This week’s blog post is a little different. Since I am currently in Tokyo on a business trip, I thought I would share some of my stories with you. If you haven’t been here before, I hope it will inspire you to visit some day. If you have, please feel free to comment and share your own experiences!
2nd September: A Warm Welcome
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about Japanese people over the years, it’s what a warm, welcoming and hospitable bunch they are. Upon touching down in Tokyo, I was greeted by some old friends from DHL (where I used to work in Japan before I set up The Japanese Shop), who kindly showed me around some of the city’s best watering holes.
As you can probably imagine, I was feeling a little the worse for wear after 23 hours of travelling, and managed to excuse myself at 11pm for some vital rest and recuperation. However, the excitement of being in a new place must have reached my subconscious as five hours later I was wide awake and itching to explore.
3rd September: Trials and Tribulations
Having waited until a more sociable hour, I wandered around the hotel and got my bearings. At 1pm I went into Shinbashi for a meeting, which was accompanied by the most delicious sushi! The intense and humid heat later led me to the hotel swimming pool, which was beautifully designed and immaculate, with gently curved edges, gorgeous stonework and with remarkable views of the city.
I gave into temptation and asked the hotel leisure manager for a swim, but almost fell in backwards at the mention of the price. £23!!! Luckily, I was able to use a combination of tact, diplomacy and haggling experience to bring this down to £7, and settled down for a hard-earned soak.
And indeed, I must have been very relaxed because I managed to use the ladies’ showers – good job it was quiet!
4th September: A Shock to the System
The following day my state of calm was further interrupted by what I thought was a huge earthquake. Judging by the reactions (or lack thereof) from local people, however, this was a mere quiver by usual standards.
After a tiring day at the Gift Show, I enjoyed a fabulous sashimi meal overlooking Tokyo bay with some good friends, Saren and Kazu.
That’s all for now; please come back soon to read more stories from my travels! In the meantime, if you wish to bring a touch of Japanese culture to your home, visit our shop. We have a fantastic range of authentic Japanese gifts, accessories, tableware and much more, all available to buy online at great prices.
Ja mata ne! (until next time!)
– Jez, Co-Founder and Managing Director, The Japanese Shop Ltd