Time for Tokyo

Trip Start Oct 31, 2009
Trip End Nov 11, 2009

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Where I stayed
Sheraton Miyako Hotel

Flag of Japan  , Kanto,
Thursday, November 5, 2009

Actually managed to wake up two minutes before my 4:00 AM wake up call in order to catch a taxi to the airport for an 8:00 AM flight to Tokyo.  I shared the ride with Heather from Manchester University.  We arrived at Incheon airport ten minutes before the counters even opened. Thanks to my Gold status on American Airlines we were able to stand on the shorter line.

An easy two hour flight to Tokyo got us in by 10:00 AM.  After passport control, baggage claim and customs we just made the 10:45 airport limosine bus.  If we had missed it we would have had to wait until 12:20.  And taking a cab from the airport isn't really an option in Tokyo.  It's an almost two hour drive to the city and cabs can cost over $200.  The airport limosine bus is $30 (3000Yen) and takes you directly to hotels throughout the city.

Checked in the room by 1:00 and was in desperate need of food.  Unfortunately, the Sheraton Miyako hotel isn't really within walking distance of anything. Luckily, the hotel provides a free shuttle to the nearest major train and subway station-Meguro.  Since I was up before dawn I really thought I would just take the shuttle to the station area to find some food and then head back to the hotel to rest.  I should have known better.

After a quick (and surprisingly reasonably priced) sushi lunch I decided to brave the Tokyo train system.  The boldness came more out of the fact that the hotel armed me with detailed maps and basic directions on which trains to take, and how much they cost.

I took the advice of some of the other school reps at took the JR train to Shinjuku station.  12 minutes later I was walking around the Shinjuku district.  I visited the Park Hyatt hotel, where they filmed Lost in Translation.  It wasn't quite how I remembered it being portrayed in the movie, so I will have to watch it again when I get home.  Was actually less than impressed with the hotel, which actually occupies the top floors of an office building.  The best part about it is the view of Tokyo from the 52nd floor-home of the New York Bar and Grill.

I was told to check out the basement floors of some of the department stores because they are completely devoted to food.  Quite fun to walk around and it made me wish that our stores would do the same.  Vanessa, the big department store even had an Angelina bakery. Can you believe it?

Back to the hotel by 5:00 where I proceeded to do work for the next three hours.  Got a call from Grace when she arrived at the hotel.  She had to attend another event that night so I hoped back on the shuttle with her and after she went to the train station I ventured off in search of some ramen for dinner.  My search was a failure.  Many of the restaurants in Tokyo have pictures on their menus which is very helpful.  Unfortunately, not too many in this area did and I never did find a menu with pictures of ramen.  The closest I found was udon, so that was dinner.

Thursday, November 5 was the day of the World MBA event. I had interviews starting at 2:00 PM but I was determined to get out and see at least one more thing in Tokyo.  Grace and I took a mini adventure to the Asakusa station and we "saw" the Sensoji temple.  What I mean by that is by the time we finally made it there we were thoroughly amused to see that the entire structure was completely covered by scaffolding.  I took a picture anyway.
Back on the subway to head back to Shinjuku where Grace had promised to take me to a great Japanese curry restaurant.  At this point I was starting to get a little worried that there wouldn't be enough time to eat and get back in time for my interviews, but we powered on.  When we finally got to the restaurant they only had seating at the smoking section AND when they handed us menus every picture was of udon noodles.  the curry house was a curry house no more.  We left, defeated, and raced back to catch the train back to Meguro. I had recalled seeing a curry restaurant near the station the night before.
We arrived by 1:00 PM and discovered the joy that is CoCo Ichibanya.  I believe it is a chain curry restaurant but the food is fantastic.  You can order a wide variety of meats or vegetables and about a dozen different topings to customize your dish.  You can then choose your spice level (1-10). I opted for spice level 3 which was just the right level of spicy.
Caught the 1:45 shuttle back to the hotel and I still had 5 minutes to spare before my first interview.  Whew!

After the MBA fair (where I was joined by 4 alumni, which was fantastic!) I went to Cafe & Dining Scene restaurant to host a Merage alumni dinner.  Scene is actually owned by one of our alums who just opened the restaurant last year.  In total, six alums attended the event. It was great to hear about what they are doing now, and listen to them speak fondly of their time at Merage.  the biggest bonus of all was that the owner ordered all the best dishes for our table and we were able to try it all.   One of the alums even gave me a ride back to the hotel in his sweet sports car. 

Back at the hotel by 11:30 and called it a night.  Determined to get out and see a little more of Tokyo before my flight tonight.
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Krista on

No karaoke in the hotel bar with Bill Murray?? :-)

Marguerite on

Looks like you are truly enjoying seeing the world. I am happy that you are doing so well. Thanks for keeping me posted. My best regards!

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