Shane Busato is communications
director at Tokyo American Club

For the past eight years, the communications team at Tokyo American Club has been guided by Toronto native Shane Busato, who arrived in Japan two decades ago with plans to stay for 12 months.

But, as is the case for so many visitors plan­ning to just sample what it’s like to live in Japan before leaving, the country soon became home.

“I first arrived in Japan right after graduating from university,” Busato told The Canadian. “I had never travelled outside North America and decided to come to Japan for a year for an adventure. One year quickly turned into 20.”

“Each year, the CCCJ worked with the Club in organizing great Canadian sponsors.” 


Before joining Tokyo American Club in April 2013 as a senior designer in the com­mu­ni­ca­tions department, Busato worked in English media in Tokyo as a graphic designer. He also started his own boutique creative studio with a partner — an entrepreneurial endeavour that continues today.

In July 2014, he stepped out of his design shoes and into the role of communications director. The position expanded his involve­ment with the community and offered a chance to work more closely with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan (CCCJ) through its activities at the Club.

Although work keeps him very busy, Busato tries to maintain ties with home when he can. “I have a few Canadian friends, try to buy Canadian craft beer when I can find it and some­times buy Canadian wine from Heavenly Vines,” he explained. “I also get involved with some Canadian companies through events at Tokyo American Club and even joined the office hockey pool, which I managed to win this season.”

One experience he is eager to repeat is taking part in CCCJ hackathons, which he did a couple of years back and thoroughly enjoyed.

From left, Marc Bolduc, Katsura Sunshine and Wilf Wakely next to the modified Club’s sign at a Maple Leaf Gala.


CCCJ members who visit Tokyo American Club will find a certain Canadian-ness, no doubt stirred in by the 76 Canadian members and Busato himself.

“Tokyo American Club has received special permission from the Board of Governors the past few years to invite CCCJ and Canadian Embassy staff to the Club’s Canadian Thanksgiving Cele­bra­tion in the New York Ballroom,” he said. “This is probably the biggest — and best — Canadian Thanksgiving event in Tokyo. It features all the Canadian classics such as turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, poutine and plenty of dishes with maple syrup! The CCCJ works with the Club in organizing great Canadian sponsors, including Air Canada and HyLife Pork.”

The Club also often hosts Canadian wine tasting events and recently had a Canada vs. USA wine taste-off (Canada won) and has been host and sponsor of the CCCJ annual gala a number of times.

“Despite the name and our strong connection to US culture and values, the Club is a truly inter­na­tio­nal environment,” Busato added. “I would highly suggest any curious CCCJ members contact us to visit and join the community.”

Canadian Thanksgiving Celebration at the Club


Busato would love to get more involved with activities and aspects of Canadian culture in Tokyo — if only he had more time. The problem is that a little work project has been keeping him quite busy these days.

To kick off 2021, Busato’s communications team has been busy introducing the Club’s biggest project since the rebuilding of the Azabudai facil­ity more than a decade ago.

Serving the business community has always been a key part of the Club’s mission, and for the first time in its 93-year history it has spread its wings with a second location.

On March 31, Tokyo American Club Nihonbashi opened its doors near Mitsukoshimae Station, in the city’s historic and fast-developing business and enter­tain­ment district. The satellite hub, located on the sixth floor of Nihonbashi Muromachi Mitsui Tower, is tailored to the needs and tastes of an international community of busy professionals and is a stunning, adults-only venue that offers the opportunity to wine, dine or work out all in one setting on weekdays.

“The Nihonbashi Club blends Tokyo American Club’s hallmarks of exceptional service and world-class amenities,” Busato said of the new facility produced in partnership with Mitsui Fudosan. “It is an exclusive retreat that, for many of our members and prospective members, is just steps away from where they spend so much of their time Monday through Friday. It represents the sophistication and convenience that our members expect, right in the heart of the city.”



For its nearly 4,000 members, Tokyo American Club’s main clubhouse in Azabudai has become a second home providing not only com­forts and amenities but also an ideal atmosphere for staying close to friends, family and business asso­ci­ates. But for those with offices in the bustling area around Tokyo Station and Nihonbashi, making use of the facilities in Azabudai for morning workouts, business lunches or after-work entertaining may require travel time that isn’t on the day’s calendar.

With the Nihonbashi Club, that has now changed. And while the addition of a second location might keep Busato even busier in his role as communications director, he’s delighted by the challenge and the expanded service the Club is bringing to its members and the community.

One thing Tokyo American Club is known for is its array of culinary delights that bring flavours from home to many members. That dining experience is on full display in Nihonbashi at the American Room in the morning with its continental breakfasts, at lunch with deli­ciously crafted sandwiches and salads, and in the evening with classic fish, steak and other dishes of stun­ningly crafted local ingredients.

“There’s also the Muromachi bar and lounge, which is a perfect place for checking the news with a coffee in the morning or talking through the day’s events at night over a cocktail or glass of wine with colleagues or friends,” Busato said.

“We also have a private dining room and an adjacent conference space, which is available by advance reservation, so that puts one of the key elements of the Club experience — entertaining associates and building business relationships — right at your fingertips.”

Keeping in shape may also become easier thanks to the state-of-the-art fitness center — exactly what members expect from Tokyo American Club. Free weights, machine weights, dedicated space for cardio, a dry sauna, showers and a whirlpool bath — available from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. — mean you have more chances to fit workouts into your busy schedule.

It’s all an exciting turn of events for Canadian businesspeople working in Tokyo, and for Busato the continuation of that adventure he set out on 20 years ago. Over the years, he has brought some Canadian flavour to the Club whose name so pro­mi­nently features Canada’s southern neighbour.