Saturday, August 29, 2009

Travel: Japan, pt.1 (blast from the past)

Three years ago, I went to Japan on a business trip. It was all market research, which basically meant I went shopping for three days. With the release on Ponyo, I've been thinking about that trip a lot, because I got to take a single afternoon away from the craziness that is Tokyo and all the shop-shop-shop-hopping, and visit the Ghibli Museum. I thought it might be fun to share some of my thoughts from old emails I wrote to friends and family at the time with some pictures. It was such an amazing and inspiring trip, and feeling nostalgic about it just makes me want to share:

Tokyo at last! | 2006-05-01
And now I can fully relate to “Lost in Translation“. Maybe it’s because I haven’t really traveled on my own in a while (my co-worker doesn’t count, he’s never been here before either), or the fact that whenever I’ve come to Asia for work before there was always someone to take us around - but it’s tough here. Far less people speak english. Oh, and our hotel! While being beautiful and luxurious - it’s in the middle of NO WHERE. I got a Tokyo travel book and its blurb says ”Luxury hotels don’t come more luxurious than this... The only real drawback is it’s location: Odaiba is great for a day out, but as a base for touring Tokyo it’s inconvenient.“ There’s a fantastic view of the Tokyo skyline from the top floor (along with $80 - $100 a meal dining options), but there’s no quick way into the city. To top it off - we started looking up all the stores on our list of places to go - they’re all on the opposite side of the city! Anyway, this should be an adventure - cause we have to take the trains and subways and the map is the most complex thing I’ve ever seen. I’m excited though, it’ll be a challenge and I love maps! I feel really isolated in this hotel, there doesn’t seem to be many foreigners here - I’m really looking forward to getting out and about!
There’s a huge mall across the street, so we went out for Sushi dinner (of course!). It was a local place too, they didn’t speak a word of english, we had to point at pictures on the menu - but it was all good. I also got miso soup - unlike I’ve ever had before, and some sura-mame (gigantic bean, kind of like edamame). We also found a Cinnabon and Starbucks for dessert. ;)
I’m a little exhausted. I must admit, my legs are KILLING me. Walking for two days straight in Hong Kong and then sitting on a plane for 5 hours DID NOT help. ;) I would LOVE to get a massage before I leave. :) I’m aching!!! Ouch.

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