Mac, Founder and Lead Guide of Maction Planet, drinking with a geisha in Gion, Kyoto

This Week in Tokyo, Hakone and Kyoto – 21 May 2019

The latest edition of This Week in Tokyo, Hakone and Kyoto – a review of the Maction Planet week that was and a look ahead to what’s coming up in and beyond the city. Check out photos from our tours and read insights into our explorations as we get under the skin of the World’s Greatest Metropolis, and beyond. This week’s edition is hosted by Mac, our Founder and Lead Guide, who has been guiding along the Golden Route as part of a fully-booked May 2019 for Maction Planet.  This week: Drinking with a GeishaEmpire Communities x Marion CrepesSengokuhara Pizza Toast; Yasaka Komainu and Pokemon Vending Machine!

Drinking with a Geisha: Everyone likes having their beer poured for them, especially when the hospitality is extended by a real-life honest-to-goodness geisha. An incredible experience for the Empire group (see below) as they enjoyed shamisen, singing and dancing performances from three geisha followed by some drinking games with the ladies themselves. Not something experienced by many, drinking with a geisha is a truly exclusive experience!

Empire Communities from Toronto and their agents enjoy Marion Crepes in Harajuku

Empire Communities x Marion Crepes: It was an honour to spend 5 days this week guiding an exclusive group of 7 agents flown halfway across the world from Toronto to Tokyo by Empire Communities for top sales, hosted by Dan and Naomi Flomen, on behalf of my partners at Okuni Japan. They enjoyed a wide variety of experiences including Swordmaking, Bonsai, Sumo, Boat trips, Art and crepes from Marion Crepes in Harajuku! It is all part of the rich tapestry that makes Tokyo the World’s Greatest Metropolis. An incredible group of people and I was honoured to be a part of their Japan experience.

Pizza Toast and Cream Soda from 0460 Cafe in Sengokuhara

Sengokuhara Pizza Toast: The occasions when I do not join my guests for dinner is a wonderful excuse to return to some old favourites or discover somewhere new. In this case, on a rainy evening in Hakone, I headed to Sengokuhara and found respite from the weather in the incredible 0460 Cafe. This is a classic kissaten, and old-school Showa-era coffee shop, and it was exactly in these kinds of venues that Pizza Toast was popularised as a snack in the 1960s. Very appropriate then that I should sample it here along with a cream soda. After polishing that off I was dragged into the karaoke session going on around me… and it was barely 18:30! Thank you very much to the guests and patrons of 0460 Cafe for a memorable evening.

Komainu at Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto

Yasaka Komainu: After our incredible geisha experience I headed back to Tokyo, but not without a quick snap of some of my favourite komainu in the country at the Yasaka Shrine.

Pokemon Vending Machine as Ashigara Rest Area

And finally… Pokemon Vending Machine!: Head to Ashigara Service Area on the Tomei Expressway in Shizuoka Prefecture on the way to Hakone to check out this Pokemon Vending Machine. ‘Nuff said!

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