Shiodome Park Hotel – 33rd floor

Since my girlfriend is in town and I have tons of vacations to take before the end of my contract, I organized a special night out in Tokyo with her last week. I’m such a romantic guy…

First we went for drinks and dinner at her favorite restaurant: T.Y. Harbor Brewery in 天王洲アイル. It’s a Californian cuisine restaurant in a sort of hangar (not the old crummy ones, the cool ones that they transform in loft apartments and hype designer offices) right on the canals of Shinagawa. The place also brews it’s own beer in big vats behind the bar. Dinner is a bit expensive at 5-8,000¥ per person but the food is really delicious and the portions are big.

33rd floor view of Tokyo Tower from Shiodome

Then we headed to our hotel: the Park Hotel Tokyo in 汐留メディアタワー. I had booked a room with a special plan guaranteeing a window facing straight on the Tokyo Tower. We had a little scare as we came in the room at 12:05am and as I opened the curtains I couldn’t find the tower: they had turned off the lights! I was really pissed… As my girlfriend had forgotten some cosmectics at home, we headed down to the combini at B2 level and as we came back we had the good surprise to see the Tokyo Tower had been lit back on. I took some cool shots of the view, check them out on my flickr page.

Shimane beach report

Simply beautiful… The weather was incredible, even with +50 SPF sun cream carefully spead by my girlfriend all over my body, I managed to catch a few sunburns. The beach was very quiet, just a couple dozen people enjoying the sea. For a comparison, I would say the place looks like a beach on the Mediterranean sea, but with pristine water. More photos on my flickr page.

Aiko in the room

Our hotel was once more almost perfect, a great find from my girlfriend. The room was a mix of modern and traditional designs, and the bath on the balcony was overviewing the forest. The only downside was that the futons were a little thin. This ryokan also gets my seal of approval and I encourage any of you to stay there if you’re ever in the neighborhood: 樋口旅館 in 有福温泉.

Little beach trip before Obon

Next trip of the summer will be 2 days in the Shimane prefecture, enjoying the beach on the Sea of Japan and a nice ryokan in an onsen town. Once again, the schedule will be very tight: I’ll leave Tokyo Monday evening, meet my girlfriend as she leaves from work and spend the night in Hiroshima. Then we’ll take a 2 hour bus ride on Tuesday morning through the 中国山地 to the other side of the island on the 日本海.

overview of the trip

There we’ll enjoy a nice day at the beach. My girlfriend has been there a couple of times and assures me the beaches are beautiful. Since 島根県 is the second least populated prefecture of Japan, I hope overcrowding will not be a problem.

the room we booked with its bath

We’ll then spend a night in a very nice ryokan, once again with a 露天風呂 in the room before heading back to Hiroshima where I’ll take the plane back to Tokyo and my dull job…

Hotel Seikai in Beppu

I came back yesterday afternoon from Hiroshima, barely escaping the closing of the airport for cause of typhoon closing in. The trip was short, but well-packed with fun and relaxation. I will split the story of the trip in several post to keep the not so photo intensive, and I’ll start with the hotel.

As I said previously, we arrived in Beppu in the afternoon for just one night and we spent this first half-day recovering from our long-long trip. We ended up with the square bath room in the end, but everything was just as perfect as in the brochure, I was thrilled.

our bath with the  sea view

After soaking up good and taking a little nap, we headed for the hotel’s restaurant for dinner. In a Japanese 旅館, the room always come with a special Japanese style dinner that is usually the highlight of your stay (at least for the locals, I’ve kept my european habits and put more importance in the quality of the room).

the menu was tooooo long

The dinner was excellent, with more courses than I could count. It kept on coming and coming: seaweeds, sashimi, japanese beef, monstrous shellfish, 唐揚げ, etc… We had to stop the guy at one point, we were stuffed. After a good glass of a fine local 日本酒, we headed to the hotel’s bar to take our dessert facing the beach with a couple glasses of 梅酒 and Whiskey.

The next day, we had requested our breakfast at 8:30 (the checkout was at 10AM) but never woke. The reception started calling around 8:45 and we ignored them, then some guy came around 9AM to hit relentlessly on the door until I finally opened.

Hotel guy: Your breakfast is waiting.
Me: I know, were not hungry.
*slams the door back shut*

I hate when people can’t take a hint… Anyways, apart for the breakfast obsessed reception guy, Hotel Seikai in Beppu gets my seal of approval and I recommend it to you if you’re ever in the vicinity.