Travels in Japan – A Pig Café & the World’s First Digital Art Museum

WIT Agent Katrina Returns with More Stories from Her Recent Trip to Japan!

This is a continuation from a previous post by Katrina about her trip to Japan, which you can read here

The Hyatt Regency, Tokyo

I stayed at the 5-star Hyatt Regency Tokyo for 4 nights. The hotel was massive. It’s almost 30 stories high, with a grand lobby.

Polished granite and marble everywhere; and three massive crystal chandeliers that hung from the ceiling three-stories above.

Since it was the holidays, they had a full-sized fir tree in the lobby decked to the nines in blue and silver ornaments. Funny thing is, you could almost miss the tree altogether, as the lobby was so large and open.

The view of Mt. Fuji and the Tokyo skyline was absolutely breathtaking.

I was upgraded at check-in to a room on the 20th floor. The view of Mt. Fuji and the Tokyo skyline was absolutely breathtaking. The room itself was decent sized with a King bed. I loved the floor-to-ceiling windows, and the view was spectacular both day and night.

I also had a view down to a beautiful park where vendors set up their wares on blankets every Saturday. Groups gathered in the morning for tai chi.

The location was also great. Located right in the middle of Shinjuku, which is the business, shopping, and entertainment area.

Plus, the area itself is central. It was only 10 minutes to one of the main rail stations/subways, making it easy to get to any other part of Tokyo.

Exploring the TeamLab Borderless

I took the train to the Mori Building digital art museum, teamLab Borderless, by myself. To be honest, it turned out to be much easier to navigate the Tokyo subway than I had anticipated.

I’ve never seen or heard of a museum like this one, definitely a must see. It was pretty crowded while I was there and I had to stand in a couple of long, time-consuming lines, but it was worth it.

As the world’s first digital art museum, this exhibition opened up in June 2018 in Odaiba. It’s a spectacular, multi-sensory installation, where the art is dynamic and constantly in motion. Book your tickets in advance, because they sell out quite quickly!

The Borderless Tearoom

Once I finished exploring, I set off to the tearoom in the Borderless museum, where I had booked myself a tea reservation.

You order your tea upon arrival, then you’re directed into a large dark room complete with black walls, tables, and benches. Sensory light projectors shine light into your tea, turning a bowl of liquid into a blooming flower with petals that blow away in a breeze onto the table.

An Informal Tour of Tokyo

The rest of my time in Tokyo was spent with Matthew [the son of another WIT Agent, Pam] who was nice enough to be my own personal city guide for the following 2 days.

Matthew has lived there for 5-years, so he was more than qualified.

He showed me where the cool kids hang, and we checked out a pig cafe in Harajuku district. Which wasn’t really a cafe, per-say, since the only beverages came from a vending machine. But the pigs were adorable.

Matthew educated me on the differences between shrines and temples, we visited Meiji-jingu temple, and explored a newly opened mall located in a skyscraper. We saw vintage shops and the high-end fashion district Aoyama, and he showed me his favorite joints to eat at.

Having Matthew around definitely took my experience to the next level. I wouldn’t have seen or known about half of what he showed me, on my own. I highly recommend having a local who can make your trip to Japan even more special.

Stay Tuned for more on Katrina’s journey to Japan – next time!

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