Tuesday, 25 March 2008
Tonight’s blog entry comes to you from the 34th floor of the ANA Inter-Continental Hotel Tokyo, where I’m sitting at the window of the club lounge with my complimentary glass of champagne and my complimentary plate of nibbles, looking out over the Tokyo cityscape as twilight falls. The view is amazing: the skyscrapers, the neon lights, the flying cars. Wish you were here, obviously.
I’ve been on my own again today while Calvin’s been working. In fact, he just dropped by for five minutes as I was writing this, but he’s off to dinner with the Japanese CEO (or something), and won’t be in until ten: he’s gone native. He’ll be working tomorrow as well.
Yesterday we spent the day sightseeing in Kyoto, before catching a train to Tokyo in the afternoon. We reached the hotel at eight in the evening. Our taxi pulled into the driveway and was instantly unpacked by efficient and courteous bellboys, while we were ushered into an absurdly glamorous hotel lobby. It’s three storeys high, the ceiling is carpeted with expensive chandeliers and there are glassy water features and bamboo gardens in every direction. From the open-concept champagne bar on the mezzanine level, a glass staircase descends, tastefully lit from within by purple fluorescent lights. I keep expecting Cameron Diaz to stagger down it carrying that all-important envelope. (There are a lot of posters of her around, actually. I’m going to start carrying cloves of garlic, I think.)
Kyoto was lovely. The Guide says that you need to spend several days there, savouring the food and visiting the historic buildings. But if you’ve only got a few hours, there’s a walk it recommends. We followed it for most of the day, visiting huge temple complexes and walking down cobbled streets lined with tea houses and quaint, crappy souvenir shops. The photos are really worth a look. There are turtles.
Today, I took it easy. Calvin suggested that I should make the most of the last day of our rail pass and go to see Mount Fuji. I was tempted, obviously, but just couldn’t face the hours of complicated train trips it would have taken. Instead, I spent the day catching up on the backlog of photos and visiting huge glassy shopping centres and multi-storey electronics stores. I spent an indecent amount of time stroking a MacBook Air.
Off to dinner soon. Trying to remain seaweed-free today. My hopes remain high.