Return to Tokyo
6-22-2012 9:09:18 AM
After leaving our luxurious ryokan, we headed back to Tokyo to enjoy our last apartment (Airbnb) and our last week in Japan. We stayed in Shibuya and kept ourselves busy with long walks, eating onigiri (rice balls), and many other things. The next few posts will be our last 1/4th of our adventure.
Note: All of Tokyo’s posts follow below. If you are trying to pace Tokyo, each of the posts below take up a day due to travel, eating, etc.
6-23-2012 4:43:42 PM
Saturday, June 23rd
Today, Chris and I went to the National Science Museum of Japan in Ueno. It is similar to the Natural History Museum in New York. This museum told about Japan’s history, agriculture, flora and fauna, and the Japanese people. The best part was that we got to see Hachiko! The real Hachiko!
6-24-2012 3:40:20 PM
Sunday, June 24th
Today Chris and I went to DisneySea! Yes, Disney World is in Tokyo and it is massively fun! Check out the pictures, because they were almost lost forever.
Wondering what I meant by that? Well, go to the next post!
6-25-2012 3:40:20 PM
Monday, June 25th
After Chris and I stayed from open to close at DisneySea and we were heading home on the subway, Chris took off the camera bag to rest his shoulder. The only problem is that when we left the subway, it was still off of his shoulder. As we walked away from the subway car, talking about our amazing day at DisneySea, I looked at Chris and realized that he did not have the black strap around his chest. We ran back to the platform (because that is so logical) and of course the subway had left. So we walked to the Lost and Found in case they could radio an employee on the subway train and secure it for us. After the subway had gone to the end of the line for the night,(we didn’t have to wait long, it was really late) the employees searched and found no bag. So Chris and I went back to the apartment, sad that we lost our pictures and our expensive camera. But even more sad when I looked on my laptop and we realized we hadn’t dumped the photos since two weeks before!! That meant that most of our vacation had zero pictures to show for it.
We woke up the next morning and went to the police station and filled out a report for the missing camera even though we knew we probably would not get it back. We then decided to head out to the Ginza district and see what was over there (there was no sense in wasting the rest of our vacation). But to get to the Ginza district, you have to take the Ginza line on the subway, which we could never figure out where it was (instead of being underground, you have to walk outside, then go to another building, then up three flights of stairs…) as we tried to find it, we walked by the Shibuya Station’s lost and found. We decided to give the search another try, even though we were certain it was gone forever. We had gotten fairly good at explaining our situation in Japanese at this point, so we told them our story and what train we were on. They located where the train ended up the night before, but came up with a different result than the other Lost and Found station. They gave us the number to call, but we explained that our Japanese was not good enough to talk to anyone on the phone. They called the place and after talking a long time to someone on the phone, he handed the phone to Chris. The person on the other line could speak English and they asked Chris if he was going to be able to come by and pick up the camera sometime that day. We were ecstatic! One of the men working at the Lost and Found led us to the train that went to our camera, which is lucky because we went down three flights of stairs, to another building, down more stairs, across a few halls and down more stairs, then turned a corner and went behind what we thought was a solid wall, but turned out to be another flight of stairs down and then we got to our train, jumped on, and rode to our camera, which was in perfect condition and nothing was missing. The Japanese people ROCK!
After this, we did make it to Ginza and found the Takoyaki museum.
6-26-2012 4:43:42 PM
Tuesday, June 26th
Gundam – a giant Gundam.
Panasonic – a museum
Ferris Wheel – like the London Eye
Tokyo Tower – A great landmark of Tokyo, like the Eiffel Tower.
6-27-2012 1:25:18 PM
Wednesday, June 27th
Studio Ghibli – If you enjoy the movies, it is worth going.
Namja Town – So this “theme park” is inside a mall. It was honestly a ton of fun, but not all of the games had English translations. There was a ghost hunting game that gave you an infra red “gun” and you chased ghosts all over the park to capture them. This was complete with secret passages… Really awesome. There were a bunch of other crazy games, like a ride where you zap mosquitoes…
6-28-2012 10:54:59 AM
Thursday, June 28th
Tsukiji Fish market – The iconic fish market. It does have a strong odor, so beware. But it is an adventure.
Imperial Castle – The most interesting part was seeing the people maintaining the lawn with scissors… Not shears, not a mower…
Yukata Shopping – We went to a departo and found a pretty yukata for me to wear.
Ninja Asakasa – This is one of the coolest restaurants in Japan. The entrance is hidden and it really is hard to find. The whole restaurant has passages and ponds and many secrets. The food was good as well.
Karaoke – One of my favorite things about Tokyo. We walked to this karaoke place, rented a private room, sang to our favorite 90s songs, and had unlimited drinks – things like melon soda or lychee sake. We sang until the wee hours of the morning.
6-29-2012 11:45:18 PM
Friday, June 29th
We woke up early and went to Sky Tree. Sky Tree just opened at the end of May and has the highest observation deck on a tower in the world. We were able to see far out into the horizon.
Afterwards, headed to Kappabashi Dori and picked up an Onigiri mold and ate Osomeyaki at Sometaro. It is hard to explain what that is, but they have griddles built into the tables that are heated by flames from gas. they take noodles, shrimp, eggs, and other ingredients and make a batter that they pour on the griddle. The end result is like a salty, stuffed pancake and it is really good. We spent the rest of our day walking around shops and looking at nearby stores.
We then went home and packed for home. It was so sad packing, though, that we decided that we needed one last time at the sushi conveyor belt down the road (especially at 120yen for two pieces). By the time we were done, it was 9 PM. We decided to walk around a bit because our flight did not leave until 12:30 AM. We got back to our apartment by 10. The ride on the subway should not have taken more than 45 minutes, which was ample time to get to the airport, but we got off at the wrong station and got turned around. We could not get back on the right track until about 11 and then we were back in the station we started at!
We were supposed to be at the airport by 11:30 at the latest and we were still 50 minutes away from the airport!! We talked with a couple that spoke English and they told us that taxis took credit cards so we ran out of the subway station and found a taxi by 11:15. We told him our dilemma and he rushed us to the airport. The drive should have normally taken 40 minutes, but because our driver rocked, it did not take that much time. We arrived at the airport at 11:45 and we were sure we would be turned away. We tried to self-check-in on the computer kiosks, but a Delta representative walked up and asked us if we were going to Los Angeles. When we said yes, he walked away. The kiosk had time to process our request at this point and told us that it was too late to check in. We looked at the screen in despair. How could we miss our flight?
But the Japanese Delta guy came back and told us to follow him. He had printed our tickets and then brought us through a special security gate, cutting out the crowds. He pointed us towards our gate and told us not to worry anymore. We were going to America!