Tokyo Blond Is Not Porn

Tokyo Blond is not a porn blog, about hair or even, as one pithy friend remarked, a micro beer or late 1980s glam metal band ("Dude, I just saw Skid Row and Tokyo Blond opened and played a killer set").

The purpose of this blog is to chronicle my experiences in Tokyo - poignantly, visually, irreverently - for fun.

Anybody can tag along...that is if I like you. This blog will endeavor to be entertaining and honest and frequent enough to keep those following interested including me.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Where's My Chocolate Bear?

Last Friday Russell and I spent the night at the Peninsula Tokyo.  Russell had "won" a package at a silent auction held at the Italian Embassy last year.  The package entitled the winner to a one-night stay including dinner for two at their stylish restaurant, Peter, and breakfast in the lobby.  I love how they call it "winning" when you're actually "paying" for it and for probably more than it's worth.

We checked into our standard room around 3p and marveled at all the technology.  In true Japanese fashion, the hotel is a contradiction of traditional Japanese design juxtaposed with high end design and technology.  Case in point, our bedroom area was separated from the closet and bathroom by a sliding piece of rough cut wood.  It was like a giant slice of exotic tree.  Yet next to the bed, the toilet and the bathtub were electronic panels that controlled everything except Russell's mood.

Of all the things in this room what do you think Russell liked the most?
Hint - it's controlled by a remote.

Marble bathroom with "mood" lighting.

Nice closet/dressing room.

Can somebody please tell me where the electronic panel is to control him?

Our view overlooking Hibaya park.
The curtains are electronically controlled.
Which is nice.

We started by taking a dip in the pool.  The pool is located on the six floor and has a commanding view of the Imperial Palace and gardens.  To our horror they don't serve cocktails at the pool.  How can this be?!!    Not only that, they make you wear a bathing cap, and goggles.  I haven't worn a bathing cap since the 60s.  The pool is basically used for fitness only.  It reminded me of the pool at the Tokyo America's Club, aka TAC.  At TAC they have a sign posted which illustrates how many days they've gone without having to close the pool due to various catastrophes including fecal emissions, or as we like to call it, "the baby ruth effect".

Russell and I felt like we were the baby ruth effect here.  When we got into the pool all the Japanese got out.  I guess the good news is we had it all to ourselves.  We took a moment to steal a poolside kiss and hug.  I waited for the alarms to go off.  I'm sure publicly displayed affection is one of the unallowable activities here in the pool. They should add it to the TAC list too.  Thankfully the alarm didn't go off and too soon the Japanese guests ventured back into the water to swim their laps.

We decided to try the "vitality" pool which is basically a giant jacuzzi with a metal bench in it.  I wonder how many guests have racked their shin while getting vitalized.  After a few minutes I wasn't feeling any more revitalized, must have been the lack of alcohol, so we decided to go back to our room for a nap before dinner.

After the nap I made good use of the bathtub and electronic controls.  I've decided I need to redo my bathroom in California this way.  Soaking in the tub I dimmed the lights and waded through the TV channels, then the music stations.  Yes there was a TV in the bathroom.  I thought about calling room service from the in-wall intercom phone, just because I could, but I didn't want to spoil my dinner.   Just imagine this system attached to Apple TV and my entire music library.  Oh yes, it will be mine.

The bathtub.

The TV I controlled from the bathtub.

We went up to the Peter bar for a pre-dinner cocktail but the bar was completely full.  Apparently they're running a happy hour special.  It was quite a deal.  For about $10 you get the cocktail of your choice and a set menu of snacks. I love snacks!  It took a while to even get to the bar as Russell became enamored with this color changing sculpture in the lobby.  I think it's a mind conditioning tool to make you spend more money.

Don't stare too long. It will make you spend money.

Since we couldn't get a drink at the bar we decided to just sit down early for dinner.  We're glad we did because twilight over the Imperial Palace was beautiful.  The restaurant is decorated very avant garde.  It's high drama which in L.A. usually means the food is mediocre.  The tables are black and accentuated with hand blown glass candle holders and silvery place mats.  The space is dramatized with sparkling sculptures that look like silver trees and one side of the restaurant showcases a projection wall which transforms from an underwater scene resplendent with bubbles, can you say Nemo, to crowds of seductively moving dancers.

I really don't think the name "Peter" does it justice. I thought maybe the chef's name was Peter. It isn't.  Russell informed me this is the Peninsula thing, their mascot is a bear and his name is "Peter."  Oh, that explains it, not. But I would like one of those hand made chocolate "Peter" bears they make in the Wonka-esque bakery downstairs, if you please.

Nice view of the Imperial Gardens...and my adorable purse.


Bad picture of me.  Good picture of the 
projection wall with the underwater view.

Our silent auction package came with the standard four-course set meal, although it was anything less than standard.  Russell and I altered our choices so we could try more things.  I liked his choices more.
Damn him.  Thankfully he shared.

Russell's first course - fois gras.
My favorite.

My first course. Hamachi carpaccio.  The blue dots are made of blue cheese.
They look more interesting than they taste.

Meanwhile twilight had turned to thunderstorm and the twinkling landscape of the city flashed brilliantly from time to time.  At first we thought it was the wine, but finally we concluded it was in fact lightening, not mental lapses.

In the morning we had an American style breakfast in the lobby.  It had been so long since I'd eaten toast I had to have two orders, one for my eggs and ham, and one for my butter and jelly.  While we dined the first wedding of the day entered the lobby for pictures.  Some of the guests wore traditional kimonos which I always enjoy seeing.  The bride and groom were dressed in modern style.  She wore a beautiful white gown and he wore a black morning coat.  The lobby pianist played "Here Comes the Bride" and everyone in the lobby applauded.

It was a brief and enjoyable stay but I never did get the chocolate bear, Peter.  Next time Peter, next time.

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