the night before: Capsule Hotel Fontaine Akasaka
This is one of the premiere hotels in the most expensive city in the world. Yimney!
"'The historical (rate) leaders for decades were kind of national-treasure hotels, the Okura and the Imperial,' says Robert B. Stiles, Asia managing director for real-estate investment bank Sonnenblick-Goldman Co. in San-Francisco. That all changed when the Park Hyatt Tokyo opened in 1994.The hotel appropriates from art and spirit and sensible service to make an expensive package. It's a nice place to stay, and sort of inspiring, if you can look past total extravagance - the open space and art everywhere lifts your spirits, if the elite nature of the thing doesn't bring you down.
Above the entrance, a strange visage peers out over you:
On the 41st floor there was a sort of Atrium lounge overlooking the city. Then you walked through a library with beautiful coffee table books locked in glass cases, past more artful restaurants, until you reached the reception area - a series of polite tables and chairs, with a Mark Chagall print prominently on display.
Then upwards, towards your room through a series of hallways like corridors in a museum -
After four days of economy compression, this place was a real mindfuck. Seemingly limitless space - a walk-in closet. Separate tub and shower.
My room was on the 44th floor, and I had a commanding view of Tokyo. Being this high up, along with the trappings of the hotel - it all encourages you to feel as though you own the city.
We wandered Kabukicho, a sort of red light district in Shinjuku, and enjoyed the cherry blossoms in Shinjuku park at night. We didn't reach the hotel until after 2am. We drank cheap wine from a convenience store (the idea of buying things from the minibar here frightened me) and stayed up until after four am yakking and horsing around. We didn't emerge from the bed until around 11, just an hour before checkout time. We enjoyed a bath, the shower, the OED, the Boccelli CD we found in the room. None of the Bible or the Teachings of Buddha, no broadband, and none of the sauna/bath/spa stuff downstairs. Still it was a delicious evening, if only because we had so much room to play around in.
We enjoyed a nice lunch in the Atrium Lounge before I left Tokyo the next day.
Thank you Joi!