Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sheraton Miyako Hotel Tokyo review and Japan travel tips

Sheraton Miyako Hotel
Thanks to Starpoints, we were able to enjoy 5 free nights at the Sheraton Miyako Hotel Tokyo.  The Sheraton Miyako is an SPG Category 4 hotel, and cost us 10,000 Starpoints per night.  Thanks to the SPG 5th award night free benefit, we were able to stay here for 5 nights in Tokyo for 40,000 Starpoints (an average of 8,000 Starpoints per night).  This was a valuable redemption since paying for a 5-night stay here would have cost us $1047.45!

Compared to other Sheraton properties, the Miyako Hotel seemed very plain.  The main entrance has a nice fireplace and large window to view the gardens outside.  Overall the hotel felt like there wasn’t enough lighting, and everything just seemed so “brown” in appearance.  Once we got past the boring look of the hotel, everything else was quite nice and peaceful.   

The room was very clean without any frills.  The Wifi was fast and reliable.  We enjoyed the butt-warming toilet but didn’t try the bidet.  The bed was extremely comfortable. 

We really didn’t like how dark it was in the room; we would have preferred more or brighter lighting.

If you’re staying at the hotel, be sure to check out the garden outside.  It’s a peaceful area you can spend 15 minutes exploring.  

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Our experience at Tokyo Station

Getting around Tokyo was extremely easy on the Tokyo Metro network.  Of all the stations we visited, Tokyo Station was the most fun.  In Japan, Tokyo Station is the busiest of all stations.  The station is multi storied with 5 stories below ground level.  There is so much to explore with food stands, clothing stores, restaurants and cafes.  They managed to fit an entire shopping mall inside a metro station. 

We ventured out to Tokyo Station with one purpose: to try the ramen!  We enjoyed Tokyo Station so much that we came to explore it 2 times, and enjoyed 2 different types of ramen here.  Look for “Tokyo Ramen Street.”  When this part of the metro was being built, they invited only the 8 best ramen restaurants to be a part of the Ramen Alley

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Our Sumida experience

Sumida was another special ward we explored in Tokyo.  We came to Sumida to visit the Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest freestanding tower and also the tallest man made structure in Japan.  This massive tower is 2,080 feet (634m) tall.   

Sumida Aquarium
We were surprised to find out that there was an aquarium right next to the Skytree, and decided to visit the aquarium first.  

The Sumida Aquarium has the theme “Tokyo Islands” and has many fun exhibits to see.  

I have never seen a moon jelly with 5 rings before... cool!

In the middle of the aquarium, there is a large indoor penguin tank.  We were lucky to catch a penguin feeding.

I was also really excited to see some deep sea giant isopods.  Think of these as giant pill bugs  / rollie pollies.  The isopods were pretty gross and awesome at the same time. 

I was tempted to buy this cuddly giant isopod doll...don't know what I would do with it!
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