Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sunny Day in Edo

It was marvelous to fall asleep with eyes half open to the Tokyo skyline, looking much like NYC, to hear election prattle on CNN and to drift asleep in the best of Peninsula's beds with softest duvet. Woke early to order a true breakfast from room service.

Going to the toilet in the middle of the night was tricky, as I forgot that this Toto opens its' lid for you on approach...frightening in middle of night. Alas, it does not flush itself.

We are off to run more practice trials for our tour group -- to Ueno, Akiabara, etc. Tommorrow we'll do Harajuku preview befor heading back to the realities of Akasaka and the InterConti.

Being in The Pen teaches you the value of your big bucks-- there is no way to put a value on the luxury, the glamour of the other guests, the location, the ability of the staff to speak English and to synthesize your questions and respond helpfully. When we checked in, I hobbled on my cane. The bellboy took me to a seat in the check in area than took my place in line so I could sit. When our turn came, he brought me to the desk. Now that's training.

It was worth the price of admission just to stare at the other guests when we arrived-- a young man in early 0's, gai-in, with leather backpack and Don Johnson good looks, a casual elegance of money and style as if he was doing business here and would never go to the real world outside this hotel.

This Tokyo -- near Ginza and Chanel and the heart of the money land-- is so different from other parts of town and yet so exciting and important to see and experience. If you have only one life to live, or only a few nights in Tokyo, this is the place to be. But maybe come next week, when more of the leaves in the trees across the moat will be in fall colors.

It's only 8:30 AM and we have no place to go-- most stores open at 11AM, depatos at 10AM. If you get to Ueno too early, the stores and stalls will be closed. So we will watch Anderson Cooper and the USA election projections and save our strength for a new assault on a new day in Japan. Obiously we must search for a Moshi ice-cream stand-- Moshi is a brand with distribution in the U.S. that sells ice cream donuts (better than bagels for breakfast). They have over a dozen flavors (better than Starbucks)-- you let the frozen ice cream donut thaw for a few seconds, then bite into it. This alone is worth the price of airfare to Tokyo and a few nights in The Pen.

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