• NOTE: This post is based on my original blog entry.

HIGHLIGHTS | The Park Hyatt Hotel in Shinjuku is…wow. I feel like royalty. 47 floors up in the air in a hi-tech room with a 42-inch plasma (considered big back then?) and the swankiest bathroom I’d ever seen. I spent the first two days of this trip rolling around in my room and checking out the hotel amenities, including the New York Bar from Lost in Translation. I also wandered Shinjuku, Harajuku, the new Omotesando Hills complex by Tadao Ando, the Prada store by Herzog de Meuron, Shibuya, and everything in between. After we moved over to the Hotel Okura (of 007’s You Only Live Twice), I also got to check out the Roppongi area, the Roppongi Hills Complex, Akihabara, Ginza, the Tokyo Forums, Odaiba, Nishi-Azabu, and Senso-ji Temple. *sigh* I need to get back to Tokyo. Like now (and I did! many times!)

JOURNAL ENTRIES – Excerpts from the notes I kept in my physical journal during the trip. I still had a physical journal, wow.

Day 1 – Park Hyatt
Is it just me, or did we fly over a dozen golf courses? Lost in Translation soundtrack is playing on my Nano. Note to self: must buy CD’s (cd’s…hehe)

Day 2
Woke up to the sunrise and took some pics for posterity. I went downstairs for a continental breakfast to wake myself up. What’s up with the morning sirens?

I walked around Shinjuku, then continued down to Harajuku and the sites along Omotesando. I continued south until I hit Shibuya and wandered the streets aimlessly. I grabbed a late lunch around 3ish at the cafe in the basement of Parco. Les Hydropathes.

We met up for dinner and drinks at the Peak Lounge, the bar area near the lobby of the hotel. “Hand-cut crispy fries with homemade ketchup”…too many descriptives. We moved up to the New York Bar for drinks afterwards. They didn’t have Suntory whiskey.

Day 3 – Hotel Okura
Our time at the Park Hyatt is up, and we moved over to the Hotel Okura in the morning. I wandered the streets of Harajuku, then Shibuya. Met up with M and we had foodage at a restaurant in Roppongi. Curry udon with wagyu beef…yum.

Day 4 
First day for setup at the Tokyo Big Sight. We had bento for lunch, then I jetted off to Akihabara for some tech geeking. I picked up new Eggo headphones, then hit up the local arcade. There was this interesting card game/arcade game everybody was playing…Sengokin I think. You use physical cards on a playing surface and move them around to control your units on screen. The cards looked collectible, and I guess each represents a specific character.

Hanging around the Tokyo Forums. It’s like a picture-whore’s dream come true. I’m pooped…room service for dinner, yo.

Day 5 – Tokyo Gift Show!
Our booth is across from a cosplay store. They have the trailer for Hokuto no Ken on repeat. I think I’m already starting to get sick of it. The booth next to them (across from us and to the right) is a talking doll booth. There’s a girl presenting the dolls who talks to them constantly. She seems too enthusiastic for her own good. We celebrate the end of the first day with yakitori in Ginza.

Day 6 
I’m working the morning shifts for the show, which suits me just fine. I headed to Odaiba after my shift was up and chilled along the waterside. There was a TV show being shot near Decks, though they wouldn’t let me take pictures…bastards. I left for Ginza afterwards and strolled around, then took an evening break at the coffee shop on the second floor of Mitsukoshi. There’s a twenty-something girl behind me in a booth with a sixty-something guy.

We all met up later at Senso-ji in Asakusa. Very cool place, and probably better at night since the crowds are all gone. We went to get our beer on afterwards at the Ginza Lion Beer Hall. I had Genghis Khan.

Day 7
Trade show, blah blah blah. I headed back to Parco in Shibuya after my shift to look for something for my sis. Didn’t find anything though…sigh. I took a break on the top floor of Zero Gate at the cafe Zaru. We met for food later at night in Nishi-Azabu at a place called Bamboo (it’s still around!) Good food, and we chatted up the chef, who was Japanese/Danish and spoke fluent English.

Day 8
Last day of the show. I picked up T-shirts for my sis from a guy a few booths down. Very cool designs. We had our last dinner in Daikanyama at a place called Daikanyama Jyuon. The food took forever, but was really good. Back to America tomorrow…sigh.