Here in ol’ Edo, it was glamour galore at Sony Pictures’ entertainment star-studded party for “Charlie’s Angels Full Throttle” stars Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. The Angels made a stage appearance where Japanese celebrities joined them and asked questions: “How do you keep in such good shape?” to Cameron, “What are your makeup secrets?” to Lucy, and “What’s your definition of sexiness?” to Drew. The Angels were relaxed, came up with some fun answers and really seemed to be enjoying themselves.
On June 9. Philanthropist Grace Saito held one of her popular charity classic concerts at the Grand Hyatt, and this one turned out to be so popular, hotel General Manager Xavier Destribats had to have his staff set up several rows of additional seats. The guests were an interesting mix of members of the Imperial family, diplomats and Japanese and foreign community leaders. The concert by Yasuko Otani (violin), Hiroshi Ariinori (piano), Emi Sawahata (soprano), Kei Fukui (tenor) and Jun Enomoto (piano accompanist) was an afternoon of classic music at its best. Proceeds benefited the Polio Eradication Fundraising Campaign and the Infant Home of the Japanese Red 16 Tokyo Weekender Cross Medical Center. Kudos and thanks to Grace for yet another well-done event that benefits others.
Over at another of Tokyo’s fine hotels, the Hilton, the very special event “Wings of Love” took place from May 6 to 11. In addition to a special Natural Hilton Food concept at the dining outlets in the hotel, tl1ere was an exhibition of bird photos in the lobby, an exhibition of special bird-themed jewelry designed by Kazuo Ogawa and a children’s bird drawing contest. The highlight of ‘Wings of Love” was two dinner shows in the hotel’s Kiku Ballroom on May 7 and 8. I took the limo bus from Narita to the Hilton and went up to congratulate friends involved and to take a few photos. I wasn’t dressed for the occasion (it was formal), so left before the program started.
It was red, white and blue all the way at the Tokyo American Club’s U.S. Independence Day celebration July 4. I started out, thanks to the support of a lot of good friends, in the VIP Room where I was able to get photos for this week’s column. Princess Takamado was special guest this year, and she brings class and a bit of sunshine wherever she goes. You would never guessed she had just flown back that morning from Ireland where she was also special guest at the Special Olympic Games. She looked great. I moved upstairs for the program and was sorry to see the attendance seems to go down more and more each year. The program began with a medley of music by the Tokyo Metropolitan Fire Dept. Band. There were welcome remarks and an introduction by emcee Dr. Thomas Jordan, followed by a dynamic presentation of colors by the USS Kitty Hawk Color Guard, and guests sang “The Star Spangled Banner.” American Club President Larry Blagg made a welcome speech, followed by a toast and greeting by U.S. Ambassador Howard H. Baker. The Japanese national anthem, “Kimi ga Yo;’ was played, and there was a toast by Princess Takamado. After the singing of “America the Beautiful;’ there was the traditional cake-cutting followed by more patriotic music.
I’ve been humming the Malaysian Tourism Board theme song, “Malaysia, Truly Asia:’ since I got back from that beautiful and exciting country. I flew over for the three-day Rainforest Music Festival near the city of Kuching in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, but will hold off on this until next month’s column. For now, I would like to give a brief update on a truly green and great city, Kuala Lumpur. My thanks to the Australian General Manager Gary Lee of the five-star Prince Hotel. He spoiled me with a luxurious suite (big bedroom, living room, two bathrooms, a kitchen, walkin closets, five telephones and a fantastic view. The hotel is a part of Japan’s Prince Group. Just a year old, it is a five-minute walk to several shopping malls, Planet Hollywood, the Hard Rock Cafe and a lot of interesting outdoor coffee shops and cafes.
*First published at the Tokyo Weekender