Intelletec’s six-month incentive trip to Tokyo really was the stuff of dreams, a once in a lifetime trip.
With staff traveling from our London, Tel Aviv & Los Angeles offices for 6 days together, this really was a trip where logistics had to play a big part in arranging the trip from start to finish. Kudos to Miss Rachel Whalley for making sure we were all set!
I began the trip by traveling from LAX to Tokyo with Singapore Airlines - given that 90% of my travel times seem to be over 10 hours this journey was pretty simple, those that traveled from London & Israel arrived 10 hours earlier and mostly caught up on sleep in preparation for the LA team to arrive for our first night together.
We headed to an authentic local spot Shibuya-Ku in Ebisu for our first taste of Japanese food, and afterward made our way to a few local bars near Roppongi to mix with some locals - although we seemed to end up in mostly Expat areas full of Australians waiting for the Rugby World Cup to start!
We were staying at the Prince Park Tower hotel in Tokoyo Shiba Park - despite being warned about the size of hotels in Japan, this really was an excellent size and very spacious.
We started the day by heading to Ginza for a bit of shopping, checking out the 9 floors of Uniqlo's headquarters before going to a local sushi place in Chuo - incredible! We then set out for the tourist trap that is Shibuya, visiting a few arcades and videoing the Shibuya crossing before heading for some dinner and drinks in Udagawacho. 16,000 steps and jet lag kicking in, we headed home!
We made our way across to Koto to visit the very impressive Borderless TeamLab exhibition - A tourist hotspot but something not to be missed! Borderless is an interactive group of artworks that form one borderless world. Artworks move out of the rooms freely, form connections and relationships with people, communicate with other works, influence and sometimes intermingle with each other. This a three-dimensional 10,000 square meter space, 520 computers, and 470 projectors create a completely new world, the likes of which have never been seen before. After exploring Koto & Aomi we then headed for a surreal Mario Kart experience driving around the streets of Tokyo (check out my video on a previous post). Watching the team struggling to get up hills whilst having some personal duals was a highlight, we headed out for dinner & Sake in Shinjuku.
“Some” of us arose early to check out the views of Tokyo Tower (a stone's throw away from the hotel) whilst tasting the delights of the Vietnamese food festival, we then headed over via the train to Asakura to check out the local markets. We ended up heading out to the Owl Cafe - a very odd but surreal experience. We headed back over to Shinjuku to the Robot Restaurant (another tourist trap), here dancers ride robots into battle. The cabaret-style shows include futuristic dancers, performers dressed as robots and a host of large scale robots - all in a laser-lit room. After having some drinks we ended the evening with Karaoke - mostly Oasis & 50 Cent were sung ….very badly!
Our final full day together before we headed back to our prospective locations, we started at Shibuya City shopping center, followed by experiencing some incredible Sashimi at the Tsukiji fish market - this really was the freshest fish I've ever tasted. We headed to a few more arcades and ended the evening at Gonpachi restaurant - The one in Kill Bill for those that have seen it. 50,000 odd steps in 5 days had taken its toll!
What an incredible bonding trip we truly had, if you haven't been, Japan is a country with deep culture and religious belief, it's one of if not the safest cities in the world and although locals don't speak the language they will always go out of their way to help with directions and are happy, friendly people!
The only thing that was a struggle was the 16 hours time difference from LA that took some getting used to when trying to keep on top of business.
Onto the next adventure, where to next?