Tokyo Photo Post and Top Picks Prince Hotel & Hamashiba Sushi, Minato

Had the good fortune to travel to Japan on business and to stay in the luxurious Prince Hotel, Minato, Tokyo. My bathroom and room had tremendous view of Tokyo tower (aka Eiffel Tower knock off). I have never been in such a large or luxurious bathroom – huge walk in shower, deep jacuzzi bathtub and enough room left over for a small dance party. Seriously, the bathroom seemed more spacious and outfitted than the room itself. In case you haven’t heard, the Japanese have a thing for outfitted toilets (heated seats, warm water spritz wash (biddett & hot air dry, etc…) and deep soaking tubs. We Westerners could certainly learn a thing or two from Japan and improve our WC experience…

 

While I was in town for business meetings, I still managed to sneak in a couple strolls and a quick run around the area to take in a few of the nearby scenic highlights.

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As my Japanese grand finale, I indulged in a sushi dinner at Hamashiba restaurant in the hotel. Forget everything you’ve heard about hotel restaurants – this one is superb. The sushi is outstanding, by far the best I’ve had and no doubt, will ever have. The maguro / tuna was absolutely exquisite and it was a treat and once in a lifetime experience to watch the master sushi chefs at work. Was it expensive? Duh. Was it worth it? Absolutely! (The company didn’t pick up this one.)

 

 

 

Sayonara!

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Garden and City views from my room at The Prince

 

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Oh, and it looks like the sole homeless person in all of Japan was sleeping under my window at The Prince.

Stay tuned for adventures in Kyoto and Hakone…Arigato.

Photo Post 5: Chiang Dao’s ancient ruins and temples

The Chiang Dao Cave adventure is not to be missed, but its spectacular setting is worth a thorough exploration as well…

Doi Chiang Dao, the mountain that you see rising out of the mist in a couple of the pictures below is Thailand’s 2nd highest at 7,135 feet. (No, I didn’t get to climb it on this trip, perhaps next…)

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The story of  dragons and temples: Myth has it that a dragon approached a monk and about his desire to worship with him in the temple. The monk told him that dragons weren’t allowed inside the temple, but they are welcome to guard the temples. Throughout Thailand you’ll see dragons guarding temples.

 

Photo Post 3: Local Market, Chiang Mai area (Warning: may be too visceral for some viewers.)

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One thing is for sure, the Thai love to eat. And as you can see from the pictures, they eat just about everything. (More so the northerners vs. the southerners.)  In fact, their voracious appetites have cleared nearly all their fauna from the national parks in the North. In 6 days of trekking and mountain biking in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai I didn’t see as much as a squirrel. (Certainly this is true for areas in the States and Europe as well.)

Photo Post 1: Little girl carrying her baby brother, Karen Hill Tribe

This might be my favorite photo of my entire Thailand trip. In one of my trek posts, I mentioned the big hill climb up to the Karen Hill Tribe village.  The morning we departed, this 5-year old girl was walking up the steep, long hill with the umbrella in one hand shielding her 2-week old brother whom she was carrying in her other.

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Big sister

She wasn’t alone. Her mom was by  her side.

Karen hill tribe girl carrying litte bro and Mom