HFWT: You’re the head concierge at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi, and a dad, so obviously in-the-know. Why do you think Tokyo is a great destination for families?
Akhil: First of all, Tokyo feels safe, comfortable and family-friendly. The city presents an interesting juxtaposition of cutting-edge modernity and centuries-old tradition. Because of the efficient public transit system, it’s easy and inexpensive to get around. It’s densely populated, but unbelievably clean. Tokyo is really half a dozen cities grouped together, each one with its own character and attractions. There’s a huge array of cuisine, including the world’s best sushi, of course! You feel that this is a culture that celebrates creativity and imagination.
HFWT: What’s the biggest surprise?
Akhil: Travellers think that language will be a big barrier in communicating, but you would be surprised at the fact that so many people here in Tokyo speak English and that the restaurants have menus in English. Major road signs are in English as well. Strangers are polite, friendly and helpful — even if they don’t speak English. You’ll find service in shops warm and sincere.
HFWT: What’s the attitude towards kids?
Akhil: Kids are welcome everywhere, including at restaurants and in theatres.
HFWT: You have two children: four and eight years old. What do they love to do on a special day out? Any favourites?
Akhil: They love to visit the Disney resort. They have been there many times, but still, it’s their favourite.
HFWT: Any tips to make a Tokyo visit enjoyable and easy-going?
Akhil: Plan ahead. Do the research about the events and places to which you will be going during your stay. Always keep an English language guidebook and Tokyo map with you.
HFWT: How does Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi make children feel at home?
Akhil: We have special welcome gift and souvenirs we give to children and a kids’ food menu, plus an activity book with the details about the places of interest in the city.
HFWT: What do you like about being a concierge?
Akhil: I get to visit many places in the city myself. It gives me great pleasure to share my knowledge. And because I’m multilingual, it also gives me a chance to practice my language skills with the guests from other countries.
HFWT: What are your top picks for fun with the kids?
Akhil: Here’s what I would be sure to do and see:
Akhil Tiwari is chief concierge at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi. Akhil has been living in Japan for almost 8 years and he worked as a concierge at both FS Tokyo properties. He also has children, 3 years old boy and 6 years old girl.
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