Hey My Public, I'm in Tokyo! You can tell from the sign:
I took a bus into the city, then caught a taxi to the hotel. The taxi driver was the politest taxi driver I've ever had. Check out the white gloves. Wow. The back door of the cab opened and closed automatically.
Here's the magnificent view from my hotel room at the Park Hotel, looking Southwest over Tokyo Tower from the 29th floor.
The room is a bit small, but plenty big for one person. It's tastefully furnished. The main lobby on the 25th floor has a similar but much more expansive view. It's a pretty cool hotel -- similar to the "W" in the States.
Last night there was a reception for prospective Darden students. I ran into Takeshi (left) and Ichiro (right), two of my Darden Class of 1999 classmates. Afterwards, Takeshi took me out on the town.
Street scene in the Ginza district.
Spic and span subway car.
The Tokyo subway is easily the biggest and most comprehensive subway I've even been on. It seems much bigger and more complex than even New York's. There are even free public restrooms -- none of that urine smell so familiar in Manhattan.
My initial impressions of Japan are orderly, quiet and clean. I knew it was different from Vietnam when everyone formed themselves into neat queues waiting for the terminal shuttle at the airport (orderly). Walking the streets of downtown Tokyo is eerily silent even though it's packed with people and cars (quiet). This puzzled me until I realized there were no muffler-less motorbikes or constantly bleating horns. The sidewalks and subway cars are spotless with nary a scrap of paper, cigarette butt or discarded gum (clean). Although I do love Vietnam, this is a nice change for a few days. I like Japan.