The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

Mike Alfant’s Tokyo American Club day starts early. Working out from 5:45 a.m. in the spacious fitness center, he refuels with a daily breakfast of oatmeal with banana slices at Café Med, one of the Club’s five dining spots.

Since his office is nearby, Alfant is at his desk by 7:30 a.m., but often returns to the Club for meetings around 10 a.m.

“I bring clients here almost daily,” he says, leaning back in his chair at Traders’ Bar, the Club’s hub for watching televised sports. “Typically, I use the Club as a spillover office or private office for myself. It’s just easy and convenient.”

Alfant, a former president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) and current member of Tokyo American Club’s board of governors, joined the Club in 1999. With a young daughter, he wanted a place where she could learn to swim and participate in summer camps and other activities in an English-speaking environment.

“The Club offered a lot of family-friendly activities that weren’t available elsewhere in Tokyo,” says Alfant, CEO of Fusion Systems Japan, a Tokyo-based IT consultancy. “The other thing, of course, was the food. Back then it was hard to get good, American-style food in Tokyo. So I ended up eating a lot of cheeseburgers.”

Alfant, 54, quickly discovered the Club’s library, complete with English-language books and hard-to-find magazines, and started using the recreational facilities. If a 45-minute window opened in his hectic work schedule, he could fit in a quick workout, whether it was lifting weights, working up a sweat on a treadmill, or swimming laps in the pool.

For the last three years, Alfant has served as chair of the committee overseeing the Club’s food and beverage offerings. He was pleased to learn that the Club receives deliveries of fresh food throughout the day and places a great deal of emphasis on food safety and staff training.

“I was very impressed by the ethos and culture of customer service at the Club,” he says. “It’s nice to walk in here and the server knows what I like, how I like it, and when to give me a little space.”

Alfant uses the Azabudai facility for entertaining as well. He recently held his company Christmas party at the Club and, last summer, threw a barbecue for his employees and their families at the outdoor rooftop café.

The Club’s myriad of facilities and services, he says, allow him to perfectly balance his business and private lives.

“The bill every month comes out of my bank account and not the company’s,” he says, “so if the value proposition didn’t justify it, I wouldn’t be a member.”

To learn more about Tokyo American Club and to organize a tour, contact the Membership Office at 03-4588-0687 or membership@tac-club.org
www.tokyoamericanclub.org