Highlighting JAPAN Vol.124 September 2018

MARK Neukomm was born in TAMAKI KAWASAKISwitzerland—a country famed for its apprentice system and the training of craftsmen—and began his professional life as a chef four decades ago at the age of fifteen. After completing a three-year apprenticeship, he moved on to a well-known hotelier school in Lausanne. There he studied service, management and foreign languages and earned his diploma. He went off to a hotel industry internship in Tokyo, thinking it would be a good challenge for a European like himself, and has ended up spending a total of twenty-two years in Japan.Neukomm’s first Asia posting after joining The Ritz-Carlton was Shanghai in 2000. Since then he and his family have lived in Osaka, Bahrain and Moscow, and he has now been general manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto for the past three years.According to Neukomm, managing a hotel in settings featuring Asian and other non-Western Mark Neukomm, general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, KyotoThe Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto has garnered many awards and has a glowing reputation among travelers both domestic and foreign as one of the best hotels in Japan. Mark Neukomm, the hotel’s general manager, reveals what he has learned about Japan over his more than two decades in the country.26WHAT IT TAKES TO LEAD JAPAN’S BEST HOTEL

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