Japanese Travelog Part Five
Michael Taylor is flown to Tokyo, Japan, by ANA InterContinental Tokyo, where he spends two nights as part of a press trip of journalists and travel writers from Hong Kong.
Today Michael reminiscences about his full day tour, which starts with a pro-active hotel concierge that sees to it that he won’t leave Tokyo disappointed – thanks to Facebook.
Love it or hate it, Facebook – and other social media – has revolutionized the way we live. I think of it as the Facebook effect.
This is what I posted on Facebook after I checked into the hotel: “My mission (before leaving Tokyo): I want to buy a pair of those oh so cool shoes that Japanese rickshaw pullers wear! I deeply regretted not buying them on my last trip here. This time around, I SHALL NOT FAIL!!!”
The post was meant to be read by my friends. Little did I expect that Jerome Palocoeur, Head Concierge at the hotel, would read this post. But he did.
Okay, this was not a TOTAL surprise, because – after exchanging name cards with the people I met upon arrival – I DID send them all emails saying, “Nice to meet you!”, and suggesting we hook up on Facebook.
And one of those emails DID go to Jerome, one of several people that I had briefly met upon arrival. But I wasn’t REALLY expecting that anyone of them would do it – at least not right away.
So what happens when I arrive at the hotel’s Executive Club InterContinental Lounge for breakfast the next morning? Not only am I warmly greeted by Jerome. He also informs me that my mission WILL be accomplished!
“One of my colleagues knows of a shop that sells those Japanese shoes that you want to buy,” Jerome says.
“She will escort you there during your stop at Sensoji Temple.”
And that’s exactly what happens. While the other journalists are escorted to the temple, I am taken to a side street – off the beaten tourism track – where a shop sells all kinds of traditional Japanese clothing and accessories.
Including those shoes that I have been coveting!
Best of all, the shoes are not only much more comfortable than what I was expecting, they are also much cheaper – so much so that I decide to buy two pairs of them! Plus some socks. Plus a very cool Japanese style vest.
Here’s an overview of our itinerary for the day:
- Breakfast in the hotel’s Executive Lounge.
- Class in Japanese paper making.
- Lunch at one of the hotel’s Japanese restaurants.
- Exploring Tokyo by helicopter.
- City tour, with stops at the Imperial Palace, Mitsukoshi Department Store, the International Forum, Ueno Park, and Sensoji Temple.
- Ascending Tokyo Sky Tree to watch the sun set over Mount Fuji.
- Checking out an 18 metre high stature of Gundam (Generation Unsubdued Nuclear Drive Assault Module Robot) at Diver City – this was OBVIOUSLY the highlight of our trip to Tokyo for ONE of the other journalists on our trip!!!
- Tour of Tokyo’s hottest neighborhoods after dark.
- Dinner at the Kill Bill restaurant, Gonpachi.
To Be Continued
This is part five in a series.