Konbanwa (Good Evening) from Tokyo! The bustling metropolis is 50 stories below my suite at the Park Hyatt, and I am in complete awe of the view. In my short 24 hours here, I have experienced a part of the future — despite the fact that I am 16 hours ahead of Los Angeles!

I am here on behalf of Estée Lauder, hosting the company’s first “Defining Beauty” Awards Ceremony and launching myself as the new face for advertising. My face is everywhere, and they’ve even named a lipstick after me! Talk about coming full circle — I was last here in 1993 as a teenage model.

This story first appeared in the August 23, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Business aside, we had our meetings and managed to get out to shop! Chaperoned by the famed local makeup artist Timmy Nishimura (he was recognized more than I was), we visited Omotesando, an area full of eclectic Japanese designer shops. Some are like galleries. They have such great style here and are so ahead of the rest of the world…At the end of a full day, we treated ourselves to a traditional Japanese dinner in the heart of Roppongi — the “nightlife” area. Crouched in a tiny room, it was as if we were in the old world countryside of Tokyo. The food was delicious, especially the sashimi.

What a day — this place amazes me. I have traveled the world, but Tokyo is definitely one of my favorites.

P.S. Now if I could just figure out my new hand-held, compact Sony digital camera…

Carolyn Murphy is currently on assignment in Tokyo, Japan.

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