Japan with Extension to Hokkaido December 1-11, 2007 Part 3/4

Tokyo TOKYO: One cannot visit Japan without going to Tokyo. It is impossible to envision how huge Tokyo is until you ride the metro seven stops off the map, as I did, step out into a bustle of activity as if you were still in Times Square! The best part; you feel safe even though many people do not speak much English. With the shrines, shopping, restaurants, and nightlife, Tokyo completes full circle a trip starting in Kyoto, experiencing Hakaba with its skiing and sight seeing, and then finishing in this world-class city.

While in Tokyo, we were treated to a memorable dinner at the Akasaka Prince Restaurant forty floors up! The view was spectacular and the food was more western and by now, we were ready for this. The tourism reps from Tokyo/Japan were extremely gracious and smiling the whole time. I recommend a dinner atop a high-rise building just for this experience.

Dinner in Tokyo While in Tokyo, our group stayed at Le Meridian Pacific Hotel, an excellent hotel across the street from a major metro station. We also visited the Keio Shinjuku Hotel, which had a different feel. At first, it was too big, too busy, and too impersonal. However, the hotel offers more activity in the vicinity than Le Meridian. The metro station is only four blocks away but we all know some will get lost. All in all, we would be happy at either hotel.

Ginza and heading to the north island of Japan HOKKAIDO: I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to visit the north island of Japan. If you are a die-hard skier, there was plenty of snow and powder to make you howl, but unfortunately, there is not much for the non-skier to do than to relax. The hotel does a great job with its onsens and bar/activity area but the effort to get to Niseko makes it hard a destination for serious skiers or winter activists. Our hosts made our stay most enjoyable especially when we got to go snowmobiling. We were all ready for some physical outdoor activity and the conditions were perfect.

Submitted By: Carla Constantino, President, Space Coast Ski Club

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