After a swim at Hilton Tokyo, I ran into Chris and Fumiko McDonald with the hotel’s general manager, Christian Baudat, in the hotel’s elegant Marble Lounge. Chris recently retired after 27 years of heading Rolex’s operations here in Japan. Believe me, the man keeps busy. In addition to being an advisor to the J. League (Japanese soccer league), he serves on the boards of many of Japan’s most prestigious clubs and is involved in many worthwhile community projects. Fumiko keeps busy as well. She’s a longtime leader in the International Ladies Benevolent Society (ILBS), travels often, and has friends all over the world. The McDonalds have two sons they are justifiably proud of.
Peruvian Cuisine and Culture at Hilton Tokyo
Peru is famous for its wide range of superb culinary dishes, and the recent Fascinating Peru gourmet and cultural promotion at Hilton Tokyo was proof positive of why. The Andean ingredients—potatoes, tomatoes, corn, and chilies, as well as botanical products and herbs—are not only delicious, but also have high nutritional value, and are fast becoming favorites of those into health and fitness. The opening reception gave me the opportunity to meet the new Peruvian Ambassador, Juan Carlos Capunay, and wish him a long, happy, and successful stay in Japan. He is already busy with all kinds of events to promote his country here.
The Scannells’ National Day Celebration
As always, it was an evening of good food, wall-to-wall interesting people and warm ambiance at the home of Irish Ambassador Brendan Scannell and his wife Margaret when they invited friends to help them celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Once again, I really appreciated the hosting couple making sure I met people there that I didn’t already know. I especially enjoyed talking with their daughter Aoife who was visiting from London. It was also nice seeing Paddy Foley’s Irish Pub GM Neil Day (you have to try their new health and fitness menu), and race car driver Richard Lyons (he often parties at the New Lex). When I was leaving this great get-together the ambassador came over and said, “Bill, if you’d ever like to use our home for a party, just let us know and we’ll help you in any way we can.” Talk about generosity, friendship, and kindness…that’s the Scannells.
The New Lex was really happening on May 9 when director Kazuaki Kiriya and stars Yosuke Eguchi and Ryoko Hirosue of Warner Brothers’ box office hit Goemon came to the club to celebrate. Other geinojin (showbiz people) there that night included comedian Gorie, pop idol Jin Akanishi of Kat Tun, and members of the pop group News. Needless to say, it was an exciting, fun evening with people who really know how to let their hair down and party. A few nights later, Korean pop star Se7en dropped by with his friends. He had just been in the US to release his first CD. Young Koreans, like the younger generation here have really become Westernized.
The Samrat Indian restaurant owner is a great host and always fun to be with. Kyoko Spector, Anri Schroff, and I joined him and a group of his friends at his beautiful location near Shinjuku station recently. The food was excellent, and the live show of Bollywood dancing fast paced, colorful, and entertaining. The music schedule at Shinjuku Samrat changes nightly and includes belly dancers, Latin sounds, Spanish guitar, Arab music, and more. You can check the schedule by calling 03-3355-1771. There is no show charge and food prices are very reasonable.
*First published at the Tokyo Weekender
*Images Copyright: Tsukasa Shiga