café’s weekly buffet features authentic Southeast Asian dishes.  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


Girls’ Day Display In celebration of Hina Matsuri on March 3, a collection of imperial court dolls from the Yoshitoku doll company will be on display near the first-floor Family Lobby.


T-Bone Tuesdays Order a Certified Angus Beef T-bone steak and you’ll enjoy a 5oz strip loin on the house.  6–11pm  CHOP Steakhouse  Reservations recommended

8–9 & 15–16

Sri Lankan Night Commemorate the subcontinent nation’s independence day with authentic cuisine, including coconut dal, tandoori chicken and eggplant moju.  5–9pm  Café Med  Adults: ¥2,670; juniors (12–17 years): ¥1,810; children (7–11 years): ¥1,330; kids (4–6 years): ¥860; infants (3 and under): free

9 & 28

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


Valentine’s Bowling Win a sweet treat for that special someone at the Bowling Center.


Valentine’s Day Jewelry and Watch Sale The Club’s retail space offers deals on jewelry, diamonds and watches for lastminute Valentine’s shoppers.  11am–7pm  Beate Sirota Gordon & Haru Reischauer classrooms


Little Princess Makeover The Club’s Spa professionals help girls look their best ahead of the FatherDaughter Dinner Dance.  1–5pm (four sessions)  Annex I & II  Prices vary  Sign up at the Recreation Desk


Father-Daughter Dinner Dance Dads and their little princesses enjoy an evening of food, photos and dancing.  5–8:30pm  New York Ballroom & Brooklyn rooms  Members: ¥8,500 (guests: ¥10,200)  Sign up at the Recreation Desk


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


World Weekend Buffet The Tex-Mex buffet at Rainbow Café features mouthwatering American Southwest selections.  11am–7:30pm  Adults: ¥2,980; juniors (12–17 years): ¥1,900; children (7–11 years): ¥1,390; kids (4–6 years): ¥950; infants (3 & under): free


Seafood Grand Buffet The Club invites Members in from the cold to enjoy a spread of ocean treats.  11am–2pm & 4:30–8pm  New York Ballroom  Adults: ¥5,955; juniors (4–17 years): ¥2,900; infants (3 & under): free  Sign up online


20th Anniversary Carpet Auction At this celebration of handwoven carpets from Asia and the Middle East, Members have the chance to learn about and bid for their own decorative work of art—all while supporting the CWA J-Women’s Group non-Japanese graduate scholarship program. Ahead of this lively evening, the event’s hosts, Edmund Leslie Rajendra and Abdul Shukor of Eastern Carpets, offer some carpetbuying tips:

1 There are three categories of carpet: village and tribal carpets usually depict geometric patterns and city carpets feature intricate floral designs. Acquaint yourself with these before buying.

2 Decide how much you want to spend then focus on designs and sizes in that price range.

3 Know where you want to place your carpet. This will determine the type of carpet material (wool, silk or cotton) you buy.

4 Antique rugs are rarely in perfect condition and require more care. Only use in low-traffic areas.

5 Ask for a certificate of authenticity from the vendor. It contains the carpet’s origin, material, age, dyes and knot number and is important when insuring or reselling the carpet. NJ

 5–10pm  New York Ballroom & Brooklyn I  ¥2,000 (refundable upon purchase of a carpet; includes two drinks and buffets)  Sign up online

 10am–9pm  Adults: ¥620; children: ¥520






Super Bowl LI The Club’s annual extravaganza of football features a live broadcast of the NFL’s showcase event on big screens (with English commentary), a breakfast buffet feast, prizes and betting pools. This tailgate party boasts an array of classic sports bar eats, from hot wings, nachos and burgers to turkey chili and breakfast burritos. Those pining for their local sports bar can catch the action at Traders’ Bar, with its Tex-Mex breakfast buffet to honor the game’s host city of Houston. NN  Super Bowl LI at the Club  7:30am  New York Ballroom & Brooklyn rooms  General seating (includes welcome drink): ¥5,000 (guests: ¥7,000); End Zone (includes welcome drink, beer bucket and reserved premium seating): ¥8,000 (guests: ¥10,000)  Sign up online Super Bowl LI at Traders’ Bar  8am  Traders’ Bar  Breakfast buffet: ¥3,500



Gallery Reception: Motoaki Higashizono As a child, painter Motoaki Higashizono apprenticed under Noh actor Jikan Hashioka, working to master the highly stylized Japanese drama style. The Tokyo native now blends his theatre background with traditional Japanese painting and the style of Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt to create dazzling works that will be on show at the Frederick Harris Gallery from February 6 to 26.

Why did you take up painting? I was drawn to Japanese painting after seeing an exhibit by [Kyoto artist] Matsuzono Uemura. I decided to pursue art in the final year of high school.

What is the connection between Noh and art? I find splendor in the subtlety of the uniquely Japanese use of pauses, as well as…the beautiful patterns and delicate colors of the costumes.

Which of your exhibitions had the greatest impact? Each exhibit was like a mountain of different heights. The hard work and subsequent scenery were all beautiful in their own way. NN  6:30–8pm  Frederick Harris Gallery (B1 Formal Lobby)  Free  Open to adults, invitees and Members only





Language Exchange Coffee Practice your language skills in a welcoming environment.  10am  CHOP Steakhouse  Free  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


Library Book Club The Club’s band of book lovers discuss Euphoria, Lily King’s acclaimed fictional account of anthropologist Margaret Mead’s love triangle in the African jungle.  11am–12:30pm  Café Med  Free


Winter Fun at Minakami Kogen Ski Resort Head to the mountains of Gunma for a family-friendly weekend of winter sports and fun.  8:15am  Details online


World Weekend Buffet Rainbow Café’s weekend buffet features authentic East Asian delicacies. ENRIQUE BALDUCCI

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



Mardi Gras Specials

Romantic Feasts and Where to Find Them

Gorge on New Orleans favorites during the week leading up to Fat Tuesday.  11am–8:30pm  Rainbow Café


Pont des Arts Wine Dinner with Thibault Pontallier The former Château Margaux brand ambassador hosts an evening of his label’s fine Bordeaux and Burgundy wines, paired with four exquisite courses, including Hokkaido sea urchin, duck confit and tenderloin. Thibault Pontallier talks wine on page 9.  7–10pm  CHOP Steakhouse  ¥14,000  Sign up online

Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without a dreamy dinner for two, and the Club has two Cupid-inspired options for Members. American Bar & Grill’s five-course dinner for two for ¥10,000 features crab bisque, a choice of cocoa-rubbed tenderloin and pan-roasted snapper and molten chocolate lava cake. Meanwhile, CHOP Steakhouse’s own five courses include such exquisite creations as duck and foie gras terrine, lobster and a mouthwatering chocolaty concoction for dessert (pictured). Available for ¥13,500 per person. For those with other plans on February 14, Rainbow Café and Café Med are offering a special Valentine’s cocktail from February 10 to 14. NJ  Details online






Movie Night Parents can enjoy their Friday night while the kids take in a fun flick with pizza and popcorn.


Annual Wine Challenge

 Details online

Defending champ New Zealand takes on the Pacific Northwest in the 2017 edition of this blind tasting event. Longtime Nagano resident Dion Lenting will state the case for his native country. “New Zealand winemakers welcome the chance to line up against our Northwest USA colleagues to see if our silky seductive wines will carry the day,” he says. The challenger is represented by Todd Stevens, coordinator with the Washington State Wine Commission and Oregon Wine Board. “The key word is ‘balance,’” he says. “We have selected the best wines from the Pacific Northwest to showcase the superiority of the northern hemisphere.” Participants will sample six flights of wines, enhanced by three courses of hors d’oeuvres. Let battle commence! NJ


 7–9:30pm  Washington & Lincoln rooms  ¥13,500  Sign up online

 6–8:30pm  Toko Shinoda & Yukiko Maki classrooms  ¥2,500  Ages 5–12  Sign up online


Lobsterfest For three nights only, American Bar & Grill is steaming and grilling the succulent king of the sea.

World Weekend Buffet Rainbow Café celebrates New Orleans Mardi Gras with Cajun-Creole staples.  11am–7:30pm  Adults: ¥2,980; juniors (12–17 years): ¥1,900; children (7–11 years): ¥1,390; kids (4–6 years): ¥950; infants (3 & under): free


Family Yoga Bring your kids for a fun, familyfriendly introduction to yoga.  12:15–1:15pm  The Studio  One yellow Fit-Tix ticket or ¥2,500 per pair (¥1,000 per additional child)  Sign up online


Origami Yoda Construct your own paper version of the Star Wars Jedi master. Recommended for ages 8 to 12.  1:30–2:30pm  Beate Sirote Gordon and Haru Reischauer classrooms  ¥3,000 (includes a copy of Art2-D2’s Guide to Folding and Doodling and origami sheets)  Sign up online


Oscars Champagne Brunch The Women’s Group hosts a fun Academy Awards ceremony-viewing party, complete with bubbly, brunch and lively commentary.  9am–2pm  CHOP Steakhouse  Women’s Group members: ¥5,000 (non-Women’s Group members: ¥6,000)  Sign up online


Gallery Reception: Mashiko Potters Five young artists from the Tochigi pottery town of Mashiko will show how the famed center for ceramics continues to thrive at an exhibition of their works at the Frederick Harris Gallery. Artists on display from February 27 to March 19 include Yasuhiro Sasaki, who blends local materials and multiple glazes to create contemporary pieces, Noriko Eki and her delicate porcelain earthenware and Hitomi Unno, whose everyday objects are characterized by gentle forms and soft colors. “This exhibit could be said to be a microcosm of present-day Mashiko,” says artist Kazumi Otsuka. “I believe the exhibit will inspire a sense of connection…despite the individuality of the artists.” NN  6:30–8pm  Frederick Harris Gallery (B1 Formal Lobby)  Free  Open to adults, invitees and Members only





89th Annual Academy Awards Catch Tinseltown’s showcase event live on the screens in The Cellar (B1), Winter Garden and Traders’ Bar.  9am


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


Fat Tuesday Specials American Bar & Grill cooks up a carnival-inspired menu of authentic Big Easy dishes to celebrate Mardi Gras.  11:30am –3pm & 6–10pm  American Bar & Grill and Traders’ Bar

March 7–8

Tokyo: Here & Now

Coming Up March 1

Meet the Author: Divya Marie Kato The London transplant and artist discusses her upcoming book, When in Doubt, Draw.  7–8pm  Toko Shinoda Classroom  ¥1,500 (includes one drink)  Sign up online

This two-day, info-packed seminar for newcomers to Tokyo features invaluable tips on everything from earthquake preparedness and healthcare to Japanese cuisine and customs. Besides picking up advice on living in Japan and enjoying a complimentary half-day Tokyo excursion, participants have the chance to forge new friendships in their adopted city. NJ  8:50am–2pm  Toko Shinoda Classroom  ¥8,000 (guests: ¥15,000)  Sign up online

March 1 & 5

March 3

Parents of kids ages 12 to 15 can learn more about the Club’s Hokkaido summer adventure camp for middle school students. Find the full story on page 22.

Ahead of St Patrick’s Day on March 17, the Club honors Ireland’s national day by going green for an evening.

Niseko Camp Q&A

 March 1: 7–8pm  Washington & Lincoln rooms | March 5: 11am–12pm  Beate Sirota Gordon & Haru Reischauer classrooms  Sign up at the Recreation Desk

March 1–30

Youth Bowling Bonanza Bowlers ages 8 to 12 tally their scores from two games this month to compete for prizes.  Bowling Center  ¥500 (game fee excluded)  Sign up at the Bowling Center

First Friday: St Patrick’s Day

 6–8pm  Winter Garden  ¥2,000 (¥2,500 after February 28); guests: ¥4,000 (¥4,500 after February 28)  Sign up online

March 15–17

St Paddy’s Celebration Pull up for a few pints of Guinness and Emerald Isle-inspired craft beer specials at Traders’ Bar.  Details online

March 16

Monthly Program: Discover Your Full Potential Leadership coach Tanja Bach, profiled on page 23, leads an interactive workshop.  11:30am–2pm  Manhattan I  Women’s Group members: ¥3,000 (non-Women’s Group members: ¥4,000)  Sign up online

March 20

Gallery Reception: Kenji Wakasugi The Frederick Harris Gallery hosts an exhibition of works from the groundbreaking Japanese photographer.  6:30–8pm  Frederick Harris Gallery (B1 Formal Lobby)  Free  Open to adults, invitees and Members only




I N D E P T H | A DV E N T U R E

Chris Lewis

Racing at the Bottom of the World Antarctica might be one of the most inhospitable places on the planet, but it didn’t stop one Club Member lacing up his running shoes for a race there. WORDS NICK JONES


he lowest temperature ever recorded is minus 89.2 degrees Celsius, at a Soviet Antarctic research station in 1983. As the coldest, windiest and driest continent on earth, with blizzards and whiteouts that can rage for days on end, Antarctica doesn’t seem the obvious spot for a multistage footrace. But it’s to this southern region, which British explorer Captain Robert Scott once referred to as “an awful place,” that Member Chris Lewis ventured to take part in the six-day Last Desert race in November. “We were lucky, our coldest day was about minus 5 [degrees Celsius],” Lewis says. “We were running through snow, which could be ankle-deep or thigh-deep. That was very tough.” One event in the so-called 4 Deserts race series, the Last Desert requires

runners to have first completed at least two of the other races. Lewis had already run all three: the Sahara Race, Chile’s Atacama Crossing and China’s Gobi March, his first-ever 250-kilometer, multistage race, in 2003. The 62-year-old Welshman has now completed 25 long-distance, multiday races around the world, including 15 organized by 4 Deserts. “I do them for two reasons,” he explains. “One, because you have to maintain a certain level of fitness, and, two, because they do take you to some fantastic parts of the world. I’ve been to parts of China, for example, other tourists would never go to: the wilds of Gansu province and Xinjiang province. They’re way off the tourist track.” Lewis and the other 60 competitors set sail from Ushuaia, in southern Argentina, aboard a former Royal

Dutch Navy research ship for the twoday voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula, moving each day to a different location and running circuit. “While competitors stay on a ship instead of in tents, the conditions are much more unpredictable and even more extreme than in the other 4 Deserts races,” says Samantha Fanshawe of 4 Deserts. The race is also considerably more expensive (nearly $13,000 versus almost $4,000). “That was probably a once-ina-lifetime trip because it is such a long way away,” Lewis says. “The scenery in general was much more impressive than I was expecting. In fact, there are a lot of real rocky bluffs and you could see significant mountains from the ship.” By the end of the sixth and final stage, the lawyer had completed 184 kilometers, some of them in the presence of local wildlife. “The last day was a very beautiful day,” he says. “The background was spectacular, with penguin colonies just to add some fun.” With the stamp from the Russian Antarctic base barely dry in his passport, Lewis already has his race calendar set. This year will see him tackle lung-busting, multistage races in Hawaii, Albania and Patagonia. “This kind of race is a fantastic experience,” he says. “Clearly, you’re not going to get off your couch today and do one of these, but if you’re moving in that direction, I would thoroughly recommend them.”





Hokkaido High Adventure The Club is set to host a summer of outdoor fun and discovery for young teens. WORDS NICK NARIGON


he gentle trail that leads to the summit of Mount Annupuri is through a lush forest of native birch, oak and maple trees, a far cry from the cedar- and concrete-covered mountains bordering Tokyo. Young Club Members have the opportunity to camp out in this Hokkaido wilderness and reach the peak of




Annupuri with the help of professional guides this summer. Participants will enjoy a range of outdoor adventure activities, including white-water rafting, mountain biking and zip-line trekking, during five five-day summer camps to Niseko this June and July. “Niseko is beautiful in the summer,” says Reina Collins, the Club’s recreation programs and concierge manager. “It gives parents peace of mind because it is still in Japan, but it is far enough away the kids will feel independent.” Kids ages 12 to 15, who will be accompanied by experienced counselors at all times, will spend the first three days at renowned ski resort Niseko Village and stay in comfort at the refurbished Green Leaf hotel. With a focus on the outdoors, the camp will see participants trek in overhead nets in the tree canopy, zip-line through the air, take on a mountain bike course and bond over team-building exercises. Kids will also buy their own groceries, cook their own meals and do their own laundry. “It is only a week,” says Collins. “But within that week, they will learn to do things they don’t usually do at home.”

For the final two days of camp, the kids will head into the Hokkaido backcountry with the professional guides of the Niseko Adventure Center (NAC), where they will shoot rapids in a raft, set up their own campsite and, on the final day, hike to the picturesque summit of Mount Annupuri. “Niseko is such a great place to get kids outdoors and into the wild,” says Ross Findlay, who founded NAC, Hokkaido’s first summer outdoor adventure business, in 1995. “There really isn’t anywhere else like this in Japan, or Asia, really.” Collins says there will be a package for parents to spend the final weekend at Niseko Village for some adventurous fun with their offspring. “Twelve to 15 is a difficult age group. They are shy, a little naïve and they want to be individuals,” says Collins. “It is nice for this age group to make new friendships and experience something different, something you can’t experience here in Tokyo.” Niseko Camp presentations and Q&A sessions will be held on March 1 and 5. Visit the Club website or the Recreation Desk for details.

I N D E P T H | S E L F- I M P ROV E M E N T

Tanja Bach

The Career Coach

Set to speak at the Club next month, Tanja Bach explains how she helps business execs unlock their full potential and thrive. WORDS JOAN BAILEY IMAGE ENRIQUE BALDUCCI


ood questions lie at the heart of Tanja Bach’s work as a leadership training coach. Bach challenges her clients to find the answers to help them become “unstuck.” “Most people get themselves stuck for one reason or another. It can manifest itself in a variety of ways: micromanaging because you can’t give people the benefit of the doubt, or yelling at people because of stress, or maybe a person just can’t see how to move forward,” she says. It’s a situation she understands well. While working as a C-level manager at a large Swiss insurance firm, Bach found herself at a crossroads in her career. “After a variety of role changes, from product development to controlling, I found myself constantly in front of a computer and an Excel spreadsheet. I knew I preferred to be with people, but I didn’t know what to

do next. I hired a career coach to talk about it. At some point during those meetings, I thought, ‘I could do this!’” she says with a laugh. Tokyo resident Bach, who was born in Germany, grew up in Switzerland and completed undergraduate and postgrad studies in the United States, has now spent more than 10 years offering face-to-face and web-based guidance to managers and executives at companies around the world. She says she uses nonthreatening questions to encourage clients to examine themselves and move beyond their perceived obstacles. “I aim to make people better leaders. It’s really a great journey. You go from being an individual to a manager to a manager of managers on up to a C-level executive,” she says. “I’m very future-focused, pragmatic and work-related. I want to help my clients understand how they can motivate themselves and other people, how to be more efficient and more inspiring to those around them.” All of this may sound straightforward, but it isn’t. Bach, 47, asks clients to analyze themselves to reveal what is actually important to them and differentiate their competencies (what someone can do) from their strengths (what someone enjoys doing). Bach then develops a road map with her clients to maintain their new-found momentum. As the coaching progresses, she monitors its impact. “When my clients tell success stories of interactions at work or other real work experiences, I know I have succeeded. I can also sometimes see it in their behavior—they’re more relaxed in the way they talk or carry themselves,” she says. “Sometimes, people they work with pull me aside and say they can see a difference. It feels fantastic.” Joan Bailey is a Kanagawa-based freelance journalist. MONTHLY PROGRAM: DISCOVER YOUR FULL POTENTIAL  March 16  11am–2pm  Manhattan I  Women’s Group members: ¥3,000 (non-Women’s Group members: ¥4,000)  Sign up online or at Member Services








Mardi Gras Lingo Carnival

Christian celebration held between Epiphany (January 6) and Lent.


As New Orleans celebrates its annual party this month, Member Joseph Bodenheimer shares his childhood Mardi Gras memories. WORDS NICK NARIGON IMAGES YUUKI IDE


he year 1969 was a momentous one. Neil Armstrong took man’s first steps on the moon, Jimi Hendrix played a blazing rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner” at Woodstock and what we now know as the Internet began to take form. What is lost amid such notable events is the landmark New Orleans Mardi Gras celebration that set the standard for today’s grandiose bash. On the morning of February 18 that year, costumed parade members passed around bottles of Jack Daniel’s to ensure they’d be appropriately “gassed up” by the time they reached Canal Street, where thousands of spectators crowded around the gigantic floats, hollering the signature cry of Mardi Gas revelers: “Throw me something, mister!” Beads and coins were tossed to excited children while women received enthusiastic kisses, spreading flu germs like wildfire, according to the first-hand account of New Orleans artist Rolland Golden.

Solemn, 40-day observance held between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.

Fat Tuesday

English translation of Mardi Gras, the final day of carnival.


Local organizations that hold parades or balls during carnival.

Tableau ball

A krewe’s invitation-only gala event.


“I was there,” says Club Member and Crescent City native Joseph Bodenheimer, who was 8 years old at the time. “For kids, [Mardi Gras] is like a festival where you get to run around and go crazy. The floats pass, people throw tons of these beads, they throw doubloons, which, at night, glitter in the street lights. ...Growing up in New Orleans gives kids a false sense of normal.” Mardi Gras, French for Fat Tuesday (or Shrove Tuesday, as it is known in some cultures), is the final day of carnival. While preparations begin shortly after Christmas, the New Orleans festival is in full swing for the 12 days preceding Fat Tuesday.

The one Rex Krewe member chosen to serve as carnival king.


Multicolored doubloons, trinkets and beads thrown to spectators by krewe members on floats.


Throws fashioned after old Spanish coins.

King cakes

Epiphany treats containing a plastic baby and baked in honor of the three kings.

French Quarter

New Orleans’ oldest neighborhood and a national historic landmark.









South, New Orleans was the most lucrative slave market in the United States, but it also had the largest proportion of free citizens of African descent. Fleeing political upheaval, a wave of European migrants, called the 1850ers, arrived in the city in the mid19th century. Among those newcomers were Bodenheimer’s German and Swiss ancestors. “I encourage those who have not been to Mardi Gras to enjoy the food for three or four days and when you are there, study the history of the city,” says Bodenheimer, whose family owns a 19th-century bed-and-breakfast in the French Quarter. “New Orleans is one of the most misunderstood cities in America.” The city’s diverse cultures are represented in the carnival parades. By law, float riders are required to wear masks, which run the gamut from Spanish conquistador to Greek god to African tribesman. The first documented Mardi Gras parade was in 1837, and the first krewe (parade organization), named the Mistick Krewe of Comus, was founded 20 years later. The traditions and number of krewes grew from there, and there


Parades and parties take place daily throughout the city, culminating on the final day before Lent, the 40day observance during which ardent Christians abstain from indulgences. “So up until Fat Tuesday, you drink and eat rich food and do anything you want, and then, boom, on Wednesday, the city just shuts down,” says Bodenheimer, 55. Fat Tuesday was so named centuries ago by the French, who spent the day gorging themselves and parading a fat steer through the streets of Paris. The Mardi Gras tradition was brought to Louisiana as early as 1699, when French explorer Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville commemorated the holiday at his camp south of present-day New Orleans. During its time as a French colony in the 1700s, masked balls and secret societies flourished in New Orleans and, under American control following the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, masked revelers began taking to the streets. By this time, New Orleans was a melting pot of former French and Spanish colonists, Acadian refugees from Canada and escaped Haitian slaves. As the principal port in the antebellum


Mardi Gras Parade

Celebrating N’awlins at the Club February 3 First Friday: Mardi Gras

Celebrate carnival season in the Winter Garden with an evening fit for a New Orleans secret society.  6–8pm  Winter Garden  ¥2,500 (guests: ¥4,500)

February 20–28 Mardi Gras Specials Joseph Bodenheimer

are now around 50 krewes operating each year. The king of carnival, called Rex, first appeared in 1872, and it was Rex who selected the distinctive Mardi Gras colors of purple ( justice), green (faith) and gold (power) in 1892. The Zulu Krewe, an organization of African-American members, formed in 1916 to poke fun at the Rex tradition. By 1969, organizers felt the festival had become stale, and the Bacchus Krewe rolled out the largest float in Mardi Gras history, complete with comedian Danny Kaye as the krewe’s king. Mardi Gras was a family tradition during that era, celebrated almost exclusively by locals. “We celebrated Mardi Gras by gathering at a family member’s home,” says Bodenheimer. “As an 8-year-old, I remember comparing my bag of throws with family members and friends while the adults had dinner.” Nowadays, there are krewe-organized grand balls almost nightly, though Bodenheimer says only the blue bloods of high society are invited. While his family members weren’t official members of a krewe, he says, on occasion, one would join a float or relatives

would parade on motorcycles with the Shriners charity organization. “As kids, we loved to see and touch their Harley-Davidsons,” says Bodenheimer. “One of my uncles told me to wait at a particular corner with my friends. We heard a rumble and then a procession of massive bikes appeared from around a corner. We took home some of the coolest doubloons ever bagged.” The Mardi Gras festivities draw as many as 1.4 million partygoers annually, with Fat Tuesday falling on February 28 this year. Some floats employ cutting-edge technology and carry hundreds of riders, while others feature the likes of crooner and Big Easy native Harry Connick Jr. Some family aspects do remain, with the bawdier traditions confined to Bourbon Street in the historic French Quarter, where parades were discontinued in 1973 due to its narrow streets. “Mardi Gras is different in that it is now a business and seems to be less family-orientated. It’s a big tourist show,” says Bodenheimer. “It is still important to me as it celebrates the history and culture of the city.”

Feast on three authentic Crescent City dishes: muffuletta, andouille jambalaya and shrimp and vegetable pastalaya.  11am–8:30pm  Rainbow Café

February 25–26

World Weekend Buffet

Rainbow Café throws a family-friendly Cajun-Creole feast, including jambalaya, chili con carne and Cajun-blackened salmon.  11am–8:30pm  Rainbow Café

February 27–28 Fat Tuesday Specials

Don’t miss such Big Easy-inspired eats as barbecue-spiced shrimp, Cajun-spiced chicken burger and blackened tuna on okra, corn and tomatoes.  11:30am–3pm & 6–10pm  American Bar & Grill & Traders’ Bar




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

Laura MacKinnon

Street Shooter

Member Laura MacKinnon explains how she discovered catharsis through photography. IMAGE ENRIQUE BALDUCCI


first came to Japan in the late ’90s, and I had to leave for an illness in my family. My mother had been diagnosed with ALS [amyotrophic lateral sclerosis], and we were told at the time she would have, at best, five years to live. At the same time, my father was recovering from a very severe stroke and my brother was also terminally ill. My mother died within three months of my leaving Japan, so I stayed on in Canada with my father and brother, who then had a miraculous recovery. That allowed me to come back to Japan. But looking back, I realize I came back in a really grief-stricken state. I had been blogging about being in Japan, but when I experienced all of this I realized I had nothing to say. I just lost interest in words. It’s at that point, I picked up a camera and started to take photos.




I was also influenced by Japan’s completely different visual landscape. The third element was observing the creative process of my partner, who is quite a serious artist doing suibokuga [ink painting] and shodo [calligraphy]. All that made me interested in capturing what was around me. In this grief-stricken phase, I became interested in the idea of being in a city of 27 million people and the idea of being alone but together. We’re often in very crowded situations here, but you can see a lot of quiet loneliness in people. That was a mirror reflection of how I was feeling. In a city like London or New York, people display more of their character and energy as they move about the streets. When people are happy, it’s very obvious they’re happy. I find in Japan, you generally only get that at nighttime when people have been

drinking and out with friends. So then it really becomes lively. That was also interesting: capturing the two sides of people’s characters and exploring that aspect of street shooting. I also became interested in shooting all the great character faces in Tokyo. My target is candid photography, meaning I don’t necessarily want the subject to know that they’re being shot. I want to capture that slice-of-life moment in their day, whether that’s a man who’s had terrible news smoking a cigarette and contemplating what his next step is, or an old woman watching young women dance in a matsuri [festival] and remembering herself doing that 40 years ago. I generally will go somewhere, find a spot and wait to see what comes into my field of vision. And Tokyo has a lot of miracles of light. It’s one of the best cities for night shooting, for example. There’s just studio lighting everywhere. So you can find these patches of lighting and wait for people to walk into them. By candid photography’s nature, you’re intruding and taking something, so you have to come to terms with that. The way I justify that is by shooting people in a positive light or in a way that is meaningful. As told to INTOUCH’s Nick Jones.


Arrivals US A


Mark Champ Hills-Cologate (Japan) Ltd.

Frank & Kristine Boyland Fusion Systems Japan Co. Ltd.

Grant & Virginia Hellwarth PricewaterhouseCoopers Aarata LLC

Joshua Bryan Robert Walters Japan K.K.

Shulamit Mandelbaum & Goh Sugita

Mike Busby & Ernie Ismail Geometry Global Japan G.K.

Jason & Anna Rekate Citibank Japan Ltd.

Fraser MacFarlane GlaxoSmithKline K.K.

Neil Yanke & Lyndal Yaqub Medtronic Japan Co., Ltd.


Andrew Smith & Monica Moreira de Smith The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Co., Ltd.

Naoyuki Fukuda Infinity Corporation

Jonathan Spraggs & Frances Sun GlaxoSmithKline K.K.

Up Close

Munenori Oishi Evolable Asia Corp. Tokuhiro & Akiko Otsuki Co., Ltd.



Christian & Yukiko Wolf

JAS Forwarding (Japan) Co., Ltd.

“We have lived in Tokyo for a long time and heard many positive comments about TAC. We joined because we would like to enhance our private, social and business lives. The Club is a nice oasis with outstanding offerings and recreation facilities like the Sky Pool for families. We look forward to mingling with other Members, fostering new relationships and meeting business partners in a different setting.”

Nick & Mary Koukoumelidis Citibank Japan Ltd.

S O U T H KO R E A In Joon Hwang Line Corporation


(l–r) Christian, Rio and Yukiko Wolf

Antonio Luis & Susan Alvarez Sing Hi Elliget Hiroyuki Inagawa Andreas Kaiser Sachiko Kinoshita Nobuo Kodama & Elaine Crepeau Thomas & Takako Lomax Paul McGarry & Meredith Byrne Brendan O’Sullivan Alexander Postma & Gwen Anderson David R & Sarah Smith Tony & Mary Zeitoun Benoit Alsteens & Marie Chalant

US A |

Denise Rutherford & Maurice Kuypers

3M Japan Ltd.

Connections tokyoamericanclub




“The Members and staff have been welcoming and have made us feel at home quite quickly. In addition, we have been impressed by the quality of the facilities and the high number of activities and services available. Building a group of friends and sense of community is important for us. In previous overseas assignments, there were more expats at our company to help with this. We look forward to getting to know other Members, as we start to enjoy all that Japan has to offer.” (l–r) Ethan Kuypers, Denise Rutherford and Maurice and Elena Kuypers




from February 1 - 26


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


police box

Subway Daimon stn

JR Hamamatsu-cho stn

framed & unframed prints


up to 40% off


at Shiba Daimon Gallery


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

C O M M U N I T Y | VO I C E



apanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently announced ambitious plans to boost the number of tourists to Japan to 40 million by 2020 and to 60 million by 2030. Naturally, such large numbers of visitors require a tourist-friendly environment, with satisfactory accommodation, transportation and hospitality. While there are initiatives in place to improve the infrastructure and capacity of airports and seaports, renovate hotel rooms, build new facilities and provide multilingual information, most of the progress is being made in areas where tourism is already substantial. Some of the country’s top sightseeing spots like Kyoto are overwhelmed and an increase in tourism will actually cause more harm than good. Japan needs to encourage more foreign tourists to venture to lesser-known areas for truly Japanese experiences. The government recognizes the importance of this and is supplying funds to localities to promote themselves.

Not surprisingly, communication and guidance on how best to spend that money seems to be lacking. Locals are not made aware of the long-term benefits of increased foreign tourism, and they are rarely included in discussions and decision-making on developments around them. Towns eager to welcome visitors from abroad are provided little guidance on how to market themselves properly or tackle the challenges of increased tourism. There needs to be less of a focus on grand projects and more attention given to the basics, such as ensuring train and bus schedules and signs are displayed both in Japanese and Roman letters; menus are bilingual (or multilingual) and feature items to accommodate food allergies and religious restrictions; services and exhibits include simple explanations in other languages; maps, pamphlets and websites are multilingual; and Wi-Fi is free, easily accessible and abundant. Since Japan’s lack of accommodations is of particular concern, assisting ryokan

inns and minshuku guesthouses should be a top priority. These mostly privately run institutions are fearful of foreign tourists, but, in the long run, many will not survive without them. Providing an end-to-end experience, with a focus on these traditional lodgings, is crucial. On the flip side, overseas tourists (and non-Japanese residents) need to be better educated about the rules and etiquette of Japan. A lack of respect for local customs could result in a backlash against foreigners. If Japan addresses these and other issues on the way to reaching its tourism targets, the economic impact will be substantial. We could see a much-needed revitalization of the countryside and greater demand for goods made by Japanese artisans, as well as more cross-cultural awareness and cooperation—something the world could use more of right now. Club governor Sandra Isaka is an intercultural consultant and Japan travel specialist.





December 3 & 4 Family Christmas Show

The Club kicked off the holiday season with a weekend of festive eats, crafts and a fun performance of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. IMAGES YUUKI IDE




December 10 Gingerbread Cookie Decorating

No festive season would be complete without the presence of gingerbread, and families enjoyed getting creative with tasty holiday treats. IMAGES YUUKI IDE





December 10 Mudsharks Christmas Party

The Club’s youth swim team wrapped up a busy year of practice and meets with its annual evening of strikes, snacks and prizes at the Bowling Center. IMAGES YUUKI IDE




December 24 & 25 Christmas Grand Buffets

Members had the opportunity to celebrate the holidays with a feast of turkey and other seasonal favorites on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. IMAGES KEN KATSURAYAMA





Final Figures


average annual number of kids’ parties held


average annual number of party balloons used


average annual number of birthday cakes made

Tamao & Eva Balogh Party Room IMAGE YUUKI IDE

“The space, activities and services for birthday parties make the Club a great venue. There is plenty of room for games and both Member and non-Member friends love bringing their kids for special events. There was much to choose from in the party package, from basics to special surprise guests at the party. It was a lot of fun putting the choices together and everything went smoothly for a memorable day.”  Kids’ party inquiries: weekdays, 9am–5:30pm  03-4588-0267 




Luxury in Central Tokyo 20 exclusive apartments. Focusing on the development of top locations in the heart of the city, such as Roppongi, Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Chiyoda. Includes a 24-hour on-site bilingual concierge. Apartment sizes available from 1R to 5LDK, featuring access to a variety of communal facilities such as fitness center and a kids room. Contact us today! Telephone 0120-770-507 Email for more information. Visit to view our listing.

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


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Mardi Gras Unmasked

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Member and New Orleans native Joseph Bodenheimer talks krewes, throws and Fat Tuesday


February 2017 INTOUCH Magazine  

Tokyo American Club's Monthly Member Magazine

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