I neglected to add comment about Park Hotel (www.parkhoteltokyo.com) to my report on Tokyo, which is remiss, because it earns a huge ‘thumbs-up’. Its cost would have precluded me from booking it direct, but as I was on an ANA package (very civilised economy class!) from Hong Kong, the first two nights were free, and the additional nights were billed at a much more affordable rate.
It’s a hotel that occupies the 25th to 34th floors of the Shiodome Media Tower, so one is well away from the noise and bustle of street level. The reception area is backed by huge windows; when I went downstairs on my first morning there was a clear view all the way to the sunlit snowy slopes of Mount Fuji.
The breakfast buffet consisted of the usual array of cereals, yoghurt, eggs etc, but could have done with better bread than the airy white sandwich loaf (a common problem in Asia). However, it probably had the best croissants one will find outside Paris, no doubt the influence of resident chef, Tateru Yoshino, who also has a restaurant in Paris. Two mornings running I was joined in the lift by the same visiting businessman (I soon learnt that he was French) carrying a huge takeaway box of these crispy, buttery objects of delight.
My room was small, but extremely comfortable, especially by big-city standards. In-room broadband was free, which is the way it should be at all hotels.
As far as evening meals were concerned, I did my usual wander around the streets in search of ‘local’ experiences. Even at the lower-priced restaurants, there was an unbelievably large selection of wonderfully fresh fish and seafood on offer. While the rand has depreciated nearly 20% against the yen since my visit last year, it still amazed me that sushi is generally cheaper in Tokyo than it is in Cape Town. That is should be better is no surprise!
I didn’t only eat sushi; I also pigged out on noodles with soup. All very oi-shi – and I could tell them so.