Got to the airport on Saturday and went to check in.Got to the JAL counter, and was told there were only center seats still available!Ugh!So I decided to ask how much an upgrade was…only around 100 EUR!Well, it’s a four hour flight, I’m a little hung over and don’t feel much like being stuck in a center seat for four hours…and 100 EUR is not bad at all, so I go ahead and do the upgrade.Head off to the lounge for an hour or so before the flight and have a very nice flight in business class JGood wine.Good meal.Personal Video.I wish I could upgrade more often.Got into Narita and flew through security and customs and within 45 minutes of landing I was on the Airport Limousine hotel shuttle bus to Shinagawa.
View from hotel room
Checked in and settled in.Went down to the bell desk to see about going to see Mount Fuji in the morning.Well, there were trains and tours, but the weather was supposed to be not so nice, and chances are I wouldn’t even see the mountain!Well, bummer!Decided at that point I would go to Kamakura instead.And since I don’t need to be up for a pickup for the Fuji tour…I can enjoy Saturday night in Tokyo.Grabbed a quick bite to eat neat the hotel (Le Meridien Pacific Shinagawa, though now just the Pacific Hotel as they have separated from Starwood as of June 1, 2008) and then headed off to Roppongi.
First stop…Starbucks for some coffee.
I have a rule when I travel…”I didn’t travel 3000+ miles to go to <insert American chain here>!” Thus far, I have been very good about this rule and have avoided McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, KFC, TGI Fridays (except for the occasional drink when it’s near the hotel), Outback, Tony Romas, etc.Hard Rock I usually only go to the shop to pick up my hat and shot glasses for my brother and sister, but I actually do like Starbucks coffee and will usually go there when I need coffee and there is one available.On my first visit to Tokyo in 2006, I was a little tipsy and wound up hanging out in the Starbucks until almost , but apparently that’s not possible any more…they closed at 10:30!Stopped down in Hub Roppongi and had their brew.The place was pretty busy, but only a bicycle race on tv, mostly locals and all in groups, so headed out.The little bar I spent most of the night in on my 2007 visit was packed and I couldn’t get in, so I went down to the First Bar.Had one drink (1000 Yen!) and the place wasn’t really hopping, so moved next door to Paddy Foley’s.
Night view from hotel room
Paddy Foley’s, now, is a place I can enjoy.Not huge, but a nice bar and sports on TV.Found a seat near the front corner of the bar and had a beer and watched whatever football match was finishing up.Started talking with another solo traveler, Johnny from Australia.Next thing we know, the Heineken Cup finals are coming on and apparently this is why the crowd was there.Munster vs. Toulouse in an Irish bar in Tokyo, full of quite a lot of Irish people all routing for Munster.It was a shame to miss the Champions League final on Wednesday night, but I was very glad I got to watch this live.We had a few beers, a few shots of Tequila (don’t ask me why!), sometime after the match Johnny and I wound up hitting a few more bars before I finally took a taxi back around for some shut-eye before heading down to Kamakura.
I’ve been out in Roppongi on a Friday/Saturday night now three times…and have yet to make it back to my hotel before sunrise!No wonder they call it the Land of the Rising Sun.