Sayonara Japan

I am typing this somewhere around half-way through my 12 hour flight home from Japan. The sting of heading home is somewhat eased by the fact that we are in business class. I cashed in all my frequent flier miles so we could travel in style on the way home. And style it is. We were served a 4 course dinner with champagne and sake. 
our amuse bouche course

Even better, and now we are enjoying our lay flat seats, down comforters, and private movie screens. 

The seats are even big enough for Rory to lay flat!


Yesterday too was a long day of travel. We checked out of the Hotel Khuls early in the morning. They were so incredibly sweet. The manager gave us each a beautiful fan with a picture of Mt. Fugi and then they walked us outside to wave good-bye. I wish Japan wasn't so far away- I'd go back there all the time! The first leg of the trek was the bus from Ichinose, in the mountains, to Nagano. Then we took the bullet train, or shinkansen, from Nagano to Tokyo. This time around we were pros at navigating the various forms of transport and even used the automatic ticket machine!

In Tokyo we checked our bags at Tokyo station so we could do some exploring at shopping. We tried to get lunch at a conveyer belt sushi place I'd found on-line, but yet again we found that locating a small restaurant in Tokyo is nearly impossible! The buildings are incredibly dense and all have many floors. There may or may not be a sign, and there are so many people on the streets that you can't stop to look for long. 


Oh well! We never had any bad food while we were there, so we just went with it and stopped at the first place that looked good. It was a tiny little stand with bento boxes and soup dumplings. I squirted my first soup dumpling all over myself and then burned my mouth on the second, but it was totally worth it. They were amazing! The Japanese put such care into food quality and presentation that even "fast food," looks and tastes wonderful. 

Like conveyer belt sushi, we also struck out at the Imperial Palace. They are closed on Monday and Friday. However, it was still pretty to walk around the outside of the moat.




 The grounds are quite impressive, with a moat and high old stone walls surrounding the entire perimeter. It is interesting to see the old traditional Japanese buildings contrasted with the huge modern skyscrapers. This is also apparently where Tokyo comes to run- I saw so many runners!!




We then meandered down through Ginza. Apparently it is the same stretch we covered during the marathon, but I must have been too out of it to pay attention to my surroundings. This strip in Ginza is the Japanese version of 5th Avenue or Rodeo drives. Designer stores for days! We walked right past those until we got back to the fish market where we'd gone earlier in the week. It was much more in our budget! We got some great presents and souvenirs and Rory got about 10 more samples of fried squid. 





We then hopped on the metro back to Tokyo station, retrieved our  bags, and got on the Narita express to the airport. 



Ginza station was not Rory sized.

At the airport we caught the shuttle to the Hilton where we stayed last night. We are both incredibly sad that our trip is over as we both fell in love with Japan. The people are so incredibly welcoming, kind, and polite. Tokyo is clean, safe, and we could have stayed a month and not seen it all. The public transportation was reliable and easy to navigate. We are so glad we also got to see some of the country-side and got to experience the amazing skiing in Shigakogen. I am totally going to go into noodle and rice withdrawal when I get home. 





Comments

  1. Aww! I am so happy you loved your trip and fell in love with Japan!

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