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Friday, October 13, 2017

FABULOUS FALL FANTASY: Day 1--Honolulu to Tokyo

My Fabulous Fall Fantasy did not begin so fantastically.  I remember in the heat of the Gulf War in the early 1990's, a quarter century ago, when my first class flight from Honolulu to Tokyo served Dom Perignon and caviar.  In fact, once I was the only one sitting in this area, and I had a whole large tin of Beluga to myself.  Almost died.

First, Pat in the cockpit;


 Seven seats in first class.  Common champagne:



The cuisine was passable, in two courses, plus cheese and dessert, which I skipped:


It surprised me that just about everyone in both first and business classes spent most of the time sleeping.  I watched four films:

                                    Rotten Tomatoes        My
                               Reviewers  Audiences  Rating         

13 Going on 30           64               70            B-
Fist Fight                     27               41            B-
Ghost in Space           44               52            F
Because I Love You   94 (Asian Wiki           B-
                                   rating---Korean)     

I saw them in that order.  After half an hour I gave up on Scarlett Johansson in space.  The Korean film was unexpectedly out of joint.  Amusing and creative, but marginal.

The service was okay, but the audio/visual system was defective.  There was no music.  Something to do with a lawsuit.  I would advise you to avoid Polaris First Class from Honolulu to Narita.  The experience barely meets Business Class standards.  I left home at 7:30AM and arrived at the Tokyo Westin at 4:30PM (9:30PM Hawaii time), 14 hours later.

The processing and baggage handling was so quick (they have improved this service at Narita) that I got out at 1:30PM, and thought this was a good time to activate my Japan Rail Pass.  The Narita East Japan Rail office is so efficient, that it took only 20 minutes to get my pass, and by the same person, make all my dozen or so train seat reservations.  This is fall colors season, so seats were at a premium.  

The limousine bus trip took 1.5 hours, half an hour shorter than usual.  I got my usual Mount Fuji view room, but it will be raining in Tokyo for the next five days.  I was greeted with this drinks/snacks assortment to the left

The room has a king-size bed and reasonably large flat screen TV system.  Good shower/bath arrangement and excellent room temperature controls.  The view is great.

The shock was that when I last left here earlier this year, I had bought another small rolling suitcase, and left the old one in the room because it was ten years old.  When I got to my room, they returned it.  Actually, it still is better than the new one, so I'll use it on my train trip, leaving the other two at the Westin, then I'll need to decide what to do.

Today is the 23rd anniversary of the Tokyo Westin.  Pearl and I were here the first week it opened, and I chatted with an employee, who was there from the beginning.  Their Executive Club had the best food and drinks I ever saw.  That is real wagyu beef in the box and a shabu-shabu station:


The best part about the above is that it was all free.  Yes, a Fabulous Fall Fantasy, indeed.  Tomorrow, I catch the Bullet Train to Sendai.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, again, broke an all-time record, up 31 to 22,872:


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Tropical Storm Khanun formed west of the Philippines, will strengthen into a typhoon, and roll over Hainan:


The surprise is Hurricane Ophelia at 120 MPH in the Atlantic:


Ophelia could well still be a hurricane when she approaches Ireland on Monday.

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