6 Ways You Can Benefit From Becoming A Tokyo American Club Member
From Exclusive Family-Friendly Facilities To Major Networking Events
Stay connected with Tokyo’s international community, be up to date with the latest expat events, let your kids play all day long, and eat the city’s best carrot cake at the club!
We can all agree that Tokyo is one of the most amazing cities to spend your life (or at least part of it) in, but it’s also undeniable that it can occasionally be a lonely place — especially if you’re a newcomer who has just landed and barely speaks Japanese. It is in times like this when we are most anxious to meet new people, find places that offer access to multiple life-supporting facilities, join social groups — and have the luxury of dining at some of the best places in the city that give us a taste of back home.
Tokyo American Club has been such a place for Japan’s international community since its establishment in 1928. Today, with about 3,800 members from over 50 nations (yes, you don’t need to be an American to join), the club offers a diverse range of cultural, business, recreational activities and facilities that anyone can benefit from. Here are our six picks of how the club can enrich your life and make your stay in Tokyo more vibrant and engaging.
1. Stay fit: Take unique sports classes and have regular access to a state-of-the-art gym
Japan’s 24-hour accessibility to food is among the first things you’ll experience as a newcomer and though you may like it in the beginning, you may also soon find the need to hit the gym. While Tokyo has no shortage of sports centers, classes and even public places to train at, the club gives its members access to all that combined. Starting from a massive Fitness Center (open from 5:45 a.m. until 11 p.m. daily) that offers personal training and regular challenges to keep you motivated, the club also has a six-lane pool (with a great view of Tokyo Tower), two golf simulators, three squash courts, regular group sports nights (including badminton, basketball, volleyball and table tennis), as well as a long list of fitness classes you can take: from adult and child aikido, krav maga, ballet, boot camp and golf, to some less-common ones, such as Iyengar Yoga, Kindermusik, and the cardiovascular workout Masala Bhangra (how do you even pronounce this?!).
2. Stay entertained: Read, learn, play, join events, travel
Whether you’re into playing music, reading, painting, joining group sport activities, throwing parties for someone or taking part in them, or even traveling, the club has your back covered. The library on the 2nd floor has over 10,000 books in English for adults and children, in addition to regular “Meet the Author” evenings, seasonal reading programs and a monthly book group. It also has two soundproof rooms where you practice your instruments (you probably won’t be able to do this at your Japanese apartment); regular organized travel tours that will help you get to know Tokyo and Japan better; a six-lane bowling room and exclusive bowling parties; various enrichment programs, including cooking classes and cultural events (ever wanted to learn about the cultural significance of tofu?) and a chance to attend other club-organized parties — or even have your own private party there! Did we also mention it has a spa and a beauty salon?!
3. Stay connected: Be part of the city’s most vibrant international community
With an average of three to five events taking place every day at the club — be it a restaurant promotion, an ikebana class, an art exhibition or an annual charity gala — there’s always something exciting happening there. The club has been a hub for major socializing events happening within the foreign and international community in Japan throughout its history, and now that the membership keeps growing, even more so.
From special events and classes, to business, social and seasonal gatherings, the club gathers the international community at any given time throughout the year. It regularly hosts special seasonal gatherings and members’ parties, including an Independence Day Event, a Family Christmas Show, the annual Member Bonenkai (end of year party), and of course, regular orientation sessions for newcomers, which are great opportunities to get acquainted with like-minded people from all over the world.
4. Stay empowered: Join the club’s Women’s Group
Speaking of staying connected, the Club’s Women’s Group founded in 1949, is a social circle that not only gives you access to a number of events, business networking opportunities, hobby ideas, fundraising events, and certainly even long-lasting friendships, but is also a bottomless well of information and resources — (and late night cocktails!).
The Women’s Group organizes events on a regular basis, from “Coffee Connections” luncheons to cultural activities and trips in Japan and neighboring countries. It’s a networking group formed by women members from all over the world, including many bilingual Japanese, who share common interests and are always looking for ways to spice up their Tokyo life. The Women’s Group is also behind some of Tokyo’s best-known charity and fundraising events, including the annual Asian Home and Furnishings Sale and The International Bazaar, all proceeds of which benefit local charities.
5. Stay calm: Have unlimited access to family-friendly venues
From a giant Jungle Gym and Kids’ Water Park to Kids’ and Teens’ Lounges, the club has unlimited family-friendly facilities and resources. Whether they’re interested in swimming in the pool, taking a sport class, borrowing a book from the library, or simply playing together with other kids, the club has a wide range of opportunities to keep the little ones entertained and the parents calm.
The club also has certified birthday party professionals who can help you arrange the perfect birthday bash for your children — including clown and magic shows, bowling parties, and playroom madness! The annual “Camp Discovery,” a summer day camp for kids, for example, is also one of the club’s most popular activities, especially among working mothers.
For busy mothers, the club also has a professional childcare center, open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with after-hours services extendable until as late as 9 p.m. upon reservation — which makes it possible to take a class, work an hour extra at the office, or have a business meeting over dinner at the club while the kids are in safe hands nearby.
6. Stay satisfied: Cater to all your culinary needs at the club’s eight diners
The club’s dining facilities are a major attraction point for members — the options just don’t run out. Its eight restaurants include an American steakhouse, a modern teppanyaki grill, a trendy bar, and the Rainbow Cafe, a spacious family-friendly restaurant with adjunct playrooms for the kids. All dining facilities are spacious, cozy, and managed by fully bilingual staff. Whether it’s just a business meeting over coffee, a solid lunch with the whole family, or just a quick stop by for a few bites on your way to an event, there are plenty of options for any purpose. The salad bar at Rainbow Cafe, for example, offers vegetable options that are rarely seen in Japan (yup, beets), and a carrot cake you’ll never forget.
If the occasion calls for a more private atmosphere, the third floor is also equipped with several private dining options for larger or smaller groups depending on the occasion — including The Terrace with a stunning view of Tokyo Tower.
So, this and much more is what awaits you at the club. It certainly doesn’t come cheap, but it’s an investment that comes with a great return — and you’ll enjoy every bit of it!
For more information on Tokyo American Club and membership options, read here.
Address: 2-1-2 Azabudai, Minato-ku, Tokyo