Brule on Brule



We’re big fans of Tyler Brule, creator of Monocle magazine, innovative publisher and editor, professional globetrotter, and man of discerning taste. Brule definitely knows where to find the best of the best all over the world.

He recently interviewed himself for the Financial Times, sharing some of his thoughts and travel tips. We’ve got an excerpt after the jump. (FT)


Q: What time of year is the best time to visit Japan? I know it’s very hot in the summer, but I’ve never been there, so should I wait to visit?
A: No! If you’ve never been then seize whatever opportunity comes your way. Yes, it’s dreadfully hot in summer but it’s not to be missed. In fact, I’m penning this column from the tropical heat of Tokyo and, while it can be uncomfortable, it is also bearable if you have the right tools.

Armed with Gatsby freezing face wipes, a fan from Kyoto and a tenegui to mop my brow (and also an extra shirt in my tote bag), it’s all you need to keep you reasonably fresh throughout the day. I landed in Tokyo on Sunday, and for the past few days my thoughts have returned to an earlier column about all those products and concepts that Japan should pack into NYK containers and start shipping around the world. Aside from the basic cooling tools mentioned above, which will become increasingly necessary for a warming planet, Japan’s captains of industry might want to also start pushing the following into hungry markets:

The 28ºC Summer Work Environment: A meeting at the headquarters of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government on Wednesday was perfectly comfortable with the air conditioning set at 28ºC rather than at 19ºC. With my jacket slung over the back of the chair and a fan close to hand, it’s an agreeable climate to work in and a concept that other governments and companies should follow. I’m sure it’s also better for your health, as it prevents the body from being thrown into the extremes of freezing temperatures and then blasts of heat during the working day.

A Cooler Way

of Dressing: On a flight from Haneda to Seoul on Monday morning, I was really envious of a handsome man in his jinbei (a traditional summer pyjama-type combo, consisting of open weave shorts and kimono-style short coat), flip-flops and jaunty travel cap. While other passengers were looking a bit beady on the brow, he floated through the terminal looking like the coolest man at the airport.

Sky Barber Shop: Tucked away in a basement in Tokyo’s Marunouchi district, Sky might be standard in Japan but it’s the type of barber required by men the world over. In 10 minutes flat, a series of talented hands will shave and trim your beard, tidy eyebrows, sharpen the hairline on your neck, deal with stray nose hairs, moisturise your face, style your hair and send you on your way for just over £10.

Cool Tunes: Japan’s pop machine doesn’t do enough to export its top talent, so I decided to help out on Tuesday by bringing the songstress Bird and the very danceable Immigrant Bossa Band into the studio to play a few songs for our audio programme The Monocle Summer Series. If you’re keen to buy Japanese pop then is an excellent resource.