First of all, I’m back! After fifteen days and 38,650 miles of travel, I’ve made it back home.
With that said, I want to apologize for the delay in my trip reports. Since I arrived in Tokyo, I’ve been going non-stop. I slept most of time during my flights back to DC yesterday, so I didn’t get too much time to work on anything. The trip reports will be published, post by post in the coming days.
To whet your appetites until then, I’ll share six observations from my trip:
1. I thought I’d had good sushi before — that is until yesterday
Now, I wouldn’t consider myself a sushi snob by any means, but I was pretty sure that I’d had some decent sushi before. Granted, the sushi I have had up until yesterday was probably pretty good, but after my trip to Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish market and subsequent breakfast at Daiwa-Zushi Thursday morning, my opinion of “what is good sushi” has drastically shifted. After a set menu of everything sushi-related you could imagine, my mind was effectively blown.
More to come in my upcoming trip reports…
2. The Park Hyatt Tokyo is simply stunning
Simply put, this is nicest hotel that I’ve ever been to — by far. And I’ve been to many great hotels, including Park Hyatt properties in Dubai and Zurich, numerous Ritz Carltons, Conrads, and Intercontinentals. But this place was just over the top.
From the incredible level of service (they did the check-in procedure in my room after being escorted by two people up there) to the beautiful hotel facilities to the amazing breakfasts at Girandole and drinks and steak at the iconic New York Bar & Grill. The setting for the 2003 Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray film, Lost in Translation definitely lived up to the hype.
3. Now I now know what it’s like being a goldfish — and it’s weird
SCUBA diving. In an aquarium. In the middle of a mall. With sharks!
Yup, only in Dubai.
I’ve dived with sharks before, so the novelty of this dive was the fact that I was the attraction in the aquarium. It was quite strange having a crowd of people watching you dive and waving.
4. Two days is not enough in most cities, but three days is fine
My short stay in Dubai was caused by a Dreamliner malfunctions on United Airlines.
Each of these stays left me wanting another day in each city. I didn’t get to see all of Santiago, and I missed out on some events in Dubai such as tea at Burj Al Arab and dune bashing.
But I did have a full three days in Tokyo, and it was fine. Tokyo is so huge, you couldn’t possibly see it all in a week or two. It’s one of those cities that you must keep going back to and exploring.
But three days continues to be my standard for adequate time to see a city.
5. When in Tokyo, you must go to a Japanese baseball game, if possible
The game is the same, but it’s quite an experience. Their fans are insane and out-of-control whacky.
And their beer distribution techniques are quite… interesting.
6. When the crew is on its game, United BusinessFirst just may be better than Cathay Pacific Business Class
When a United crew is as its best, as it was on my DEN-SEA and SEA-NRT 787 flights, United BusinessFirst is hard to beat. The hard product is phenomenal, but the food and service really shined. My four flights on Cathay Pacific in business class were all fine. In fact, their international business seat cannot be beat.
But the food and service were just not up to par with United’s.
There, I said it.
And I know this defies all industry perceptions and subsequent accolades.
And yes, this shocked me too, but that was my experience.
Again, I’ll be making several more posts about this trip, including detailed accounts of what to do in Dubai and Tokyo. So stay tuned!