Tuesday, November 2, 2010


The morning was spent researching Kyoto sights for possible inclusion in our tour (forget the Textile Center-- a major TT) and then we arrived at the station for the extra-fast train (nozumi) back to Tokyo. I cannot be the only person to note that Kyoto and Tokyo are the same letters in different orders and have similar kanji...nonetheless, we were not lost and easily got on the train and then into a taxi to The Peninsula Hotel.

I was concerned about actually getting to the hotel because we do not have a taxi card or an address in Japanese, but the taxi driver understood and knew The Pen. Amen.

A new-build, and open for only about two years, the Pen here is modern and more gorgeous than any art gallery. We just looked at each other and mouthed OMG...we seem to be in a different Tokyo than the one we left behind.

We have a junior suite overlooking the gardens of the Imperial Palace. We are just a few hundred yards from the famed railroad tracks so we had yakatori -- bento boxes on the train were duds-- and then checked out BIC Camera, the local version of Best Buy and then went in search of Frank Lloyd Wright who is, according to WIkipedia, in a museum and not much even in spirit in the famous Imperial Hotel.

The stroll along the tracks between The Pen and The Imperial is a visual and emotional treat. It's really Tokyo in all the contrasts you want to see-- gorgeous chic women and dives for chicken on a stick, banners flapping.

We stopped at 7-Eleven to buy Coke Zero for our room, but returned to find the General Manager had left a bottle of a 2004 Bordeaux in the room. That will take the edge off the travel weariness and go great with the spaghetti from room service. OMG indeed.

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