Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tokyo Day 5 and 6: Tokyo on a Budget

We moved out of the Peninsula in the morning and moved into the Park Hyatt in the Shinjuku district. Staying in the Park Hyatt is on the list "1000 Things To Do Before You Die" and is featured prominently in the film "Lost in Translation", so its easy to set expectations pretty high.

The hotel is beautiful - it occupies the top 14 floors of a 47-floor building (which is tall for Tokyo) and decorated in art deco fashion. Though I still prefer the rooms at the Peninsula, the views from the rooms are undeniably fantastic. Here's what we see from one side:


and here's the view from the other side:


The greenery is Yoyogi Park, where we saw all the rockabillys on Day 3.

Hungry for lunch and a new dining experience, our guide books said that the buffet at the New York Grill, on the top floor of the hotel, was excellent, so we ate there. As with any hotel buffet, and as my stomach reminded me after the meal, a buffet is usually a bad idea. The food was good, but not exemplary. The restaurant was pretty though:


After lunch we made our way to Roponggi Hills, a shopping/office/residential complex in the middle of the business district. I was able to buy a bookmarker! Here's an interesting sculpture found in the mall:


We met a friend of a friend for dinner in the Ginza district. We had a mizutaki meal, something novel. It starts out with a bowl of what mostly looks and tastes like chicken stock, which we first drink as a soup:



Chicken and pork and liver are then added into the stock. We eat the meats with ponzu sauce:


After the meat, you eat vegetables cooked in the stock:


The last part of the meal is noodles or rice (we had noodles):


We needed to walk off what we ate for (lunch and) dinner so we took a short walk down Ginza, which thereafter became my favorite part of Tokyo:


Nightcap was again at the penthouse of the Park Hyatt, now converted into the New York Bar. There was a jazz band, and the views of Tokyo at night were magnificent:

Our last morning in Tokyo was spent shopping in Takashimaya, a 15-floor department store in Shinjuku. I bought sunblock and a scarf!

Our flight back to Hong Kong was delayed because of a typhoon in Hong Kong, so I was finally able to finish the book I've been reading for close to two months, "The Yiddish Policeman's Union" by Michael Chabon (It's a funny and insightful detective story. If you can wait, the Coen brothers are making it into a movie).

Why I love Tokyo: the food and drink, the polite and pleasant people, the culture, the history and the wonderful chairs at the airport where you can ostensibly read but actually daydream about staying in Tokyo longer.

1 comment:

Vandana said...

keep telling J we need to learn from you and L to take weekend breaks :)