Sunday, July 21, 2013

Japan 2013: Last Day in Japan

One of my least favourite days for sure :(  But we are tired & pretty much ready to go home after a lovely time :)

We had our usual breakfast at Starbucks- it was cool enough to sit outside & eat! And then we went back to clean up & bit & wait for a visit- from Aoi-chan & family! Momo & Hiroshi actually came up from Atsugi-shi (it probably takes them a good 2 hours to get to Tokyo from home, taking bus & train) yesterday & stayed overnight with Momo's mom again, just so they could see us before we leave. They did some research & found a nice izakaya restaurant near our hotel, so they made a reservation there.

I had also been hoping to meet a member of my Nerd Wars team who teaches English in Gifu Prefecture (about 5 hours away by car) who was climbing Mt. Fuji on Saturday, but it was just too far for her to make it to Tokyo & back, then get back home by car. Maybe we'll meet her another time here, though :)

Momo & the gang got to our hotel around 11:00 am, so we got to visit a bit before heading out to the izakaya. It was so much fun to see them again! The izakaya was on the 7th floor of a building just a few blocks away. There's so much here, & this reminds me of how little we've really seen of Shinjuku, even though we've stayed her 3 times!

The restaurant had little rooms with western-style tables, which was really convenient with the stroller, especially as Aoi-chan had obliged by falling asleep on the walk over. We parked her in the corner & ordered all sorts of yummy foods, including buttered baked potatoes, edamame, ramen salad, & other dishes that we all shared. Izakaya works so well for Brendan because there are no set meals, you just order ala carte & a lot can be vegetable dishes. Aoi-chan woke-up a bit frazzled just as we were finished eating.

She was too fussy to eat then, but when we put her shoes on (& it took a few of us to do it :) she was happier walking around, so we went back to the hotel to find a place to give her lunch. Our room was being made-up, so we just landed somewhere & she ate all of her baby bentou!
Then it was time to say goodbye.
Even though we skype every week, I feel say knowing that she'll be 3 1/2 when I see her next.

We hung out at the hotel for a bit, then Charlie & I decided to go for a walk. The entrance to Shinjuku Koen (Shinjuku Park) is somewhere behind the Takashimaya department store, & the park is huge (it's a big chunk of what we see from our hotel window), but finding it from the ground is trickier. We did actually see the park, but didn't find the entrance.
On the way back I decided to go back to Tokyo Hands & Yuzawaya one more time- very mindful that our luggage is awfully full.

And then we got a call from our dinner visitor- our friend Marian!

Marian is our next door neighbour's daughter, who's been living in Japan for over 20 years. She teaches English in a high school in Tokyo that specializes in preparing students for study abroad for college. She really loves living her, & is about 3 courses away from getting her Masters degree in teaching as well.

Marian had done some research & found a restaurant with a lot of tofu-based dishes, right across from our lunch place! So we walked over there & had a lovely evening chatting & eating very lovely food.
Tomorrow we have to be up early to get breakfast (Starbucks of course) & pack & catch the Narita Express at Shinjuku Station (the platform can be seen from our hotel window, so it's not in the heart of the station,m thank goodness!) at 10:20.

It's been an amazing visit to Japan! See you back in Rochester!

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