Saturday, June 22, 2013

Day Seven: Leaving the Happiest Place on Earth

No, not Disneyland.

Today was our last day in Japan. We woke up and got the last of our things ready to go. I stuffed tons of stuff in my suitcase, but it still managed to fit. Our flight isn't until five minutes after midnight, so we had lots of time to kill and I had about $160 worth of yen left to spend. We went downstairs and into the lobby where we checked out and attempted to explain that we wanted the hotel to hold our luggage while we were out and about. I had a feeling it wasn't going to go over so smoothly, so I channeled my super amazing great Japanese ability and asked again. 私達の飛行機は遅い出かけます。 それで、ホテルが ラッゲジを持ってもいいですか。Impressive right? I love talking to people in Japanese. I feel so accomplished.

Anyway, we dropped the bags off with the bell captain and asked if it was going to rain again (in Japanese). He said it might today, but it never did. Carrying around my umbrella was a pain, so I was happy when I finally ditched it. So we preceded to go to the station to get on the Toei-Asakusa line to get to Asakusa. This is a pretty touristy area, with lots of stereotypical Japanese souvenirs like fans, chopsticks, hachimaki (headbands), and swords. A little bit into the Asakusa trip, these two old guys started arguing. One guy was yelling super loud at the other guy and holding on to him, while the other was just trying to get away, not saying much. The first guy started yelling for police (I think) and pretty soon both of them were around the corner talking to about six officers. I think the quiet one might have stolen something, and the guy yelling was just keeping him there, but who knows? Before leaving Asakusa, I bought some shuriken (ninja stars); they're unsharpened, but still pretty cool. We got lunch at this place run by these two old ladies in Asakusa. I got chicken karaage, Kyle got katsudon and Kevin got tempura over rice (tempuradon?). I loved mine; it came with rice and miso soup. There was a black and white photo on the wall of the restaurant from thirty-three years ago. I asked the main old lady if she was in the photo (in Japanese) and she replied with something I didn't really understand. However, she pointed to a sign in the background with the price on it and told me about how things used to only cost ten yen back in the day. Kyle didn't like his food, so Kevin suddenly decided he didn't like his either. Then they complained about it for the next couple hours every now and then. Next time I come here, I'm coming alone. Traveling with others is just too hard, no matter who it is.

Top two: Asakusa. In the bottom left is Sky Tree to the left of the photo and the Asahi building on the right, and my delicious chicken karaage in the bottom right photo.

We got back on the subway and transferred at Shinbashi Station to the Yamanote Loop and went to Akiba again. I wanted to go back to the Book Off, because honestly I could spend hours in there looking at all the CDs and books and so on. I bought some more doujinshi, CDs, and DVDs. Then we stopped off at Starbucks for mango frap #5. This time I got a grande, so I could use up some of my coins. Afterward, I still had about $14 in coins. This Starbucks had a person whose job it was to reserve seats for people waiting in line.

It was around 3:00pm when we left Akiba for Shinagawa. Kyle met a Chinese guy from near Shanghai while getting on the train. They talked for a bit and then we split ways at Shinagawa. We hung out in the lobby of the adjoining sister hotel for an hour before going to McDonald's for a quick bite. After spending another fourty-five minutes there, we went back to our own hotel, sat around a bit more and then got our bags. We repacked our bags with the stuff we bought that day and I even managed to fit a big stack of comics into my already stuffed bag. Once we were all settled again, we walked to the station and were on our way to the airport.

Airport security had absolutely no lines, and between that and the departing counter thingy, we were through to our terminal in less than five minutes. And so here we are: two and a half hours away from leaving the happiest place on Earth; Tokyo, Japan. I plan on uploading all the pictures and videos relevant to this blog on either Sunday or Monday, USA time.