Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Japan 2013: The Trip Home

We are home! It's been a little over a day since we landed back in Rochester, & although life is starting to resemble pre-Japan life, we are still very, very tired.

We got up by 7:00 am Monday morning so we'd have time to go to Starbucks for one last soy matcha latte (okay, 2- 1 for me & 1 for Brendan. Charlie had a chat teal latte :) Then we packed, packed, zipped, looked around, & checked-out about 9:45. The luggage closed!!! Our Narita Express train was due to leave at 10:40 & we wanted to be prudent. Actually, you could see the track & platform for the NEX train from our hotel window:
The middle platform, to the left of the bridge is where we were headed. I was in a fog of tiredness & sadness, as I always am when we leave Japan.

We didn't have to cross the street into Shinjuku Station proper, because the platform could be reached by the still-under-construction New South Terrace station.
We got there about 10:00 am, & sadly, there was nowhere to sit! Still under construction... So we camped out on our luggage until the train arrived.
It was a very comfortable ride to Narita- a little over an hour, with just 3 stops. The bus would have taken at least an hour & a half, & the tickets were barely more expensive than the bus tickets, so this was the way to go!
Once at Narita, there was a series of escalators (about 6 of them) to get us to the proper level, then a series of customs/immigration stops, then checking-in & checking the luggage. Then security. Whew! No shoe removal in Japan though, which is nice.

Then we just had to find our gate & find some lunch.
We enjoyed a final Japanese meal, & Beanie had a coke :)

I checked-out the bookshop & found the newest Yotsuba& manga & the first volume of CLAMP's re-started Gouhou Doragu manga- score!!!

I also found some Japanese sweets that I knew would taste very nice when we got home :)

Then we waited until boarding for Detroit, around 2:15.
And then we were on the plane. We had our own row of 3, with usb plugs to keep us in juice (woot!) & a toddler in the seats directly in front. She was occasionally fussy, but really awfully good for such a long flight. The only glitch was that our vegetarian meals never registered (yikes!!) but the steward & stewardess took it to heart & made sure Brendan in particular had enough to eat. Whew!!!

The flight was amazingly easy, Brendan actually slept some, & it really didn't feel like we were regaining 13 hours... until we landed in Detroit about an hour before we took off from Narita. This is where travel becomes magic, in my opinion. Detroit was amazingly easy. We hit immigration, picked up our bags, hit customs, rechecked the bags, walked through the psychedelic tunnel (which looked particularly psychedelic after being awake for many hours at that point...  & found our gate. We barely had time for potty stops before the plane to Rochester started boarding. An hour later we landed, & our lovely neighbour Evelyn, who had dropped us off nearly 3 weeks ago, picked us up.

Our neighbours on the other side had put a welcome-home sign on the back door :) The tomatoes were HUGE!!! The house smelled musty, but we were home! A few hours later, after a load of laundry & too much running around unpacking, I made some yummy Japanese tea & had some of the sweets I bought in Narita too long ago:

Thanks for following our trip to Japan! It was awesome, wasn't it! I can't wait to return :)

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