I bumped into former sumo champ, now entertainment personality and good friend Konishiki in Roppongi Hills. He was headed for Tokyo Dome to prepare for that next night’s opening of his restaurant, Unbalanced. Tokyo is busy.
I missed Virgin’s Richard Branson as well, and that man does get around. I recently saw him on TV almost doing a “Full Monty” to promote one of his many businesses. He was here for the Cineplex opening and off to Kuwait shortly thereafter to promote a Virgin music store.
Congratulations to Jane Yonamine on the 40th anniversary of her prestigious and popular pearl business. My sincerest thanks to a good, kind and thoughtful lady, Elaine Stolt. Once again she sent several boxes of children’s and adult’s shoes to send to the le s fortunate, some of whom never had a pair of shoes.
Sacred Heart grad Marcia Hedley is back and looking good. She loves Penn State University life, saying, “The students are great, the campus is beautiful, and I saw a football game for the first time. That was awesome:’ Marcia’s mom Marjory and I have a mutual friend, Marjory Ishibashi (of the Bridgestone Family). They also own the Axis Building where Marcia will do P.R. work during her school holidays. She’ll be good at that.
I’d like to cover Minoru Mori’s opening of Mori Towers and happenings at the Virgin ninetheater Cineplex (now owned by Toho) opening party. Lots of interesting people and great food at the Hyatt happening, so like many, stayed much longer than l had planned. I was happy to see French, director Jean-Jacques Beneix at the reception. They were showing his Jilin “Rosalynne and the Lion?’ I used to hang out with Jean-Jacques whenever he came to Japan. At that time he was very much involved with actress Isabelle Pasco who often starred in his films.
On Apr. 22 I joined the thousands invited to Minoru Mari’s big – and I do mean big-blast to open Mori Towers in Roppongi Hills. Most of the action took place on the 52nd floor where guests moved around the circular skywalk, mixed and mingled with Tokyo’s movers and shakers and enjoyed a huge variety of beautifully prepared foods in the party’ main venues as well as the restaurants, all with a panoramic view. The Roppongi Hills Club is very special as is the Mori Art Center on the 53rd and 54th floors.
My Golden Week trip to Thailand was really great. The only disappointment was seeing so few people at the tourist attractions: the markets, malls and restaurants. The Japanese, as well as several other nationalities, just weren’t traveling, and it is sad to see the effect this has on those who depend on tourism for a living. Let’s hope and pray things get better.
The weather in Thailand was perfect, with lots of sunshine, just a bit of rain and temperatures in the mid-30s Centigrade. My suite at the Royal Orchid Sheraton had a panoramic view of the hustling, bustling life on the Phraya River. Most of my meals were Thai, and I had lots of sticky rice and mango. One of the spiciest I had was a noodle dish at the Hard Rock Cafe, which I might mention was the only place security checked my baggage. Shopping for anything and everything was fun and inexpensive.
When you visit Thailand, be sure to check out the night market on Bangkok’s notorious Patpong Road and save at least a half day to explore the huge weekend market. You should also go to the big MKB mall. This is where the Thais shop, and there are al1 kinds of nm, interesting bargains.
*First published at the Tokyo Weekender