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Day 10 : Monday 19th March 2007

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Tokyo

I got up with my alarm at 9:30am and went straight along to the Club for breakfast, which was fairly underwhelming unfortunately. Oh dear, this Club really isn't anything special...

After getting ready, I decided to head out initially on foot, firstly to get my bearings and secondly because the weather was once again absolutely wonderful. Clear skies and sunny - a bit chilly out of the sun admittedly, but otherwise perfect for sight-seeing! I walked firstly up through the Ginza area, best known for its fashionable shops, eventually making my way out to the corner of the Imperial Palace. Unfortunately most of this is sealed off to the public (it is a working palace obviously), but I walked the length of the east side of the palace hoping to visit at least the East Gardens. Unfortunately when I got there they were shut! My curse struck again - apparently they are closed on Mondays and Fridays .

I headed towards the main Tokyo station and had a look at the Tokyo International Forum - stopping for lunch at a perfect little bagel store and had an absolutely delicious BLT with hollandaise sauce! After that I decided it was high time to try out the Tokyo subway system and I headed for the local Hibiya station. After much confusion at the wrong set of ticket machines, I eventually bought a singe ticket for the Mita line and headed south about 3 stops to Shibakoen - which as far as I could make out was close to the Tokyo Tower - an Eiffel tower like structure which gives good views of Tokyo from both the 150m main observation deck and, for an extra ticket cost, the 250m high special observation deck. In this weather the view was wonderful.

From the top of the tower I could see that my hotel was not that far away - easily walkable in fact and given the amount of walking I had done already today, I decided to head back that way once I was down from the Tower - the sun was setting in any case and there was not time to do anything else today.

Back at the hotel I decided to give the lounge a miss. This may sound bizarre, but when you've got a free mini-bar, I would far rather relax in my room than a crowded lounge drinking sub-par sparkling wine (not even champagne). After a couple of minibar beers, I headed down to one of the hotel's in house restaurants for a lovely dinner of chicken wings, fillet steak and NY cheesecake. Not very Japanese I admit, but hey I've eaten mainly Asian food for over a week now, so I need a little break!


Ginza street view

Imperial Palace grounds and views

Tokyo International Forum

Tokyo Tower