Travelog Part Eight
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 tours the Japanese capital, ascending Tokyo Sky Tree, the world's tallest structure.
What Tokyo Has to Offer
Learning how to make paper the traditional Japanese way in the morning, savouring a yummy Japanese bento box lunch in the company of charming Japanese geisha at lunch, followed by an exhilarating aerial tour of Tokyo, Japan, by helicopter – what an amazing start to this all day introduction to what Tokyo has to offer!
After getting our feet back on terra firma, we embark on a whirlwind tour of the Japanese capital, and everything runs like clockwork – thanks to the organizational skills of the concierge and MICE teams at the hotel - and Tokyo's seemingly flawless transport system.
We first drive to the Imperial Palace, where we get out of our shuttle bus at the Eastern Gate. Walking to another gate, our shuttle bus is right there waiting for us.
We continue past Tokyo's beautifully renovated train station to the International Forum, Japan's largest convention and exhibition centre. We tour the state of the art facilities, which include a stunning theatre that can hold more than 5,000 attendees.
We are then driven through Ginza – Tokyo's answer to New York City's Fifth Avenue. We disembark at the Mitsukoshi Department Store for a brief tour.
No visit to Tokyo is complete without a stop at Sensoji Temple, which is located in the heart of one of the Japanese capital's most historic and picturesque neighborhoods. There are countless stalls selling all manner of Japanese snacks and souvenirs. You can have your fortune told and ring the temple bell for good luck.
While the other participants in our group head to the temple, I ams taken to a nearby side street to buy some Japanese style shoes that I have been covering (see: Japan: Pro-active Concierge Leverages Facebook to Anticipate Guest Needs.
With the exception of our aerial tour of Tokyo by helicopter, ascending Tokyo Skytree for a bird's eye view of the Japanese capital is clearly the highlight of the day. I visited Tokyo Skytree during my visit to Japan last summer, but the lines were too long – and the tickets were too expensive.
It is, therefore, a real treat to have reserved tickets so that we don't have to spend too much time waiting in line.
When we arrive at the 450th floor, it is still daylight. Thanks to the well planned itinerary of our talented hosts, we are able to watch the sun set into the horizon against the silhouette of Mount Fuji, which is visible atop the haze.
18 Metre Statue of Gundam
After descending from Tokyo Skytree, we continue our land tour of Tokyo. First stop is Diver City, where we get out of the shuttle to check out an 18 metre high statue of celebrated Japanese cartoon hero Gundam – a high point of our trip for one of the Hong Kong journalists.
We drive through the Shibuya Crossing, the world's busiest pedestrian crossing on our way to Gonpachi, one of Tokyo's trendiest Japanese restaurants.
To Be Continued
This is number eight in a series on sightseeing in Tokyo, Japan. Tomorrow: Top 10 Things to See and Do in Roppongi.
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