Luxury Hotels

JAPAN – 6

There are many stand-outs from a stay at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi and one is definitely the view from end suite 606 (see a video on Youtube). You look directly down at the Shinkansen platforms of Tokyo Station and from at least 6 a.m. there are trains leaving very five minutes. It really is addictive, mesmerising, watching them.

Girlahead’s productivity while in the suite was way below par. No, she was neither under the weather nor otherwise gainfully employed. It was the trainspotting bug that had bitten her. (As an early teenager she had spent a couple of summer holidays staying with her family in requisitioned English rolling stock, converted for sleeping use and parked in railway sidings – she had a real rail raver for a father.)

Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi is owned by Pacific Century Cyber Works, which is Richard Li, (Richard Li Tzar-kai), son of Li Ka-shing (GBM, KBE, JP, though one doubts he can do much justising these days as he is 95). But what is, one wonders that drives some of these matures on? Born in 1928, he started an empire that has made him the world’s 33rd richest person by producing plastic flowers – he’s now passed his empire to his other son Victor. Perhaps one key to productive longevity is diversity. Li Ka-shing’s empire has ranged from AS Watson pharmacy and beauty to Northumbrian water, and Canadian energy, Alipay and Spotify.

Enough musings. In between counting trains there was nibbling of fruits of the season, on a plate as part of welcome to our home. A carefully annotated map explained outsize cherries were from Yamagata, grapes from Yamanashi, mango Miyazaki; and the organic (=curiously brown) bananas from Okinawa.

And when it was time to leave Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi, Girlahead set off for Tokyo station. It seemed half the cast of this fabulous performance were there to wave goodbye. See below. She and the last-forever Rimowa were walked along to the station, which is incredibly confusing. Actually being escorted to your seat just before the train leaves is definitely superior service. As was the arrival.