Often referred to the Times Square of Tokyo, Shinjuku will be Olympic Central come July 2020. The area’s New National Stadium, which housed the 1964 Olympic Games, is currently being rebuilt to the tune of $1.26 billion for the upcoming Summer Games. The area is often referred to as a city within a city due to its skyscrapers, flashy billboards and red-light district. The wide range of attractions include the charming winding alleys of Golden Gai, a micro-neighborhood with over 200 tiny bars and restaurants that each only seat a handful of patrons; Shinjuku Ni-Chome, Tokyo’s hub for LGBTQ nightlife; and Shinjuku Station, the busiest railway station in the world. Cultural abound and include the ever-popular Robot Restaurant with cabaret-style shows; Yayoi Kusama Museum that opened in 2017; and live jazz over Japanese whisky tasting at Park Hyatt’s New York Bar.
The 25th James Bond movie, which will mark Daniel Craig’s final appearance as 007, is heading back to Jamaica in 2020. In celebration of the April release, movie buffs can retrace the island life of Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming. The author was a former British intelligence officer and discovered Jamaica during a WWII mission in 1942. Four years later, he purchased 15 acres of under-developed tropical land and named it GoldenEye to pay homage to his naval operation that first brought him to the island. He resided at GoldenEye every January and February for more than two decades and wrote a new Bond novel each winter for a total of 14 books. His beachfront bungalow, which is now called The Fleming Villa with five bedrooms, is part of the 52-acre GoldenEye resort. Fleming’s writing desk and sunken garden where he would entertain the likes of Noël Coward and Katherine Hepburn are available for guests to enjoy.
2020 will mark the 200th anniversary of the real-life horror that inspired Moby-Dick – the sinking of the Essex, whose ill-fated expedition began in 1819 from Nantucket. The island and its whaling days are the backbone of Herman Melville’s 1851 novel, and much of the island’s history is still preserved today. The Whaling Museum, housed in a 19th-century candle factory, tells the story of the rise and fall of the whaling industry. The Nantucket Historical Association offers daily tours to some of the 800 pre-Civil War homes on the island, the largest concentration in the U.S. Highlights include the residences of the commander and the first mate of Essex. During Melville’s first visit to Nantucket, which was surprisingly after he wrote the book, he stayed at the Ocean House, which is now known as the Jared Coffin House – renamed after the original owner who was a successful ship builder during the whaling heyday. Next year, the inn will expand with the addition of new suites and, following a 14-year closure, Tap Room will re-open in the property’s basement. The pub-style restaurant was a fixture in the downtown dining scene for more than 40 years.
Despite being Switzerland’s banking capital, Zurich is fondly referred to as a ’boutique city,’ and it is constantly ranked for its superior quality of life. During the summer months, visitors will be forgiven if they mistake the city for the Mediterranean with its lively outdoor cafes and swim sessions in Lake Zurich’s crystal-clear water. In 2020, the veil will be lifted on a David Chipperfield-designed extension to the Kunsthaus art museum, Switzerland’s largest. The predominantly Swiss art collection spans from the Middle Ages to contemporary works. Opening later this year after a top-to-bottom renovation by Philippe Starck, the lakeside La Réserve Eden au Lac is in the process of finalizing a collaboration with the museum. In other culture news, the Pavillon Le Corbusier, the last work by the great Swiss-French architect, just opened after a two-year renovation. Looking (way) ahead, with sustainability continuing to be a white-hot topic, it’s worth mentioning that Zurich is on its way to being carbon neutral and aims to be a 2,000-watt society by 2050 – meaning each resident will limit their energy consumption to 2,000 watts per year. What’s more, the city is getting even easier to visit as the airport expands and improves, with new direct flight routes from Chicago O’Hare and Washington, D.C. (IAD).