Our Park Hyatt Tokyo Stay

This is a continuation of the Japan Trip Report. You can read more here:
Booking Lufthansa First Class Using United Miles
Lufthansa First Class Denver to Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Frankfurt to Osaka
Japan Day 1: Nijo Castle and Kinkaku-ji
Westin Osaka Review

Japan Day 2 (Part 1) – Fushimi Inari and Nara
Japan Day 2 (Part 2) – Bullet Train/Nabana no Sato Illumination
Conrad Tokyo Review
Tokyo Day 1 - Tokyo Free Guide, Geisha Show and Meiji Shrine
Tokyo Day 2 - Imperial Palace Bike Ride, Yoyogi Park, Harajuku, Cat Cafe!
Tokyo Day 3 – Odaiba, Toyota Mega Web Showroom and Akihabara
Tokyo Day 4 – Day Trip to Hakone and Lake Ashinoko
Tokyo Day 5 – Ueno Zoo and  Akihabara
Tokyo Day 6 – Tsukiji Fish Market and Alice’s Fantasy Dining

We had spent a majority of our time in Tokyo at the Conrad Tokyo – and ABSOLUTELY loved it. We were sad to leave, but excited to check out the Park Hyatt Tokyo. A few months before our trip American Airlines cancelled our flight home! We had to rebook on the following day. We were forced to spend an extra night in Tokyo. Worst problem ever, right? Right around this time I kept seeing reviews of the Park Hyatt Tokyo, and it seemed like everyone loved it. I realized I almost had enough Ultimate Rewards (22,000 Ultimate Rewards transferred to Hyatt – now 30,000 with the recent Hyatt category changes) to book our last night there.

I applied for Hyatt’s Diamond Challenge shortly before our trip – which gave me temporary Diamond status at Hyatt based on my Hilton Gold status. You can read more about applying for the Diamond Challenge here. With Hyatt Diamond status I had fairly high expectations for the Park Hyatt Tokyo.

We arrived and were warmly greeted and asked to wait a minute before being checked-in. They sat us down in the check-in area, and checked us in there. Based on other reviews I had read, I’d heard of Diamond members receiving an in-room check-in. That was not the case for us. We did however receive a two category upgrade to a Park View King room that was a corner room with a view of Mt. Fuji (as requested by email prior to the stay). We were escorted up to our room and shown around. Our luggage was brought up shortly after.

Park View King

Park View King

Our only complaint about the amazing room is that we heard a loud guy in the corner room next to ours for a decent portion of the night. It was surprising coming off of the tranquility of the Conrad Tokyo. Still a great room overall. As a Diamond member, we were given a bottle of wine to enjoy during our stay.

Diamond Welcome Amenity Park Hyatt Tokyo

Diamond Welcome Amenity Park Hyatt Tokyo

There was also a box of snacks from the bakery as well as flowers. We were celebrating our anniversary.

Snacks and flowers.

Snacks and flowers

If you notice the keys on the table, those were the actual room keys. The Park Hyatt Tokyo has actual keys on a Tiffany’s key rings. They were a nice touch. The Park Hyatt Tokyo did a great job in helping us celebrate our anniversary. They greeted us and told us happy anniversary immediately, and told us we would get a picture taken in the library entrance that would be provided to us upon check out.

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Tokyo Day 6 – Tsukiji Fish Market and Alice in Wonderland Fantasy Restaurant

This is a continuation of the Japan Trip Report. You can read more here:
Booking Lufthansa First Class Using United Miles
Lufthansa First Class Denver to Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Frankfurt to Osaka
Japan Day 1: Nijo Castle and Kinkaku-ji
Westin Osaka Review

Japan Day 2 (Part 1) – Fushimi Inari and Nara
Japan Day 2 (Part 2) – Bullet Train/Nabana no Sato Illumination
Conrad Tokyo Review
Tokyo Day 1 - Tokyo Free Guide, Geisha Show and Meiji Shrine
Tokyo Day 2 - Imperial Palace Bike Ride, Yoyogi Park, Harajuku, Cat Cafe!
Tokyo Day 3 – Odaiba, Toyota Mega Web Showroom and Akihabara
Tokyo Day 4 – Day Trip to Hakone and Lake Ashinoko
Tokyo Day 5 – Ueno Zoo and  Akihabara

On day 6 in Tokyo we moved from the Conrad to the Park Hyatt Tokyo. Since the Conrad Tokyo was located close to the Tsukiji Fish Market (at least when we were there – I believe it moved shortly after). Probably not applicable with the new location, but we had a little trouble actually finding where to enter the fish market. We finally asked a guard who was able to direct us. When we arrived we found signs warning visitors…

Tourist Warnings at Tsukiji Fish Market

Tourist Warnings at Tsukiji Fish Market

We tried to be very respectful and not get in anyone’s way and found it was very intimidating. We went later in the morning – the auctions are very early in the morning, but we chose to go later and just look around. It looked like many of the vendors were finishing up. The aisle ways were very narrow, so we spent a large portion of our time just trying to stay out of people’s way as carts whizzed past.

Tsukiji Fish Market

Tsukiji Fish Market

There were some incredible fish and sea creatures as we walked around. It was really neat to see. And while we were a little sad we missed the auctions – as crazy as it was as things were shutting down I have to imagine it was even more intense when it was crowded!

Sights of the Fish Market

Sights of the Fish Market

We enjoyed walking around, but it was slightly stressful trying so hard not to interfere in such a busy place.

Tsukiji Fish Market

Tsukiji Fish Market

After the fish market, we headed back to check out of the Conrad and head over to the Park Hyatt Tokyo. We found an interesting restaurant while exploring the areas around the Park Hyatt Tokyo that night. It was an Alice in Wonderland themed restaurant (Alice’s Fantasy Dining).

We were getting pretty hungry when we came across an interesting door…

Alice Restaurant Tokyo

Alice Restaurant Tokyo

I’m a sucker for cute things and the food on display was very cute. The entrance was also very cool, so we decided to give it a try!

Restaurant Entrance

Restaurant Entrance

Even the booths were themed.

Booths in Tokyo's Alice in Wonderland Restaurant

Booths in Tokyo’s Alice in Wonderland Themed Restaurant

The entire menu was themed as well, and the waitresses were all dressed like Alice.

Alice in Wonderland Menu

Alice’s Fantasy Dining Menu

Our waitress was one of our favorites in all of Tokyo. She was very friendly and seemed to want to practice English (although she didn’t need to!). She mentioned she was planning a trip to Orlando this year. We had heard of various flavor Kit Kats before coming to Tokyo and weren’t sure where to find them. We came across Strawberry Cheesecake Kit Kats on our day trip to Hakone and Green Tea flavor one other time, but wanted to know where we could buy some. She recommended we check Don Quijote in Shinjuku. Turns out they didn’t have them. (Turns out they are regional and we were able to buy many flavors at the airport). But while she was trying to give us directions, she actually followed us up 3 flights of stairs out on to the street in order to point us the right way. She was incredibly friendly.

I ordered the naan pizza. It was pretty good. The food was somewhat expensive for what it was, so it was definitely paying for the theme/atmosphere. We enjoyed it anyways.

Naan Pizza

Naan Pizza

I’d recommend the restaurant if you’re looking for something fun and different. Stay tuned for the Park Hyatt Tokyo review coming soon!

Tokyo Day 5 – Ueno Zoo and Akihabara

This is a continuation of the Japan Trip Report. You can read more here:
Booking Lufthansa First Class Using United Miles
Lufthansa First Class Denver to Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Frankfurt to Osaka
Japan Day 1: Nijo Castle and Kinkaku-ji
Westin Osaka Review

Japan Day 2 (Part 1) – Fushimi Inari and Nara
Japan Day 2 (Part 2) – Bullet Train/Nabana no Sato Illumination
Conrad Tokyo Review
Tokyo Day 1 - Tokyo Free Guide, Geisha Show and Meiji Shrine
Tokyo Day 2 - Imperial Palace Bike Ride, Yoyogi Park, Harajuku, Cat Cafe!
Tokyo Day 3 – Odaiba, Toyota Mega Web Showroom and Akihabara
Tokyo Day 4 – Day Trip to Hakone and Lake Ashinoko

The next morning we woke up and headed to Ueno Zoo. I had found a website that mentioned Red Pandas at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo and was very excited to see them. I was even more excited when I learned the admission fee was only 600 yen (~$6) per person! Ueno Zoo is a great zoo and is even in a great area to explore before or after going to the zoo. We walked through Ueno Park on the way there and around Ameyoko to shop a little after seeing the zoo and also grab some sushi.

 When you enter the zoo one of the first things you come to is a panda exhibit. Unfortunately the pandas were sleeping so we decided to catch them on the way out of the zoo. We continued walking and passed birds of prey, otters and monkeys before coming to the tiger exhibit. The tiger was gorgeous and pacing right in front of the area I was taking pictures. I think I have roughly 100 tiger pictures now. 
Ueno Zoo Tiger

Ueno Zoo Tiger

After the tigers we watched the lions for a little bit before heading on to the gorillas. The baby gorilla was adorable and we watched it ride around for a little bit.

Cute Baby Gorilla at Ueno Zoo

Cute Baby Gorilla at Ueno Zoo

We watched the pair wander around a bit.

Ueno Zoo Gorillas

Ueno Zoo Gorillas

Next we headed over to the polar bear exhibit. The polar bear was awesome. He spent a good 20 minutes chasing a ball around the water and we enjoyed watching him play.

Ueno Zoo Polar Bear

Ueno Zoo Polar Bear

We headed back to check out the pandas and see if they were done napping. They were finally up and eating.

Ueno Zoo Panda

Ueno Zoo Panda

It seems like every time I get a chance to check out a prairie dog exhibit I never get to see them. I was excited this time they were finally outside and active.
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Tokyo Day 4 – Day Trip to Hakone and Lake Ashinoko with the Hakone Free Pass

This is a continuation of the Japan Trip Report. You can read more here:
Booking Lufthansa First Class Using United Miles
Lufthansa First Class Denver to Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Frankfurt to Osaka
Japan Day 1: Nijo Castle and Kinkaku-ji
Westin Osaka Review

Japan Day 2 (Part 1) – Fushimi Inari and Nara
Japan Day 2 (Part 2) – Bullet Train/Nabana no Sato Illumination
Conrad Tokyo Review
Tokyo Day 1 - Tokyo Free Guide, Geisha Show and Meiji Shrine
Tokyo Day 2 - Imperial Palace Bike Ride, Yoyogi Park, Harajuku, Cat Cafe!
Tokyo Day 3 – Odaiba, Toyota Mega Web Showroom and Akihabara

During my research on what we could do in Tokyo I came across descriptions of a day trip to Lake Ashinoko in Hakone. The pictures drew me in and with the amazing views of Mount Fuji it wasn’t hard to convince my boyfriend either. After researching it a little, we decided to go with the Hakone Free Pass through Odakyu. The pass covered the various modes of transportation inside Hakone – and there were several! It could be bought as a train ticket from Shinjuku or as a less expensive ticket if you find your own way to the Odawara station. Since we had active JR Rail passes, it was already included for us to take JR lines to Odawara, so we bought the less expensive ticket from there. It was roughly $39 per person.

And thus began our day of transportation. We started by taking the bullet train to Odawara from Tokyo.

Mode of Transit 1: Bullet Train

Mode of Transit 1: Bullet Train

It was on the bullet train that we caught our first glimpse of Mt. Fuji. It was breathtaking even in the distance – but it would only get better as the day continued. After arriving in Odawara, we purchased our passes and then continued on the Hakone Tozan Railway.

Mode of Transit 2: Hakone Tozan Railway

Mode of Transit 2: Hakone Tozan Railway

The Hakone Tozan Railway is a local railway that winds up the mountain. It stopped a lot to share the track with trains heading down. It also went through several tunnels and curves. It was a pleasant ride. We got off at Gora, where we boarded a cable car for a more vertical ride up.

Mode of Transit 4: Sounzan Cable Car

Mode of Transit 3: Sounzan Cable Car

After exiting the cable car, we immediately got onto the Hakone Ropeway.

Mode of Transit 5: Hakone Ropeway

Mode of Transit 4: Hakone Ropeway

The ropeway provided gorgeous views from the altitude.

View of the Ropeway

View of the Ropeway

The area you see in the bottom right corner of the picture above is Owakudani – a volcanic region that smelled highly of sulfur. The ropeway also provided some amazing views of Mt. Fuji.

View of Mt. Fuji from the Ropeway

View of Mt. Fuji from the Ropeway

We got off the ropeway there and tried some of the black hard boiled eggs. The eggs supposedly add 7 years to your life.

Hardboiled Eggs with Sulfur

Hardboiled Eggs with Sulfur

Even Hello Kitty enjoys the eggs.

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Tokyo Day 3 – Odaiba, Toyota Mega Web showroom and Akihabara

This is a continuation of the Japan Trip Report. You can read more here:
Booking Lufthansa First Class Using United Miles
Lufthansa First Class Denver to Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Frankfurt to Osaka
Japan Day 1: Nijo Castle and Kinkaku-ji
Westin Osaka Review

Japan Day 2 (Part 1) – Fushimi Inari and Nara
Japan Day 2 (Part 2) – Bullet Train/Nabana no Sato Illumination
Conrad Tokyo Review
Tokyo Day 1 - Tokyo Free Guide, Geisha Show and Meiji Shrine
Tokyo Day 2 - Imperial Palace Bike Ride, Yoyogi Park, Harajuku, Cat Cafe!

Let me start this one by stating an obvious fact. My boyfriend and I are geeks. Tokyo has several attractions for geeks and that’s what we focused on during day 3. We took the Yurikamome line from Shiodome station to Odaiba and headed to Gundam Front Tokyo. Gundam Front Tokyo is an entire area dedicated to the Gundam anime series. We didn’t go inside – we came entirely for the GIANT Gundam replica outside.

Odaiba Gundam

Odaiba Gundam

It did not disappoint! It was huge and complete with flashing lights, smoke and theme music. We’re not huge Gundam fans, but it was still really neat to see. We also wanted to see the Mega Web Toyota showroom and the Panasonic showroom while we were in Odaiba.

We weren’t entirely sure where we were headed, so we wandered around a little trying to get into the Toyota showroom. We made some very good wrong turns and wound up walking through a shopping area with several Ferraris and Lamborghinis on display!

Cars on Display

Cars on Display

When we finally found the Toyota showroom it was fun to walk around. It was free to get in and they had some neat displays. There were the typical vehicles we’re used to, as well as robots and “cute” vehicles.

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Tokyo Day 2 – Imperial Palace Bike Ride, Yoyogi Park, Harajuku and Cat Cafe!

This is a continuation of the Japan Trip Report. You can read more here:
Booking Lufthansa First Class Using United Miles
Lufthansa First Class Denver to Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Frankfurt to Osaka
Japan Day 1: Nijo Castle and Kinkaku-ji
Westin Osaka Review

Japan Day 2 (Part 1) – Fushimi Inari and Nara
Japan Day 2 (Part 2) – Bullet Train/Nabana no Sato Illumination
Conrad Tokyo Review
Tokyo Day 1 - Tokyo Free Guide, Geisha Show and Meiji Shrine

We started off day two in Tokyo with another amazing breakfast in the Conrad Tokyo before heading out for some cycling! I had read online that the Imperial Palace offered free bicycles on Sundays. We decided to go check it out. We weren’t entirely sure what to do when we arrived, but asked a couple of guards who weren’t sure what we were asking but managed to point us in the right direction.

Once we arrived at the bicycle rental area, we had to fill out a form. We were expecting to leave a deposit or a license or credit card or something that proves you’ll come back with the bicycle. But all we had to do was fill out a form with our name and address. No one even read it, they just handed us bikes. Compared to what we’re used to at home the level of trust was incredible.

The entire road beside the Imperial Palace was closed to traffic and only open for cyclists. It was a short but enjoyable ride. Very pretty with the fall foliage in the area. Probably too warm during the summer as it was almost warm in November!

Free Bicycle Riding Near The Imperial Palace

Free Bicycle Riding Near The Imperial Palace

After our bike ride we decided to head to Yoyogi Park and then Harajuku for some people watching. I had read online that many groups/youths met Sunday afternoons in the park. One group I had heard of was the Rockabilly dancers. We had a chance to see them dance to 50′s style music in Yoyogi Park.

Yoyogi Park Rockabilly Group

Yoyogi Park Rockabilly Group

There were many people hanging out in the park in the afternoon. If you have some time to kill it’s a nice to walk around.

Yoyogi Park

Yoyogi Park

After Yoyogi Park we headed towards Harajuku. Harajuku is known for being a spot where people go to dress up and show off, including Lolitas.  We saw one group as we were walking, but I wasn’t able to get a good picture. The only other thing of interest we saw was this guy:

In Harajuku

In Harajuku

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My Recent Credit Card Applications/Updates

I’ve been busy writing about Japan, but wanted to mention a few things I’ve done recently to earn points. Back in December, I was beginning to finalize the plan for the Australia trip this year. Up until the last minute we were debating about using the points to fly Thai first class. But it turned out I was a little short of the necessary points to fly first class instead of business.

So I had an unscheduled application for the Chase Freedom, as for a limited time it was offering 20,000 Ultimate Rewards as the sign up bonus after spending $500 in three months. Since I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred I can transfer those points to travel partners (such as United – for the Thai Airways flight we were considering). The Chase Freedom card has no annual fee, and rotating 5x points categories. This quarter, it is 5x at gas stations, movie theaters and Starbucks.

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