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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

FALL CIRCLE PACIFIC ADVENTURE: Day #31-- Korakuen Garden and Back to Honolulu

On my final day in Japan, I awoke to Mount Fujii:



My farewell breakfast:


It was such a beautiful day that I asked the concierge what would be her recommendation for a quick visit to anywhere in Tokyo that was at peak Fall colors.  On I went to Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens, put together in 1629 and later developed with somewhat of a Chinese theme:  "Worry before all worries in the world, and enjoy after all enjoyments in the world."  More recently, Tokyo Dome, a 55,000-seat baseball home of the Tokyo Giants and an entertainment center were built on an adjacent property.  However, the first major performance in the 1988 opening  of the stadium was the Rolling Stones.

The Garden was indeed at peak:




As I was flying first class home, my plans were to leave the hotel early enough to spend at least an hour  each at the ANA and United first class lounges.  Unfortunately, the garden trip took longer than expected, so I only had a taste of both.  United's First Class Lounge is quite good, gentrified and a lot better than the Red Carpet Club.  Even then, ANA's made United's look second rate.  ANA has a noodle kitchen which also provided curry options and soups, plus an elaborate array of a wide variety of dishes and drinks.  In a way, this was like comparing a top first class lounge with a mediocre business class lounge.  Then there would be the Red Carpet Club, which would be like economy.  First ANA:


Then United:


I was purposefully eating light, for soon following was a first class dinner on board.  A quick 6 hours later:


One of the benefits of living at 15 Craigside is that a whole host of friends and staff greeted me back like they genuinely missed me.   Then my apartment sunset view from 15 Craigside later in the day:


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