Hello and welcome to the final post from my trip to Japan! Prior posts are right below.
Since we were traveling back to San Francisco through Tokyo (Narita), we decided to make our way back from Kyoto and spend the last few days in Tokyo unwinding. While we really enjoyed our stay at The Conrad, my husband and I wanted to try out a different hotel in another location. We enjoyed our stay at the Park Hyatt Vendome and thus wanted to try out probably the most famous location of the brand – the Park Hyatt Tokyo.
Our room was very spacious (though not as large as our suite at the Conrad) and had a beautiful view of Yoyogi Park. I wish I had take more photos – this photo one of the hotel’s, though our room was very similar. This is weird but the room smelled great too!
When we arrived, we found some little treats waiting for us.
I was ESPECIALLY obsessed with this dessert from Chocolatier Masale. Obsessed! It was a chocolate bar with dried fruits and nuts on top and this amazing nougat wafer inside. I wish we’d had time to go here, I’d recommend a trip to this shop for anybody visiting Tokyo! Japan has such amazing sweets. Thanks Park Hyatt!
Our first night back in Tokyo, we arrived around ~ 7 PM and were pretty hungry already. Park Hyatt is located in the Shinjuku area – very bustling with lots of shops and activities going on (though about a 10 minutes walk from the hotel). We hadn’t eaten any ramen yet in Japan so I was really itching to go have my noodle fix. When we got into central Shinjuku, there were so, so many ramen shops that I couldn’t decide. It was almost agonizing – what if I wasted my valuable stomach space on the wrong shop?? In the end I decided to follow the crowd and picked a random shop that seemed to have the longest line.
And of course, the ramen was delicious! Perfectly chewy with amazing soup.
The next day, we just took it easy and walked around. I needed to pick up some snacks as souvenirs for friends and family back home. For our whole trip I kept seeing these “Tokyo Banana” treats around everywhere. I mean, how cool is that name? So finally, I bought two boxes – one to take home and one to eat there since I knew otherwise the curiousity would torture me. They were yummy! Kind of like a fresher, banana Twinkie.
Next, I stocked up on all kinds of goodies for back home (including a giant box of sakura green tea Kit Kat bars!). When we were at the airport I saw nearly all the treats we bought, so in the future I’d probably just save the hassle and buy all of our souveniers before flying out.
These dark chocolate mochi treats below were really popular with my coworkers – I saw there were all kinds of flavors so on a future trip I’m going to try some more. Really good and unfortunately I haven’t been able to find them in the US.
Here are just a few more random photos from our last day. I saw this giant wine bottle in front of a restaurant which I thought was clever – the hours of operation were printed on the label! Plus, I’m always fascinated by household objects taller than me, I think I’m a little bit Napoleonic . Again I subjected my husband to embarrassing picture taking duty.
This next photo I took myself while using a department store restroom. I know toilet jokes in Japan are so cliche but I’d never seen a button which performed this service before. Tee hee hee hee hee! Yes, I’m very juvenile.
After a day of walking around my husband and I were a bit melancholy that our trip was drawing to a close. We both wished that we had could have stayed longer. However, we were still excited about our final dinner in Japan – which was back at our hotel, in The New York Grill.
I’ve never seen Lost in Translation, the Sofia Coppola film which was largely filmed at the Park Hyatt – but I guess a lot of it took place in the New York Grill and Bar. I can see why, because the view was gorgeous. It’s on the top of the hotel – the 52nd floor – with floor to ceiling windows, and you get a wonderful view of Tokyo. There was also a live singer and jazz music both nights we went, making for some very nice ambiance. We actually ate here twice – the night before, unsatisfied by just ramen (hmph) my husband indulged in a late night hamburger snack which he said was “one of the best in his life”.
The bar and the restaurant are attached – the left side is the bar, and the right is the formal dining restaurant. If you’re planning on visiting the New York Bar (it’s one of the most famous in Tokyo) and aren’t staying in the hotel, I might recommend just making reservations at the restaurant, as the Bar will charge a cover charge anyway.
Walking in, you see the chefs hard at work – everything looks incredibly clean, as it should!
I forgot to take a picture of my food before I ate it but it was just a simple salad and then pasta dish. I was already feeling very full from our past week and a half of gorging. My husband however was more ambitious and ordered the New York Grill’s most famous dish – the Kobe Beef. Side note, but did you know that Kobe beef is only available for sale in Japan (and Macau)? All those so-called “Kobe beef” sliders and fusion hamburgers served at your random neighborhood bar aren’t actually real “Kobe” as the sale of it in the US is actually illegal! We had no idea until we were in Japan reading a random guidebook and thus my husband was very excited to try the “real thing.”
After our appetizers the Kobe beef came out. I have to admit that given the ginormous steaks I’m used to in the US, this didn’t look like very much. It was close to $300 for about 6 oz of meat. I don’t really appreciate steaks so I didn’t even try it – but my husband ate every bite luxuriously. “This is the best steak…I’ve ever had!!” he exclaimed. Since my husband regularly eats steaks more than twice the size, I was a little worried he’d be hungry. Apparently though the steak was so rich that he was very full by the end. Very, VERY full. He even had a stomach ache later on in the night. He still proclaimed the pain, “worth it” though. Hmm.
We shared a chocolate molten cake for dessert..and then that was the end of our last dinner in Tokyo.
The next morning, we checked out and headed to Narita for our flight back to the US (on the Friendly Airport Limousine)! It was sad to wave goodbye to the Park Hyatt, what a fabulous hotel and I’d recommend it to anybody visiting Tokyo.
Our final stop in Tokyo was the ANA First lounge to scarf up some food. I love Asian carrier lounges abroad, they always have great offerings. Plus I’m cheap and cannot resist free food. Some yummy rice balls!
I’m used to the alcohol spread but always nice to see sake, I always prefer to drink sake over anything else when flying – it puts me to sleep.
And my favorite part of the ANA Lounge – the Noodle Bar!
I ordered myself a Kakiage Udon and a few minutes later a pretty ANA worker brought it over.
I had a window right by the planes so ate my udon while watching the planes take off. What a wonderful trip and a great way to say “Sayonara” to Japan – for now! Thank you all very much for reading along on my Japan trip and I hope you enjoyed. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask in the comments or you can Facebook or Twitter me!