I first met Hajime (Jim) Takada 20 Years ago at a business meeting in San Francisco. He was a young executive at a fast growing Orthopedic Medical Device Company called Nippon Sigmax. His enthusiasm and linguistic skills impressed my clients who were looking for a Japanese Distributor for their popular Splinting and Casting Material. A Distribution Agreement was soon initiated and the project has continued profitably for both companies.
Outside of his talent for business and enviable personal skills, Jim has had the capacity to leverage extracurricular activities to create exciting opportunities. His Tennis Skills took him from a Tennis Academy in Kyoto where he grew up with his wife, a Former Pro Tennis player and Olympian, to University in California on Tennis Scholarship, and his expertise was not lost on Orthopedic Surgeons who enjoyed playing with him. Tennis evolved to golf, and business mixed with pleasure has been enjoyed by Mr. Takada from St. Andrew's to Pebble Beach.
Athletic aptitude aside, what makes Jim truly exceptional is his knowledge of wines and terrific locations to dine throughout Japan. Surgeons, Business Colleagues and good friends contact Jim when selecting wine or a venue is important. Jim's admitted feeling pressured as expectations for his recommendations have reached extreme levels. We've added to the load by requesting a Top Five List of Tokyo Restaurants and were gratified to be able to share with those who kindly view our Blog.
Jim is one of my best friends and his family attended our Wedding Reception just a few months ago. We’ve sampled many a vintage or brew since our first meeting in the City by the Bay. He’s my resource for information about Restaurants in Tokyo and almost everywhere else he leaves his foot prints. He is a first rate gentleman anyone would be fortunate to meet. Here are Jim Takada’s recommendations with a surprise found in Yamanashi Prefecture West of Tokyo:
1. Kikuura (Japanese, authentic, Shinjuku) http://www.kikuura.com/1f/index.html
2. La Scogliera (Italian, seafood, Aoyama) http://www.la-scogliera.com/
3. Specchio (Italian, Toscana, Yotsuya) http://www.specchio-yotsuya.co.jp/
4. Kurosawa (Japanese, soba, Nagata-cho) http://www.9638.net/nagata/index.html
5. La Cueillette (French, bistro at vineyard, Yamanashi) http://www17.plala.or.jp/Cueillette/
My wife and I look forward to trying out these exciting options. We’ll let you know how it goes as we knock them off one at a time. My sincere thanks goes out to Jim Takada who we hope will give us a Top 5 Wine Suggestion List in the future.
Nippon Sigmax Co., Ltd. http://www.sigmax.co.jp/english/
Jim is the good-looking gentleman on the left: