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Saturday, September 26, 2015

GAWA Day #11: Yokohama, Matsumoto and back to Tokyo

My next stop was the Sheraton Yokohama Bay, which was a pioneering venture 17 years ago, for the hotel was built in conjunction with a shopping mall close to a train station, a relatively novel concept then.  Here are night and day views of the Yokohama Station from my room:


As a platinum member I got four newspapers:  International New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Japan Times and Japan News.  Plus a free breakfast:


Three soups:  cream corn, miso and a pho, for there is a station for this Vietnamese breakfast soup.  See that croissant and blue cheese at the top?  They became my snack, with a Hokkaido sparkling cider, on my way to Matsumoto:


The trip to and from Yokohama to Matsumoto took five trains and eleven hours.  It has been raining for two straight days.  Matsumoto Castle:


When I first arrived, I didn't see Pearl's Gold Koi.  However, way to the right:


All alone.  When I got there, it began to rain again:


Hello Pearl.  Mind you, there must be at least a thousand koi, almost all black.  One gold.  Walking back to the train station in the rain, I noticed that Fall is coming to Japan:


On departure from Matsumoto, I had two kinds of musubi (rice balls--salmon eggs and boiled chicken egg), fishcake, with a Suntory mizuwari (whiskey and water) and a Suntory rose wine, made in the next town, Shiojiri:


Suntory has a winery in Shiojiri, and the train station there features grape vines:


Nearly a year ago I stayed at the Ritz Carlton Tokyo, and I so enjoyed it that I arranged to return.  I hinted, then, that their lounge could well be Heaven, located on the top floor of the tallest real building in Tokyo.  Tokyo Skytree is higher.  This is another one of those next generation hotels, epitomized by the Sheraton D-Cube in Seoul, my next stop.  RCT is the showcase edifice of a relatively new development, Tokyo Midtown, now eight years old and all of more than 6 million square feet at a cost of $3 billion.   By comparison, the Ala Moana Shopping Center has 1.4 million leasable square feet. The RCT hotel sits over offices and a shopping mall, with two subway lines a few minutes walk away.  Tomorrow, thus, my return to Heaven.

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Typhoon Dajuan is continuing to strengthen, and is now up to 105 MPH.  On Monday, Dujuan will be a Category 4 and will roll right over Taipei.


It looks like Miyakojima will now only experience the edges the storm.

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