Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Experiencing the WOW of Tokyo

Shortly after returning to Seoul after the summer, we are going to Tokyo for a long weekend. I had actually travelled throughout Asia over several years working on a business development team in General Electric. Whenever the work trip was several weeks, I would spend the weekend and walk around and enjoy the sights, food and people. But it was work, and inevitably I saw more of hotel rooms than the actual sites of city. Plus I was usually rushing home as the trips normally lasted at least ten days to make it worthwhile.

But, I find living in Asia and traveling as a tourist is different and much more fun.  Plus the A-team at my husband’s office steps in and sets up amazing trips with tours and many insider tips.  Whether it was shopping, seeing the worthwhile places or eating in the newest places, our trips are always action packed and leave no regrets. Coming into Tokyo from the airport is spectacular – the city is modern and enormous, and as well, very exciting and hip. The hotels and service are remarkable and the skyline is so crowded with skyscrapers and neon that it is shocking. 

This first trip, we stay at the Intercontinental out in Tokyo Bay. What a beautiful setting.  I am a little surprised when neither the airport nor the hotel will change Korean won – thank goodness I had US cash.  You need cash in Tokyo for taxis, etc. American hotels for the most part cannot compete with the Asian service experience.  And, the decor of upscale hotels with the fusion East West elegance is gorgeous. So we wander around Meiji Gardens, visit the Imperial Palace, walked around in Ginza and eat at fabulous restaurants. One restaurant banged a loud gong every time a new patron entered and all the staff shouted in Japanese.  The kids loved it and Japanese food is delicious.  We also love the “punk” hair, vibrancy and style of Tokyo.  Everyone is so good looking and unique.  It was a stylish place and I am beginning to have a crush on all things with Asian inspiration.

Another time I will write about my trip to Kyoto, the place of ninjas and samurai. And bikes!
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