COSMETIC SURGERY
Tokyo’s top clinics offer a range of innovative treatments to unlock your inner beauty


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Akai Medical Clinic
▶ Not for nothing is Akai Medical Clinic one of Tokyo’s most popular places for cosmetic treatment. Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital trained Dr. Hidemi Akai and certified skin specialist Dr. Keiko Akai consistently employ the most state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to offer a range and quality of service that you simply won’t find anywhere else in town.

The clinic recently added eCO2 fractional laser treatment to its already impressive lineup of options. This skin ablation laser method can be used to treat the effects of aging and sun damage on skin, as well as scars, large pores and stretch marks. Unlike traditional CO2 laser treatment, it causes minimal discomfort and has fast recovery times. If lasers aren’t your thing, Akai is still the only place in Japan with an EndyMed PRO machine, a high-tech radio frequency device that provides non-ablative skin tightening, body tightening, body contouring and cellulite treatment.


Other popular options include Rhytec Portrait Plasma Skin Rejuvenation, which uses thermal energy to regenerate collagen and elastin. The treatment, available in both ablative and non-ablative form, is effective against drooping and sagging skin, wrinkles and acne scars. Alternatively, try Affirm and Affirm Muliplex fractional Nd:YAG laser treatment, which is good for tightening skin, reducing wrinkles and pores, improving skin complexion and healing sun-damaged skin.

We all want to look our best this spring, and Akai Medical Clinic has a wealth of special packages suitable for every budget and need. They’re currently offering great prices on hair removal, while hair transplants are going for just ¥500 per single graft. You can also enjoy discounts on Polaris and Fotofacial RF treatments, for sun-damaged skin, wrinkle reduction, rosacea, freckles and skin tightening.

If you’re already thinking about how you’re going to look on the beach this year, ask about their non-surgical body contouring and cellulite treatment, which combines EndyMed, VelaSmooth and a professional massage for the ultimate in slimming.

Botox is being offered for the bargain price of ¥20,000 per area, while hyarulonic acid treatment is also going cheap: just ¥40,000 for laugh lines and ¥30,000-¥40,000 for lip augmentation. Remove sun-damaged skin, acne scars and blotches with a course of full-facial chemical peeling and microdermabrasion therapy, currently just ¥50,000 for six sessions. You can also enjoy competitive rates on treatments including eyelid surgery, nasal reshaping, facelifts, breast surgery (augmentation, lift and reduction), liposuction, and minimal invasive surgery (thread lift, fat injection, PRP injection and fat stem cell injection).

If all those choices sounds a bit overwhelming, don’t despair: the doctors can provide detailed consultations to help you choose the option that’s best for you.

The clinic has branches in Omotesando and Yokohama.

3F KNK Bldg, 3-5-17 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5771-4114. Open daily 11am-8pm. Email: amc@akaiclinic.com. Nearest stn: Omotesando, exit A3. See website for details on the Yokohama branch. http://www.akaiclinic.com/en/index.html


Azabu Skin Clinic
▶ Pack those scarves and overcoats away: spring is here! While most of us will be happy to put winter behind us, as the days grow warmer, it’s difficult to maintain your skin condition. Temperature changes make the sebaceous glands more active, which can lead to acne on the face, back and upper chest. And that’s not all: as we start wearing more revealing clothing, we expose the sagging arms, chunky thighs and plump waistlines that we’d kept hidden over the colder months.

Azabu Skin Clinic will have you looking trim and toned in no time at all. Make an appointment now to enjoy generous discounts on Body ThermaCool and Vela Smooth treatment—good for slimming the abdomen, buttocks, thighs and upper arms, and for cellulite. If you’re more worried about your face than your body, try IPL Photofacial technology (effective against spots, wrinkles, blemishes, open pores and redness) or Titan XL, for facial sagging. Hard-working wage slaves, meanwhile, are sure to appreciate the clinic’s new CET hyperthermic method, which can relieve eyestrain, restore hair and generally help you relax.

Other treatments that have proved popular with the clinic’s regular customers include skin-tightening lasers such as ThermaCool, Titan and Polaris, which enable you to achieve a facelift effect without any invasive surgery, and Fractional Resurfacing, which is just the ticket for sagging skin around the eyes. Filler injections using collagen, hyaluronic acid, Botox, Juvéderm Voluma and Restylane are also available, to help reduce wrinkles and give volume for plump cheeks. Check out the clinic’s website for details of their special seasonal campaigns, with great prices on treatments tailor-made for the coming months.

Azabu Skin Clinic is run by Dr. Chiaki Kawashima, a Tokyo Medical University graduate and trained dermatologist. Dr. Kawashima actively participates in a variety of medical conferences, not only in Japan but also under the auspices of the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery in the US. In doing so, she’s able to keep abreast of current developments in the field, and employ the latest technology to provide state-of-the-art treatment. She and her staff of doctors and receptionists can speak English, and thirty percent of the clinic’s customers are foreigners.

Azabu Skin Clinic is driven by a commitment to the highest quality, the latest technology and a refined sense of beauty. The clinic prides itself on always providing the most appropriate procedure for each client’s needs.

7F Hagiwara Bldg 1, 1-3-1 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 0120-005-327 (toll-free). Open Thu-Mon 10am-7pm, Tue-Wed 11am-8pm. Nearest stn: Ebisu. http://www.azabu-skinclinic.com/english/index.html


Plaza Plastic Surgery
▶ There’s no shortage of well-regarded cosmetic surgery clinics in Tokyo, but few—if any—can match the pedigree of Hiroo’s Plaza Plastic Surgery. This is the only clinic in the whole of Japan that’s owned and operated by US Board-certified plastic surgeons, both of whom have more than 18 years’ worth of experience in the States. Head surgeon Dr. Robert Kure is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and boasts an impressive resume. After beginning his career as a neurosurgeon, he turned his talents to the beauty industry, and later became the chief resident in both neurosurgery and plastic surgery at UCLA.

His clinic offers a broad range of treatments with one common goal: to prevent the ongoing process of aging. Dr. Kure is a seasoned veteran in the art of Botox, having used it for well over a decade to ease frown lines, remove crow’s feet, and even tackle migraines and TMJ pain. Both Botox and Restylane treatments are offered as walk-in services at Plaza, meaning that you can shed years in the space of a few minutes—and often without any need for a follow-up.

Dr. Kure and his colleague, the US Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Mineo Orito (double-trained in ENT), also offer numerous other procedures, from facelifts to liposuction, tattoo erasing to freckle removal. Dr. Orito used to practice in New York, where he dealt with difficult cases of nasal deformity, eyelids and facial aging.
The clinic’s state-of-the-art laser—the US-developed Titan-XL—performs onsite lifts and tightening, in a treatment which is virtually painless compared to other non-invasive techniques such as Thermacool. Drs. Kure and Orito also use the laser to treat wrinkles, blotchy spots, rosacea and spider veins.

For more in-depth procedures, Plaza Plastic Surgery offers outpatient rhinoplasty, micro-fat injection, eye surgery, breast augmentation and double eyelid procedures. Men can also get treatment for erectile dysfunction and male pattern baldness, while ladies will doubtless love the new eyelash conditioner sold exclusively at the clinic. Laser hair removal is currently being offered at a 50 percent discount for new patients.

Plaza Plastic Surgery is conveniently located near Hiroo crossing, next to Starbucks, and is open on weekends. English consultations outlining all aspects of the procedures are available, ensuring a smooth and comfortable visit. In recognition of the fact that lasting youthful beauty involves more than a few nips and tucks, the doctors also discuss general health, supplements and nutrition.

4F, 5-5-1 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-5475-2345. Open Fri-Wed 10am-7pm (by appointment), closed Thu. Nearest stn: Hiroo. www.plazaclinic.net


Shonan Beauty Clinic
▶ The slogan of this cosmetic surgery clinic translates roughly as “Bringing the beauty clinic closer to you.” Their aim is to create a soothing space that rids patients of the anxiety associated with surgery. To this end, Shonan Beauty Clinic uses the very latest technology, offers in-depth counseling, and has an extraordinarily in-depth website packed with profiles of the staff, explanations and videos of various techniques, and over 8,000 pictures of previous patients—including the clinic’s Dr. Yoshiyuki Aikawa, who has first-hand experience of various liposuction and anti-aging procedures.

For the last five years, Shonan Beauty Clinic has also asked each patient to complete a customer satisfaction survey, then used the results to improve their service. The clinic has been such a success that it now boasts 18 locations across Japan, including a recently opened branch in Ikebukuro.

Dr. Aikawa says the secret to the clinic’s success is pursuing his mission to tackle people’s complexes, while never offering any procedure that he wouldn’t perform on his own family. “The great joy of this job is to see the patients regaining their confidence and able to live a brighter, more positive life,” he says.

The clinic has several discount offers for students, senior and test models—ask for details.

Shinjuku clinic: 12F Shinjuku Island Tower, 6-5-1 Nishi-Shinjuku. Tel: 0120-5489-09. Treatment times 10am-7pm (advance reservation only). www.s-b-c.net/index.html



HAIR & BEAUTY
Get a new look to die for at the city’s best salons and boutiques


Afrodita
▶ If you’re hankering for a new look this spring, head to Afrodita. The salon, conveniently located near Yokohama station offers a service that can help even the dowdiest ugly duckling look absolutely dazzling. Well, they named the place after the Greek goddess of beauty and love—what did you expect?

Afrodita is the brainchild of Yoshiko Morimoto, a licensed stylist and cosmetologist who cut her teeth in London, New York and the fashionable salons of Beverly Hills and Hollywood before opening the salon in 2001. She and her staff employ the latest styling techniques, including a dry-cut method known as de pinceau (literally “like a paintbrush”), in which locks of hair are cut in dry bunches, creating styles better suited to the shape of your head.

Not content to rest on her laurels, Yoshiko continues to sharpen her professional edge and take her hair coloring and styling talent to the next level at the Redken Exchange in New York City, the hair industry’s leading resource for higher learning. As a certified hair-color specialist, she chooses her tools wisely, employing top-grade dyes and hair products imported from the US. Root lines are a thing of the past, and you’ll need fewer touch-ups once she’s worked her magic. The salon’s other specialties include aftercare, perms, extensions and hair restoration treatments. They’ve also started offering manicures, pedicures and nail gel art, so why stop with your hair?

Yoshiko and her staff believe that the best way to give customers the perfect cut or color is by understanding individual needs—which is why they schedule consultations to learn more about their clientele’s desired appearance. Afrodita is also looking for hair models: contact the salon for details if you’re interested.

1F, 2-108-1 Sengencho, Nishi-ku, Yokohama. Tel: 045-311-0139. Open Wed-Sun 10am-7pm, closed Mon-Tue. Nearest stn: Yokohama. www.afrodita.jp


Beauty Clinic Carmel
▶ Located in the cosmopolitan neighborhood of Azabu-Juban, Beauty Clinic Carmel offers rejuvenating treatments in a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere. Your face and body will feel brand new after an hour or two spent in the company of the clinic’s experienced, English-speaking staff.

Carmel makes extensive use of Monopolar Radio Frequency (RF), a technology that penetrates deep into the skin to stimulate natural rejuvenation. It’s effective in restoring tightness and elasticity, reducing wrinkles, eye circles and acne scars, but can also be used to treat cellulite and even muscle pain. What’s more, there’s no surgery, lasers or downtime required. Carmel is currently offering RF at a special promotion price—see their ad for details.

That’s not the only thing on the menu here, mind you. Other options include professional make-up, eyelash perms and extensions, and face and eye treatments aimed at people who spend too much time in front of the computer or TV. Meanwhile, if you—or one of your children—are about to get hitched, the clinic also has a range of special treatments for brides, grooms… and their mothers.

1001 Maison House, 5-13-14 Azabu, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3584-1885 (call for reservations). Open daily 10am-10pm. Email: beautycarmeljp@yahoo.co.jp. Nearest stn: Azabu-Juban. www.beautycarmel.com


Boudoir
▶ Luxurious studios, the latest chill-out tunes, perfect candlelit rooms, impeccable decor, stellar service and attention to detail are all par for the course at Boudoir Day Spa. With a well-established reputation and a long list of loyal clientele, this exquisite retreat tucked away on the back streets of Harajuku specializes in Western beauty treatments such as facials, waxing, eyelash tinting and brow-shaping. Boudoir offers affordable beauty packages designed to pamper you from “top to toe.”

Australian owner Marilyn Klein believes in old-school skin care with instant results, and Boudoir’s therapists all hold international qualifications and are fully bilingual, so there are no language barriers. Simply put, experience and expertise is their specialty.

This month, you can feel like a true diva with Boudoir’s “Glamour Puss” beauty package, and receive ¥9,200 worth of free treatments and products. The package commences with Boudoir’s Rescue Remedy facial, including a glycolic peel that will help revive tired winter skin and bring back forgotten radiance. You’ll also get a complimentary shape and paint of finger and toenails and a free pair of diamante tweezers—the same type favored by the world’s top salons and make-up artists. Let Boudoir’s professionals treat you in style with this wonderful package, guaranteed to make you feel like a queen. Total value ¥24,200; yours for ¥15,000.

Meanwhile, if you’re trying to hold back the effects of time on your face, taking action in your twenties can slow the visible signs of aging. Indulge in Boudoir’s Liftosome Vitamin C facial treatment, designed to stimulate cell regeneration, combat free radicals, encourage collagen production and restore elasticity and moisture to the skin. The package includes a complimentary eyebrow shape, shape and paint of finger and toenails, paraffin wax treatment for hands and feet, and a pair of diamante tweezers. Total value ¥35,800; yours for ¥18,900.

Maison Kawai 101, 2-25-3 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3478-5898. Open Mon & Wed-Fri 10:15am-8:30pm, Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 10am-6pm, closed Tue. Nearest stn: Harajuku. www.boudoirtokyo.com


Burt’s Bees
▶ “We take the best from nature, so we must respect and provide for it.” So says Roxanne Quimby, the enterprising co-founder of Burt’s Bees. Since starting life as a candle making operation using beeswax in 1984, the company has become a pioneer in the art of creating personal care products from natural ingredients. They call it Kitchen Chemistry, taking healthy ingredients—beeswax, lemon, pomegranate, peppermint, aloe, almonds, sunflower, coconut and honey—and processing them in the simplest way possible. After 25 years of growing to become a leading natural personal care company in the US, Burt’s Bees is still committed to the simple idea that what you put on your body should be made up of ingredients you can spell.

Savvy and eco-conscious Japanese consumers have a soft spot for this kind of thing, of course, and Burt’s Bees products have already gained a dedicated following here. That popularity looks set to increase with the opening this month of Japan’s first dedicated, directly managed Burt’s Bees shop. The store, which opened in Roppongi Hills on March 2, stocks all of the Burt’s Bees product lines available in Japan, and shoppers can currently enjoy a great 2-for-1 deal on their top-selling hand creams. If you desire truly natural personal care products, look no further.

Bees International Corp.: 302, 5-9-20 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Burt’s Bees store: 4F Roppongi Hills West Walk, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Tel: 0120-594-282. Open daily 11am-9pm. Nearest stn: Roppongi. www.burtsbees.co.jp


Nepenji
▶ Some salons are named after their stylist, others after their neighborhood. This Ebisu spot, however, is the only one we know of that draws its name from Homer’s Odyssey. Nepenthe, according to Greek legend, is a potion that will chase away your sorrows. Here, the name refers to the effect a cut and color will have on your disposition.

Salon owner Kyoko is fresh back from a spell at Devachan, the New York salon that specializes in curls. By cutting hair dry, Nepenji’s stylists control exactly how your locks will look—a sculpting technique with impressive results for anyone with curly hair. Kyoko and co. also recommend colors to coordinate with your eye and skin tone, and teach you how to maintain the style at home. And though Nepenji is the place to go for anyone with curls, the staff are just as handy with straight hair.

As for that sorrow-dispelling name, the salon’s head massages with Kérastase products are sure to send you off with a smile on your face.

Nepenji’s main branch is in a quiet neighborhood, five minutes’ walk from Ebisu station. There is also a sister outlet in Ikejiri.

Ebisu Branch: 2-6-14 Ebisu Minami, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3793-2357. Open Mon & Wed-Fri 11am-9pm, Sun 10am-8pm, closed Tue & second and third Mon. Email: info@nepenji.net. Nearest stn: Ebisu.

Ikejiri Branch: B1, 3-1-3 Ikejiri, Setagaya-ku. Tel: 03-3421-3202. Email: poi@nepenji.net. Nearest stn: Ikejiri Ohashi. www.nepenji.net/index_en.html


Nail Bee
▶ Since opening on Roppongi Crossing in 1996, Nail Bee has become a firm favorite among Japanese and foreign customers alike, and now has branches in Ginza, Shibuya, Kawasaki and Fukushima. The owner of the original Roppongi shop was certified in New York, and you can always expect a cosmopolitan, international atmosphere.

Just in time for spring, Nail Bee is offering manicures (file, cuticle cut and massage) and its Polish SPA Regular Nail Course (which usually costs ¥4,725) for only ¥2,010. If you’d like something a little more eye-catching, how about some gel nails? Nail Bee uses soft gel for French nail and colored designs, which looks natural and won’t chip, flake, or harm your nails like hard gels can. Designs last for two to three weeks, and can be removed in just ten minutes using a special liquid.

Nail Bee’s other specialty is its waxing services, which have proved one of the most popular items on the menu. Use the coupon on their ad to get discounted prices on bikini (¥2,415), underarm (¥2,520), half leg (¥4,200), eyebrow (¥1,680) and Brazilian (¥8,400) waxes, plus 20 percent discounts on waxes for other areas.

Eyelash extensions are another popular option at the salon. Customers can choose the length, curve and thickness, and enjoy luscious lashes that last for about a month—with no mascara or special glue necessary.
The customer always comes first at Nail Bee. Drop by with this copy of Metropolis to enjoy a generous discount.

4F Minochi Bldg, 3-11-8 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3470-9665. Open daily 11am-8pm (last appointment). http://www.nailbee.com/e/index.html


Elana Jade
▶ An oasis in the heart of Tokyo, Elana Jade is an Australian-owned organic beauty salon superbly situated in Azabu-Juban. All of the products used in its treatments are guaranteed to be made entirely from 100 percent certified organic ingredients, and are delivered by highly trained, English-speaking staff.

Elana Jade’s philosophy derives from the belief that beauty, health and fitness are interrelated and that the health of the skin is a window to overall health and wellbeing. Customized treatments using only 100 percent organic skin care products, combined with proper diet and regular exercise, are the key to healthy, beautiful skin.

The salon is decorated with wood and stone highlights and is home to an array of beautiful Australian and Japanese plant life creating a tranquil ambience, which is heightened by warm lighting. Generously sized, enclosed treatment rooms provide a private and relaxing haven where guests come to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Tantalize your senses with the aroma of herbs and oils while your mind and body are nurtured and rejuvenated.

3F Latorie Memorial Bldg, 1-5-19 Azabu-Juban, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-6438-9895. Open Mon-Wed 9:30am-8:30pm, Thu-Fri 9:30am-6:30pm, Sat 10:00am-6:30pm, closed Sun. Nearest stn: Azabu-Juban, exit 4. www.elanajade.com


Hayato New York
▶ Clients come from all over the world to visit Hayato New York in Minami-Aoyama. And, stepping inside this salon, you could almost forget that you’re in Japan. All of the staff are bilingual, having completed two years of work and language training at Hayato’s salon in New York prior to making their debuts as professional hairstylists here. Net result: when it comes to non-Japanese hair, these guys are experts. An ethnic hair-care specialist also recently joined the lineup, ensuring that you’ll be in safe hands, however unorthodox your mane.

Hayato New York’s core philosophy is to provide simple and natural hair designs for any type of hair texture. All of the products and solutions used at the salon are imported from the United States, and are available exclusively at Hayato in Japan. The salon has garnered a strong following, with branches now in London, Tokyo and NYC, with clients from the celebrity set as well as us ordinary folks. Stop by for a styling and find out what all the fuss is about.

3F, 5-9-3 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3498-9113. Open Mon & Wed-Fri 11am-8pm, Sat-Sun & hols 10am-7pm, closed Tue. Email: tokyo@hayato-ny.com. Nearest stn: Omotesando. www.hayato-ny.com


Ho’me Beauty Salon
▶ Unless your apartment comes equipped with an internal sun that tans you safely and evenly—as well as a Hawaiian masseuse, relaxing aromas, and a way to lie around while fat is burned off your body—then home is probably nothing like Ho’me.

The salon’s “sun” comes in the form of airbrush tanning, which gives an immediate, even coloration that makes you look like you just flew in from Ibiza. You also avoid exposure to dangerous UV rays and the possibility of looking like a lobster. Ho’me’s airbrush tanning has the staying power of a real tan—ten days to two weeks—because of its deep skin penetration. For a full-body bronze, Ho’me charges only ¥6,000; for a partial tan, prices start at ¥4,000.

Ho’me’s lomi lomi massage is fantastic, the hot stones are divine, and the aromatherapy bliss. But what about this effortless way to shed flab? The salon has Alex-S, the “ultimate diet and relaxation machine.” It’s an electromagnetic, infrared light system that burns fat and cellulite, stimulates muscles, and drains lymph nodes—all while you do absolutely nothing. The Alex-S burns off the same as a 15km jog in just 30 minutes, and can work your entire body or perform spot treatments, with the option to choose your own specialized course. The cost is ¥10,000 for one-hour sessions.

Ho’me now also offers Powerlite Facial treatment, the most advanced non-invasive method for rejuvenating skin. Using intense pulsed light, it reduces wrinkles and enlarged pores, firms the skin and smoothes out texture and pigmentation, making you look years younger in the process. Get a trial session for ¥15,000 (usual price ¥17,500). Alternatively, choose from a selection of Ho’me Facials (glycolic peel, facial massage, nano vitamin C+E and much more), priced from ¥10,000; your therapist will recommend the best treatment for your skin type.

Ho’me also offers Powerlite Hair Removal (intense pulsed light), which is safe, speedy and, after a few sessions, will make shaving a thing of the past (¥3,500 armpits, ¥500 for one pulse).

103 Odakyu Minami-Aoyama Bldg, 5-12-3 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5467-0191. Flexible opening hours/days. Email: staff@hometokyo.com. Nearest stn: Omotesando. www.hometokyo.com


Dude
▶ When foreigners arrive in Japan, the first thing they do is look for a doctor and a dentist that understands their needs. The next important step is usually finding a stylist who knows how to work with all types of hair. Japanese and Western hair are fundamentally different, as are the shapes of each person’s head, neck and shoulders. Therefore, totally different techniques come into play. One classic example is the way Japanese and Western hair react to thinning with a razor: the former can cope with a lot of thinning and will still look very healthy, but try employing this technique on Western locks and you’re inviting disaster. Kaz at Harajuku’s Dude truly understands Western hair. The salon offers free consultations in English, hair coloring products imported from overseas, and a relaxing environment with groovy music. Kaz believes that a hairdressing appointment should not be stressful, but a chance to just chill out.

6-5-2 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3400-3901. Open Mon & Wed-Sat 11am-8:30pm, Sun & hols 11am-8pm, closed Tue. Nearest stn: Meiji-Jingumae or Harajuku. www.dude.jp


NUA
▶ Celebrating its first year this March, Nua has fast become a favorite waxing and beauty salon for both expats and the local Japanese community alike. Nua's loyal customer base rave about both the quality and hygiene of its head-to-toe beauty services conducted at the conveniently located Omotesando salon.

Men and women’s waxing treatments are all performed using their signature waxing techniques, which deliver fast, effective and smooth results every time. The manicures and pedicures are another impeccable service offered at Nua and provide the ultimate in pampering for dry hands and tired feet.

From April, Nua will be adding facials to their constantly expanding treatment menu, using internationally respected and sought after skin care products by Dermalogica. Dermalogica is an innovative skin care system researched and developed by the International Dermal Institute, free of artificial colors, artificial fragrance and other common irritants with a focus on improving the health of your skin.

The professional quality of Nua’s treatments combined with the soothing ambience of the salon guarantees a perfectly relaxing spa experience. To top it all off, various beauty packages are available at Nua, giving bonus savings on the already reasonable prices. The VIP point card system adds the extra benefit of earning points with each treatment that can be redeemed on your next visit.

If you have an iPhone, download the free NUA application on the iTunes app store. You can use it to call, book an appointment, and get directions with one touch!

Lamial Jingumae #102, 4817 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-6804-5285. Open Mon-Fri 11am-9pm, Sat-Sun 11am-7pm. Closed Tue. Nearest station: Omotesando. www.nuajapan.com, info@nuajapan.com


Shape
▶ Spring is in the air, cherry blossom season is fast approaching—and a visit to Dan Suzuki’s Shape salon in Akasaka is just the thing to freshen up your do. Master stylist Dan draws on years of training at the Vidal Sassoon studios in London, which endowed him with both the creative vision and technical know-how to tackle any kind of styling challenge. When a simple trim just isn’t going to pass muster, Dan and his Shape artists will be glad to show off their highlight and foil-work skills, using Wella color products imported from the UK to ensure the best results for Western hair.

Shape knows how to pamper customers in style, too. The salon has its own coffee bar, where you can enjoy a complimentary cup of espresso, cappuccino or organic tea either before or after your appointment. And there’s no need to stop with your hair, either: Shape now offers manicures and pedicures while you’re having your trim. As a bonus to Metropolis readers, mention to your stylist that you’re interested in the “Metropolis Hair Treatment”—available to anyone booked in for a haircut—and you’ll get it for free.

4F, 6-3-16 Akasaka, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3568-3666. Open Mon-Tue & Thu-Fri 11am-9pm, Sat-Sun 10am-8pm, closed Wed and second Tue. Nearest stn: Akasaka, exit 6. www.shape-salon.com


Shou Beauty Salon
▶ Do you have cellulite or stubborn fat, despite leading a healthy lifestyle? Do you want to reshape your body and restore some bounce to your skin, or get your figure back after pregnancy? Are you going through menopause, and looking for a way to avoid the dreaded thickening of the waist, back and arms?

Cellulite is a true nightmare for some, and affects nearly 90 percent of women. It results from changes in the thickness and tone of connective tissue in the dermis and superficial fat layer, causing a dimpled, orange peel effect. As if that weren’t enough, areas of cellulite remain totally unaffected by even the strictest diets and physical exercise regimes.

If you know this all too well, it’s probably time you paid a visit to Shou Beauty Salon. Squirreled down a lane directly behind Omotesando Hills, Shou offers a range of beauty treatments, including the revolutionary LPG Lipomassaage, which uses mechanical roll stimulation to reactivate fat release and the production of collagen and elastin. It leaves your skin smoother and softer, and that pesky cellulite gradually disappears—for good! Lipomassage can also permanently eliminate stubborn fat that is resistant to physical exercise and dieting. After six sessions lasting 35 minutes each, you’ll see visible results on your figure, losing fat wherever you wanted it gone.

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Shou is offering LPG cellulite treatments for just ¥9,450, or six sessions for ¥50,000. Meanwhile, if first-time visitors introduce a friend, they can receive 30 percent discounts on all treatments: get a Brazilian wax for ¥4,200 (usual price ¥6,300), a full bikini wax for ¥9,555 (usual price ¥13,650), and much, much more.

Arrow Plaza Harajuku #312, 4-19-8 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3470-7109. Open Tue-Wed & Fri-Sat 10am-6pm, Thu 10am-7pm, closed Sun-Mon & hols. Nearest stn: Omotesando or Meiji-Jingumae. www.shousalon.com


Tanning Studio 82ºF
▶ Established in 1982 and catering to a more adult clientele, Tanning Studio 82ºF is proud to have provided safe, professional and trustworthy tanning services for over 26 years.

Studio 82ºF’s tanning lamps carefully control and release safe levels of UVA and UVB rays for the best results. All lamps are maintained to the highest standards and replaced regularly. No creams or lotions are required to get a high-quality even tan—patrons can enjoy a quick and clean tanning session without needing to take a shower afterwards. Tanning Studio 82ºF is perfect for busy individuals looking to get the best possible tan in the shortest possible time. And with all the tanning beds housed in private booths, you can enjoy the experience in total privacy.

Single treatments cost ¥1,000 per 10 minutes, or you can save money by purchasing a coupon book for multiple sessions (¥10,000 for 120 minutes, ¥20,000 for 260 minutes). Individuals with delicate skin are offered an introductory 5-minute tanning session free of charge.

Sanbu Bldg, 1-12-5 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3405-1407. Open Tue-Fri noon-9pm, Sat-Sun & hols 10am-7pm, closed Mon. Nearest stn: Hiroo or Roppongi.


Yamano Beauty Wellness Salon/luonto
▶ Celebrating its 85th anniversary this year, Yamano Beauty Wellness Salon can count women young and old amongst its fans. The company has grown to include 125 salons in 81 locations throughout the country, each of which strives to offer the best possible treatment to its customers.

At the ANA Intercontinental hotel in Akasaka, there are two kinds of Yamano. The Yamano Beauty Wellness Salon on the first floor is a hair salon that can hold its own against the best in the country. It specializes in hair and make-up for parties, and the staff are renowned for the speed with which they can get the job done. The convenient location has also made this a popular spot for foreigner customers to get their hair cut and colored, or to enjoy one of the shop’s head spa treatments.

Head up to the sixth floor and you’ll find Yamano’s esthetic salon, Luonto, where sessions promise relaxation from beginning to end. The staff particularly recommend their Finnish Esthetics and Biomaris treatment courses. The former is a eurhythmic treatment developed through extensive research into the effect of oils with a focus on the muscles, blood and circulation. Biomaris, meanwhile, uses Thalasso therapy products that harness the healing effects of deep sea water. Also popular is the Eternal Beauty Care course, available in anti-aging, hydrating or skin whitening versions.

As a special offer to Metropolis readers, Yamano Beauty Wellness Salon is providing half-price haircuts and coloring, as well as discount prices for hair styling and head spa treatments. Also try a Luonto facial course and you’ll get a free head massage, or try a body course and you’ll get 10 minutes of extended service. Just ask when you make a reservation.

Though they’re housed in the luxurious environs of the ANA Intercontinental, both salons have a relaxed atmosphere, and the English-speaking staff will make you feel comfortable in no time. If you drive your car there, you can also take advantage of free parking at the hotel.

Yamano Beauty Wellness Salon: 1F ANA Intercontinental Hotel Tokyo, 1-12-33 Akasaka, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3505-6707. Open daily 10am-7pm. Nearest stn: Tameike-Sanno. www.beautytop-yamano.com

Luonto: 6F ANA Intercontinental Hotel Tokyo. Tel: 03-5570-2425. Open Mon-Fri 11am-8pm, Sat-Sun & hols 10am-7pm. www.beautytop-yamano.com/luonto/l_index.html




FITNESS & HEALING
Shape up and sleep tight at these gyms and clinics


Gold’s Gym
▶ It’s the world’s biggest fitness club, boasting an extraordinary 3 million members. And if you’re serious about fitness, Gold’s Gym is the only place to go. The global giant has 37 locations—and counting—in Japan, all of which are open from early morning until the middle of the night. The flagship branches in Harajuku and Oimachi are even more convenient—they’re open 24 hours.

Last December, Gold’s unveiled the latest addition to its family, just three minutes’ walk from Shibuya station. Housed in the stylish Cocoti building, Gold’s Gym Shibuya offers luxurious weight and cardio training facilities, and a studio that’s used for everything from yoga and aerobics to ballet and belly dancing classes. That’s to say nothing of the bedrock bath and poolside café and lounge, which make this the kind of fitness club you’ll actually look forward to going to. Together with branches in Harajuku and Omotesando, it’s created a convenient “fitness triangle” right in the center of Tokyo.

Though Gold’s was born in the iron-pumping heartland of Venice, California, the chain now boasts a diverse clientele that straddles all age groups and abilities. Every branch offers sensible, tailored programs to help anyone achieve their fitness and physique goals, and comes equipped with the very latest machines, as well as a sauna, aerobics studio, protein bar and tanning machine.

In fact, the only bad news is that with Gold’s hours, rates, facilities and accessibility, none of the old excuses will work any more. Until the end of April, Metropolis readers going to the Shibuya, Harajuku and Omotesando branches can get a special discounted Visitors Rate of just ¥1,050 (usual price ¥3,000) on their first visit: just show the ad in the magazine.

Gold’s Gym Shibuya Branch: 9-11F Cocoti, 1-23-16 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-5464-7373. Open Mon-Fri 7am-11:30pm, Sat 9am-11:30pm, Sun 9am-8pm. Nearest stn: Shibuya. www.goldsgym.jp


Good Sleep Clinic
▶ Humans spend a third of their lifetimes in the land of Nod, so it stands to reason that the better you sleep, the better you live. Good Sleep Clinic specializes in treating conditions such as daytime drowsiness, snoring, apnea and morning headaches. These are often the result of Sleep Apnea Syndrome (SAS), a disorder that causes breathing to stop numerous times while a person is asleep. A surprisingly common condition, SAS is also associated with a higher risk of diabetes, hyperpiesia and arterial sclerosis.

Good Sleep Clinic can examine for and diagnose SAS, then administer appropriate treatment depending on the severity of the condition. They can determine the causes of drowsiness and the quality of sleep based on data obtained from brain waves, sleeping rhythms and respiratory status while you’re snoozing.

Sleep is the basis of life, and is greatly influenced by stress and surroundings, yet we can’t know ourselves how well we are sleeping. It’s a sensitive issue, too; women in particular can be reluctant to discuss snoring problems. At Good Sleep Clinic, though, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Whether you’re suffering from daytime drowsiness, loud snoring, morning headaches or shallow sleep, give them a call and you’ll be enjoying golden slumbers in no time.

Hamamatsucho: 2-10-1 Shiba-Daimon, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5733-3251. Open Tue-Sat 10:30am-8pm, closed Sun-Mon. Nearest stn: Hamamatsucho. www.good-sleep.gr.jp/hamamatsucho/english.html

Omori: 1-8-2 Omori-Kita, Ota-ku. Tel: 03-5753-1133. Open Wed-Fri 2-8pm, Sat-Sun 10am-1pm, closed Mon-Tue. Nearest stn: Omori. www.good-sleep.gr.jp/omori/english.html