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Saturday, April 7, 2018

SAKURA 2018: Day 4--Guam to Tokyo

I don't remember having this experience recently, but Guam is so humid and warm that air conditioning so cools windows that they condense, obscuring any view.  You can't wipe the moisture off because it is on the outside.  For example, this was view from my window seat.  Two minutes into flight the window cleared.  Goodbye Guam.

The plane was a really old B-737 reminiscent of Aloha Airlines.  I remember Pearl and I went to the Sugar Bowl in one of them. 

The United version was the same, a decade older.  In fact, I think I was sitting in same business first seat. Nothing to raise your foot, where the flight to Guam from Honolulu had seats that reclined to horizontal. The cuisine was marginal and experience the same.  The weather was unstable near Japan, and you could see the rough ocean as we approached landing at Narita.

All went well, and I made it to the Tokyo Westin on the limousine bus.  This hotel has been around for almost a quarter century.  I remember staying here the first week it opened.

They always give me a high room facing Mount Fuji.  It was overcast, so I couldn't really see the mountain when I checked in.  I went out and arranged for my Japan Rail Pass itinerary.  Considering that this is Sakura season, I was surprised that I got window Green Car seats on all my legs.  When I returned to my room, I could finally see Mount Fuji:


A photo each from my more expensive and cheaper cameras.  Can't really tell the difference.  I went to the Executive Club, where some of them know my name, and had my dinner there:


At the top, a chef was serving marinated sea bream over rice, which was excellent.  I had the feast with champagne, chardonnay and scotch.  I went back for second servings of the salad, pumpkin soup and chicken/mushroom whatever it was called.  One bowl of rice was more than enough.  I had a cappuccino and chocolate pudding to finish my satisfying meal, all for free:

How much was the above worth?  If I ordered room service:
  • Caesar salad  $22
  • French onion soup  $16
  • Hamburger  $30
  • Glass of champagne  $21
  • Glass of chardonnay  $27
  • Shot of MaCallan  $29
I won't bother to add this, but if you're keeping count, I haven't paid for food and drinks since my first night in Guam.

Then, as I was about to take a shower, Tadashi Matsunaga (he is that former Tokyo University of A&T president who was the first International Professor for the Blue Revolution) called me and said he and his wife were at a home close by my hotel, so could I come by for a drink or two or more.  He picked me up and I met three of his Tokyo Institute of Technology classmates (and their wives), all very successful professionals.  Two architects and a jeweler.  That third person must be the rich one, for this was his home, designed by one of the architects, with a Ferrari in the garage.  We talked about our planned Global Cruise 2020 and invited them to join us.  Had small glasses of Grasshopper, Dacquiri and Margherita.  Having awoken at 4AM in Guam, I was thoroughly exhausted even before I left to join them.

I woke up to the Master's (golf) and Yu Darvish pitching for the Chicago Cubs.  If any prominent Japanese player is on, some TV channel here carries the game.  For breakfast, my favorite, the Terrace buffet:



I've never had litchi juice before.  Tomorrow, return for my journey to Jindaiji to visit Pearl's statue.

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