Walking through the Shibuya district of Tokyo brought to mind Ridley Scott’s classic 1982 science fiction masterpiece Blade Runner. I watched the sky bruise, steam pour from noodle bars and an army of pedestrians cross the intersection under the flashing neon of digital billboards.

The journey from Edinburgh had been a four and a half hour train to King's Cross with another hour on the tube, followed by a 12-hour flight from Heathrow to Haneda Airport with Japan Airlines, where the fast train lives up to its name – transporting passengers to the city in 11 minutes flat.

After arriving at the easily accessible Shinagawa Station it turned out my hotel, Takanawa Hanakohro was a 16-room Ryokan, a Japanese style inn within the adjoining Prince Hotels resort. After the bright lights of Shibuya, I was welcomed into a warm, nostalgic ambience by staff dressed in the traditional kimono. The Oh-sai club lounge welcomes a mix of business travellers and tourists who enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, drinks and cuisine.

I arrived just in time for sake and Japanese sweets before I slept off some jet lag in the serene guest room decorated with plain wood and paper screens. The customary low bed and gentle lighting was the perfect setting for a nap before dinner.

After a five-minute walk in the cooling drizzle, I made my way to Table 9 on the 39th floor of Shinagawa’s Prince Hotel which opened a year ago. The ambient experience immediately summons more movie memories, this time the 360-degree panoramic views of the city featured in Sofia Coppola’s beautifully shot Lost In Translation. On a clear day, Tokyo Tower, Mount Fuji, and the Tokyo Skytree are all visible. With a total of nine areas to enjoy the view, I found myself walking under ornate crystal chandeliers through to colourful whisky and art deco style cocktail bars as the DJ lined up some Aphex Twin electronica on the decks.

In tune with the Japanese appreciation of nature, the Awa Lounge finds patrons sipping champagne amid a glass art celebration of the elements. For dinner, I decided to opt for a fresh seafood platter which was lit up with green ice and included a mix of caviar, lobster, and salmon. While the nightclub atmosphere lends itself to staying up until the 4am closing time I decided to retreat for a full night’s sleep. As I left I was handed an umbrella as protection from the deluge of heavy rain that was now hammering down on Tokyo’s streets.

The Japanese-style breakfast offered some arresting tastes including a seafood soup and a custard dish with an unexpected savoury flavour. Sushi and various types of fish provided more familiar tastes washed down by a refreshing green tea.

After changing out of the kimono provided by the hotel I was invited to walk around the hotel’s expansive Japanese garden featuring 17 varieties of cherry blossom surrounded by rhododendrons, violets, and lilies. I was presented with a freshly-picked colourful arrangement before a Japanese tea ceremony where the artistry and ritual of the preparation proved to be a thoroughly absorbing experience.

The intimate space of the tea-house is designed to break down social barriers as you and the host or hostess enter the same philosophical and spiritual space. The low-ceiling of the chashitsu means even the most illustrious members of society must bow down before entering what feels like a sacred retreat from the world. Shoes are removed and a respectful bow is exchanged before guests are invited to sit down on a small mat in complete silence. I found watching the practice far more enjoyable than tasting the tea: the thick green powdered liquid, despite having health benefits, is an acquired taste at best.

For Scottish Rugby fans planning to visit later this year, it is well worth arranging a Japan Rail Pass which should be organised before leaving and is eligible for foreign visitors only. The JRP offers the most efficient and economical way to get around the grounds and for general sightseeing.

It was a relatively short journey of about half an hour on the Shonan-Shinjuku line service to Shin-Yokohama station. After a brisk 15-minute walk in damp and humid conditions, I arrived at the 72,327-capacity International Stadium Yokohama (also known as the Nissan Stadium) where Scotland will play their opening Pool A match against Ireland on September 22. The following month (October 13) Scotland will face Japan in the same venue.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to visit the inside of the stadium but from the outside, it’s an imposing structure and fitting venue. The ground is also home to J1 League side Yokohama F. Marinos (a former club of ex-Celtic striker Sunshuke Nakamura) and will also be a football venue for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

My next stop was the Ramen Museum which provided a Back To The Future-style trip to 1958 and the Tokyo streets of Shitamachi. The year refers to the then-rising popularity of the ramen noodle and it’s here you can purchase a ticket from a vending machine and choose from nine restaurants that will prepare the famous dish, all from various regions of Japan.

I opted for miso ramen soup which delivered on the promise of a spicy kick and lashings of thick noodles. At first, I was distracted by the snorting and grunting of fellow diners which is normal practice and an expression of how much patrons are enjoying their food.

The restaurants, spread over two floors, are a significant draw for tourists as well as locals and offer a nostalgic slice-of-life experience amid painted blue skies, a 1950s replica payphone, imitation barbers and mock movie theatre. The dimly-lit space is almost like walking around a Hollywood film-set summoning the likes of Big Trouble In Little China or Gremlins and while that may sound a touch hokey, the Ramon Museum taps into this kind of pop culture reference creating an entertaining atmosphere to while away an hour over lunch.

My next stop was a walk around Chinatown. The first thing that caught my eye was a shop selling colourful Chinese clothes where I picked up a traditional Cheongsam dress for my daughter. Various emporiums are well-stocked with yellow and black Bruce Lee jumpsuits for children but I settled for a small figurine of the martial arts hero in a classic Kung-Fu pose as a gift for my son.

If you are looking for something Japanese the Pokémon Centre is located in Minato Mirai 21. Beyond an exclusive Pokémon gift, it’s worth visiting Yokohama’s Landmark Tower and Plaza, the second tallest building in Japan that houses the Pokémon Centre as well as various other shops, restaurants and a hotel.

I travelled in the world’s 3rd fastest elevator to the 69th floor in just 40 seconds. The 360-degree view was recommended to me by a Japanese aficionado from home who spoke of maritime vessels lit up at night. My first glance was looking out over the bay at the weekly fireworks behind the Minatomirai Bridge and the green neon reflection of a Ferris wheel. The port city has lit up skyscrapers, historic architectural structures, and civic tower-blocks for more than 30 years and was one of the most memorable city views I’ve encountered at night.

It was soon time to return to Tokyo where my last evening at the Shinjuku Washington had been organised by Barrhead Travel. If you’re planning on a place just to lay your head after a long day or somewhere to sleep off the jet lag this 24-hour three-star hotel is well worth considering. Among a number of restaurants to choose from in the hotel complex the fine dining experience at the Manhattan Table was a highlight and is ideal for a late dinner if you don't wish to travel far from your accommodation. Specialising in Western cuisine with spectacular views from the 25th floor you can sit and look out over Shinjuku or watch the chef prepare a meal from your seat. The Manhattan Table also offers an expansive breakfast buffet with Western and Japanese options. With an early start scheduled I decided to sleep off some lingering jet lag as a whistle-stop train tour lay ahead.

Travel notes

One night at Takanawa Hanakohro (located in Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa) starts from £413, based on two people sharing. For more information or to make reservations, please visit: www.princehotels.com/takanawa/news/takanawa-hanakohro/

Takanawa Hanakohro is located within Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa. Guests to the hotel can enjoy a traditional tea ceremony in the Takanawa tea house at no additional cost

One night at Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa starts from £124, based on two people sharing. For more information or to make reservations, please visit: www.princehotels.com/takanawa/

Table 9, Shinagawa Prince Hotel’s bar and dining concept is located on the 39th floor. For more information about the individual restaurants and bars, or to make reservations, please visit: www.princehotels.com/shinagawa/restaurants/dining-and-bar-table-9-tokyo/

The leading JAL fares from London to Tokyo start from £774 for indirect flights via Helsinki, Paris, Frankfurt; and from £852 on direct flights between London and Tokyo.

Domestic flights in Japan on both outbound and inbound are included in the fare at no extra cost (apart from airport taxes changes).

For train fares and timetables from Scotland to London please visit https://www.lner.co.ukJapan Travel