Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Prince Park Tower Hotel and intro - Japan 11/2013

I’m on my flight home from Japan, one that’s further proof that most of my flights are accompanied by the sound of screaming, crying babies either directly behind or next to me. They’re attracted to me like moths to a light.

This trip was the flight I won from ANA in their Facebook sweepstakes. Yay ANA! I even managed to get exit rows on both legs, so I’m flying in comfort, if not quiet. The money we saved on the flight let us upgrade our hotel a little bit.

After 14 years of experience with Japan (and especially Tokyo), I’m at the point where I’m beyond being a regular tourist. I've just exhausted all the museums, shrines and landmarks I really feel like going to. This trip was mostly about two things for me: rock concerts and amusement parks. Oh, and this view:

By the way, goddamn Alaska. Always with the turbulence over goddamn Alaska. Is there some way I can blame Sarah Palin for this?

Anyway, that view above came courtesy of the Prince Park Tower Hotel.

This is a beautiful (on the inside), pretty new and utterly swanky hotel that’s got a fully unobstructed view of Tokyo Tower from basically across the street. Get on the right side of the hotel and it dominates the view. We paid extra for that – they charge ¥2,590 per night over the standard room fee, although you can apparently get lucky if they’re not fully booked.

I’ve talked about the view from the Grand Arc Hanzomon, which features an honest-to-god palace and moat, but I’ve never had Tokyo Tower so close in view that I could watch the people walk around the observation deck, from my room's balcony. (This is one of only a few hotels in Tokyo with balconies.)

Incidentally – which seems a rather inappropriate word for this – but you also get the new Tokyo SkyTree framed like a painting in between the skyscrapers off in the distance. That’s two towers for the price of one! SkyTree’s quite far away, but it’s easy to see its Battlestar Galactica Cylon lights at night…

This is the kind of hotel, by the way, that puts Ferraris in the parking lot as decoration. That’s all we could figure – through our entire stay, parked right in front of the hotel were a white Ferrari, a red Ferrari and a white Mercedes. They never moved. They probably never do. Maybe you can rent them.

Unfortunately, we had to pass on the offered helicopter service from the airport. (Though it’s a bargain at only $4,000!) We took the Yamanote Line like the commoners we are.

We did eat one night at the Brise Verte, the hotel’s high-end French(?) restaurant on the top floor. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it both for the view (of the other side, including Rainbow Bridge) and the food, which is as good as any I've had anywhere. We had the five course fixed price thing (you get a discount as a guest), and it's actually a lot of food.

The view out the restaurant window.
This hotel was actually a big highlight of the trip. We didn't always make it, but for the first time we actually tried to get back "home" early - to see Tokyo Tower lit up like this:

Anyway, this trip report is probably going to be shorter than most because a lot of it was family stuff... but we did do a couple of really cool things, including the SCANDAL concert I've been talking about for months. So I'll be writing more very shortly.

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About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.


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