Saturday, November 15, 2008

Japan: Konichiwa from Tokyo, Japan!

I found myself out of the country again. This time I was back in Tokyo, Japan to attend the Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit 2008 at the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Chinzan-So. According to the Asia Society, "The Summit brings together some 200 of the most dynamic next generation leaders from the Asia-Pacific and the US to explore imaginative ways to address the most critical issues facing the Asia-Pacific community today, develop common approaches to addressing these shared challenges, and cultivate the long-term relationships necessary for developing responses." Every year, ten young Filipino leaders from various sectors get to participate in the program.

Our schedule was really hectic. In fact, we only had an hour or two to rest the day we arrived before the Welcome Dinner in the evening. Of course, we had a sake toast to open the summit! Before calling it a day, I joined the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.

The next day was the summit proper. So we were in the hotel most of the time. Even breakfast and lunch were working meals! The highlight of the day was a dinner reception at the 52nd floor of the Mori Tower hosted by Mrs. Yoshiko Mori. The 52nd floor is home to the Tokyo City View and the Mori Art Museum. We were afforded great views of Tokyo at night!

After the reception, we were treated to karaoke and drinks at L Garden. We didn't stay up too late since we still had an other summit day.

Here are photos from the trip:
2008-11-14/15 Tokyo, Japan
2008-11-16/17 Tokyo, Japan
2008-11-18 Kyoto, Japan
2008-11-19 Nara, Japan
2008-11-20 Nagoya, Japan

Part 2: Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, Japan
Part 3: Tokyo is a candidate city for the 2016 Olympics
Part 4: Sensō-ji Temple in the Asakusa District (Taitō, Tokyo)
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