Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pretty in Tokyo - Shiba Park Area

In case you're wondering, this is me in a suit. You won't see this too often:

For the first part of my trip, I was on business. I stayed in Tokyo at The Prince Park Tower Hotel in the Shiba district. While there didn't seem to be much going on in this district, it was quite beautiful. I was terrified to venture out of the immediate area for the first few days, so I got quite a good look around my hotel. I thought I would share.

Lets start with an iPhone pic and a view I saw all the time: The view from my hotel room:

That is the Zojo-ji Temple. If you look at the temple's website there's a detailed description. But when I asked what it was for I heard it was the temple for the "First General". Honestly, at the time I was too tired and too disoriented to do much investigation. But on my fourth full day in Japan I did venture out to the grounds to take some pictures...

Gate into the Park

The Main Temple with Tokyo Tower in the Background

I didn't take any pictures inside the temple - there were people worshiping. And while I didn't see anything expressly forbidding pictures, I felt it might be disrespectful so I restrained myself from snapping away. Let me just say the atmosphere was the most peaceful atmosphere I had encountered in many months.

Even the kitties felt at home...

The park entrances had a lot of detailed statues around, such as this guy:

Of course, Shiba also is home to Tokyo Tower. I got to see that quite wonderfully from my hotel room on my return trip to Tokyo:

With a view like that, who needs to pay the sitting fee in the Park Tower Hotel's lounge on the 33rd floor?

The Funny - I had to share my little video I made for my co-workers on the coolness of the Japanese Toilet in my hotel. Now, not all toilets were like this in Japan. But this thing was awesome. It lifted the lid itself, heated it's own seat, had a half flush and a full flush, had a variety of bidet settings, and made a water-rushing noise when you sat down to cover up the noises you yourself were making. Apparently that's a common function. As my husband put it: Japanese Women don't "tinkle". They just cover it it up with a tinkling noise made by the toilet.