Hong Kong & Japan
1 – WHERE DID YOU GO?
Hong Kong & Tokyo
2- WHO WITH AND HOW LONG FOR?
Hong Kong for 3 nights and Tokyo for 4 nights.
Hong Kong was with other agents and travel industry people and Tokyo was with another Travel Agent.
3- WHO DID YOU FLY WITH AND HOW WERE THEY?
We flew Cathay Pacific Premium Economy from Melbourne to Hong Kong on the new A350 aircraft. Have to say I was impressed with this newer version of their premium. Much better than their first product. I am 6ft tall so I have plenty of leg room and a decent enough recline to feel rested and comfortable. Food in Premium is just economy food but your order is taken which is a nice touch. Entertainment was good and staff were great. We unfortunately had a medical emergency on the flight which I must commend all the crew and emergency services on how they handled the situation
From Hong Kong to Tokyo and Tokyo to Melbourne we flew with Japan Airlines (complete with waving ground crew and bowing ground crew on arrival and departure – so sweet)
We were in business class for these sectors and was impressed with both.
The product on the Melbourne service is great!! Highly recommend it …. food was fine and snacks were delicious!
4- WHAT WAS THE HIGHLIGHT?
As I have been to Hong Kong a few times before there is nothing like the thrill of going to a new country for the first time.
Honkers is a brilliant city though and the tourism board looked after us as always. They are currently promoting the Sham Shui Po area of Hong Kong located in the north of Kowloon. We were treated to a walking tour of the area known for its original housing estates, markets and of course the food! You won’t see the big glitzy stores and modern sky scrapers here it’s a working class area and highly recommend doing a walking tour – I have a great guide if you are interested!
We stayed at the W Hotel Hong Kong and it was a brilliant hotel. We also checked out the brand new Murray Hotel on Hong Kong Island – nice and the rooftop bar is a must!
A traditional junk ride a night at Happy Valley and plenty to eat and drink you can’t go wrong with a few days in Honkers!
On to Tokyo, what a city! So much going on, so many people (but the most polite people) so many lights, so many buildings!
We loved everything we did and we did a lot!
The night we arrived we took the Narita Express into Shinjuku and grabbed a taxi to our hotel the Hilton. Dumped our stuff and headed on out through the guts of Shinjuku to the Golden Gai district. Full of these tiny, tiny bars one after another. Highly recommend it, you just have to pick one and go on in and see what you get.
The next day we had a local guide who took us to the Meiji Shrine which is an Oasis just near Shibuya and Harajuku. Next we continued to the famous Shibuya crossing and went across and looked from above and below to the fabulous food halls in the basement levels of the department stores.
Navigating the subway is quite funny and much easier with someone who knows it!
Next we were off to The Fish Markets! Even if you don’t eat fish it’s great for a wonder around and some more food.
A quick stop in a nice quiet street for some Monjayaki was good to recharge the batteries before heading up to Akakusa Shopping street and Shrine.
We left our guide here and headed to Ginza for a spritz and to rest our legs!
Back to the hotel for a yummy dinner and bed! We were exhausted!
Up early the next day for our full Day Mt Fuji tour – boy did we get lucky with a beautiful sunny day and snow on Mt Fuji. We went out by bus stopping at station 2 then continuing on to a nearby shrine for a great view of Fuji. Off to lunch then a gondola to the Sulphur area and onto Lake Ashi to end before returning to Tokyo by Bullet Train (so fast!)
The next day we wanted to shop so we hit up Shibuya & Harajuku and went a little nuts on a whole lot of trinkets and gadgets!
Harajuku is a destination in itself, so many people and craziness but so much fun. Rainbow Ice Cream, Rainbow Toasted Cheese, Crepes as far as the eye can see!
5 – WHAT WAS THE LOWLIGHT?
Not having more time to do the rest of Japan!
6 – BEST THING YOU ATE?
Rainbow Ice Cream and a Rainbow Cheese Sandwich in Harajuku.
Omg and POCKY! Apparently I should have heard of Pocky but I haven’t so we did eat an awful lot of them!!
7 – WHERE WOULD YOU GO BACK TO?
Japan, can’t wait to get back to see the rest of the country, feel like we only just skimmed the surface
8- The HOTELS
The W Hong Kong – awesome hotel, very modern, great views, great amenities and very cool roof top pool. The rooms are well appointed with anything you could possibly need.
We stayed at the Hilton in Tokyo which was great and room size was good (small rooms are common in Japan… and we did check out a few other hotel and gee, small is small and bathrooms can be like those found on a cruise ship!)
The Hilton did seem to have a lot of Americans – understandably being a Hilton and all but next time we will stay at Keio Plaza hotel in their renovated club rooms.
9 – TRAVELLING TIP POST HOLIDAY & OTHER COMMENTS
Using the train to from Hong Kong Airport is still the fastest and easiest way to get into town
You can actually do your airline check in from Kowloon Station up to 24 hours prior to your flight Very handy if you have a day to kill and don’t have your hotel room until the end of the day.
We used Suica Cards in Tokyo for the train and you can even use it for vending machine purchases, handy.
If you can fly in/out of Haneda I would do it! Narita is a long way out…… not bad and we did the train one way and then the Limo Bus on return – pros and cons of both.
Definitely ask me about my local guides in both cities – especially Tokyo – can’t recommend that enough for your first trip to this crazy city!