Tokyo's Tamachi area is the more introverted sibling of areas such as Shinagawa and Shinjuku, with their robots, retail and ramen. The area is primarily a business hub on the rim of Tokyo Bay, where you can wander under bridges and along the canals, catch a yellow water taxi or discover the redeveloped Shibaura Island, all public parks and high-end condos. You are, however, very close to the Tokyo action because the Pullman Tokyo sits right on Tamachi station on the Yamanote Line – the "circle line" of the city – that links you to hotspots such as Harajuku without the need to change trains.
With rail tracks scrambling over the city like a plate of iron spaghetti, there are 882 railways stations in Tokyo and the Pullman owns its spot above Tamachi. The hotel has welcome cards shaped like train tickets, staff who know their way around the sometimes-baffling metro system, and Platform 9, the plein-air rooftop bar that proudly looks out on the bullet trains as they slink by. From the outside the Pullman Tokyo Tamachi's glistening glass exterior fits with the mixed-use business park surrounding it, but once through the doors the art-filled, kabuki-themed lobby is all pleasure. Next door the KASA restaurant spills out into the plaza, so you can grab a bite in the sun.
In the country that developed capsule hotels, space is at a premium but the 143 rooms at the Pullman Tokyo are a decent size and the space is used smartly. My standard room has the sleep-inducing Pullman bed by the window with views of the area's skyscrapers and a dark-wood divider that serves as a desk, bathroom basin and minibar all in one; colours are muted browns with geometric artworks reflecting the steel-and-concrete surrounds. In the bathroom, rain shower doesn't cut it as a description, it's more like torrential downpour – and your toilet is the latest in Japanese technology with functions you never knew you needed but will sorely miss when you leave.
If you throw a chopstick in Tokyo you will hit a delectable dish and the Pullman's KASA restaurant is no exception, putting a luxe hotel spin on local dishes so that sashimi morphs into yuzu-cured Mt Fuji trout with nori powder. Grab a bar snack at Platform 9, which has drinks designed by award-winning bartender Roman Foltan from Singapore's Atlas Bar. The colourful bar mural here was painted live on one of the hotel's regular "art nights" and the whimsical Platform 93/4 – with pisco, absinthe and lemon – is art in a glass.
It's all about the train line, with the disc-like Yamanote Line spinning Tokyo's greatest hits. You can be in a hedgehog cafe in Harajuku, be one of the thousands tackling Shibuya Crossing at every green light, or getting some Ginza yakitori in one of the railways arches – all a short train ride from your hotel. Just pick a station and head in any direction down Tokyo's streets and laneways – and that's your day sorted.
Close to Haneda Airport and a short train ride from anywhere yet wrapped up in a bustle-free bayside bubble, the Pullman Tokyo Tamachi is the best of all worlds.
Pullman Tokyo Tamachi, 3 1 21 Shibaura, Minato, Tokyo; doubles from $322; accorhotels.com or book via travelassociates.com
Cocktails at Platform 9, watching the train-a-minute craziness of one of the busiest rail networks in the world from the comfort of my bar stool.
Things can get a bit busy around the business park come knock-off time, so avoid travelling/wandering around during peak hour.
Paul Chai was a guest of Travel Associates and Accor Hotels.