Rugby Legend Dan Carter’s Insider Guide to Tokyo

Rugby Legend Dan Carter’s Insider Guide to Tokyo

The New Zealand-born rugby legend and Kobelco Steelers player takes us on a tour of his home city, Tokyo.

of the leading rugby players of his time, even the most
unsporty of people will be able to reel of the name Dan Carter when
you mention the words “rugby” or “All Blacks”. As the highest point
scorer in Super Rugby history he fits the bill of sporting legend
(and then some).

After a long-standing career playing for
New Zealand
‘s national team, All Blacks, Carter switched things
up (we would say he threw a curveball, but we’ve swotted up enough
to know that’s baseball) and joined on for the Kobelco Steelers in
Japan. Swapping
South Island
for Shinjuku, here Dan dishes out his choice sushi
joints, the best workouts in Tokyo and where he heads for a taste
of home.

Where should we stay in Tokyo?

Grand Hyatt
and the
Prince Park Tower
are all good, but my favourite is the

. It’s such a beautiful modern hotel with the most
comfortable beds I have experienced.

Where’s good to head for a work out?

I love running around Imperial Palace, it’s a very pretty area
and you meet a lot of local runners there. Something I want to try
is joining Sumo wrestlers for their morning session which also take
place by the palace.

And a massage?

It’s hard to beat a deep-tissue massage at the Peninsula Hotel

What spa treatments should we try and where?

I’m a fan of visiting Onsen (hot springs). It’s a very unique,
yet relaxing experience; all visitors should give it a crack at
least once. Oedo Onsen Monogatari is my go-to place.

Where do you head for a taste of home?

I try and find a good coffee shop that serves a flat white
coffee like I drink at home in New Zealand. The Roastery Café in Harajuku comes pretty close.

You’re a fashion ambassador for Louis Vuitton, Tag Heuer and
Adidas; where are the best places to go shopping in the city?

I love the fashion shopping streets of Ginza and Shinjuku but
every now and then I like exploring smaller trails around
Daikanyama and Omotesando.

What’s the city’s dress code?

Anything goes in Tokyo; it has the most diverse fashion sense in
the world.

What are some of your pre-game rituals?

I always try to sleep four hours before kick-off to restore some
energy. I love listening to music – I listen to deep house – when
it starts getting close to the game. Post match, I’ll opt for a
chill playlist.

For post-match celebrations head to…

Commune 2nd in Omotesando is a buzzy outdoor food
court with craft beers and occasional live bands.

For a blow-out dinner book a table at…

New York Grill at
Park Hyatt
; there’s an amazing view from 52nd floor.

A weekend with friends is best spent…

Watching a baseball match or visiting Tokyo National Museum.

Recovery day hotspots?

Yoyogi Park is a bike ride away from the busy city vibe.
Inogashira Park is also a great place to relax.

Where should adrenaline junkies head?

The VR Zone game centre or if you’re willing to venture just
outside of Tokyo, Fuji Q
is the home of steepest rollercoaster in the

One place in Tokyo only locals know about is…

The industrial area night cruise.

One thing you can only do in Tokyo is…

Experience Otaku
culture in Akihabara.

Best food spots in the city include?

Definitely the Ebisu district. Eat in Azabu-Jūban area and you
won’t go too wrong.

What Japanese delicacies do we need to try in Tokyo?

(traditional Tokyo-style sushi) and uni (sea

Best spot for an evening drink…

Restaurant and Bar
Rooftop bar for the view.

To brush up on our Japanese, where should go what and what
should we read?

A Geek in Japan

Kobe, where you play for the Kobe Steelers, is just a little
over an hour from Tokyo. How should we spend a long weekend in

It’s a very beautiful part of Japan. Go down to the port and
learn about the devastating earthquake that hit here in 1995.
Visiting Harbour Land is a must – there are some great restaurants
there. Obviously get to a Kobelco Steelers rugby match. Eat some
famous Kobe beef and then get lost in the crazy streets of

What’s in your SUITCASE for a weekend away?

My passport, phone, wallet, headphones and a change of clothes
is all I need for an exciting weekend away.

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City Guide: Tokyo, Japan