Sunday, July 26, 2015

Japan 2015 Day 18: Last Full Day in Japan

Today we got up a bit early to go to the breakfast buffet at our hotel. Unlike 2 weeks ago, when we last did this, we had to set an alarm to get up- there's no jet lag at the end of the trip. Can it really be 2 weeks ago? Good grief!

You could tell it was going to be a scorcher just by looking out the window- the high today is supposed to be 95 degrees.

The plan today was for Momo to come to our hotel so we could look at the photos that were taken at Disney last Thursday by the pros, to see if we wanted any. We had a card with a code to see them online. Then we would meet Hiroko for lunch & afternoon activities. Charlie met Momo & Aoi-chan in the lobby around 10:00 am & brought her up. She brought along a present from her mom, Yoko-san- wagashi!

It's hard to believe, but these are all edible sweets! They are gorgeous, sculpted from mochi with red bean paste filling. They're usually served with matcha green tea. Yum!!

We looked at the laptop while Aoi-chan bounced on the beds :) Then we headed out to meet Hiroko & Nozomu-kun at a nearby entrance to Shinjuku station. The idea was to head toward the nearby Tokyo municipal office buildings where there's a park with water play, swings, & other fun stuff. On the way we would get some lunch. And we would get most of the way by traveling through the maze of train stations under the streets of Shinjuku, to avoid the heat. We met Hiroko as planned, and part of the trip was via a bouncy, moving walkway, which Aoi-chan loved.

Unfortunately, it being Sunday, when all of the office workers are off, a lot of restaurants were closed, so we ended-up at a Subway :) This being Japan, the sandwiches were great! Brendan brought Beanie out while we ate & Aoi-chan had fun high-fiving him.

In the office building near where we had lunch there was a showroom for the Daikin air conditioner company, & they were having a special event for kids. In the middle of the floor was a circular area with projected bubbles, & when the kids stepped on them they popped! Aoi-chan & Nozomu-kun had so much fun with these! The ladies in the showroom laughed so much as the kids charged around & screamed with joy.

Then, we had another mascot close-encounter, when Peechon-kun arrived.

Peechon is the word for a drop of water :)

There were colouring activities & other games. There was also a 3-D movie about air conditioners. Here we are after the movie:

We decided to head outside into the heat to go to the park, & Charlie & Brendan said their good-byes & headed back to the hotel. We walked a few blocks to the park.

The kids moved from the swings to the slides to the water area, but didn't stay long because Momo said the water was more like bath water & not very refreshing. They stayed in long enough for their wading moms to get soaked through, though :)

Then we decided to go find someplace to have something sweet & a cold drink. It didn't take long for Nozomu-kun to fall fast asleep in his carriage. Aoi-chan followed soon after, in spite of the heat (or maybe because of it). We found a cafe & had yummies. I had lemon squash & a cake with black tea leaves baked into it & marmalade on top.

The kids slept through the whole thing.

We weren't far from Shinjuku station at this point, so very soon it was time to say goodbye. It made me very sad. I'll see Momo & Aoi-chan later this week on skype & Brendan plans to skype with Dai-kun to practise Japanese & English, respectively. But these kids will be 4 & 5 years old when I see them next!

I walked back to the hotel & it was a relief to be in air conditioning again. We rested for a bit & then went back out into the heat, to the conbini, to buy dinner. It was kind of like walking into a wall of heat.

Here's dinner:

And Charlie finished up with a lovely Japanese puffy peanut butter sandwich.

We've spent the evening packing, & are waiting to skype one more time with Tomoko & her mom Nobuko-san, who are in the south of Japan, near Fukuoka City. Tomorrow morning Brendan & I plan to play our usual Sunday night RPG through Ravelry, only 13 hours ahead, until we have to truck the luggage over to Shinjuku station to catch the Narita Express. Our plane is scheduled to leave at around 4:30 pm. We change planes in Minneapolis/St. Paul, & hope to be home in Rochester by 10:30 pm the same day. It always amazes me, coming back from Japan, when we land in Minneapolis or Detroit about a half hour before we took off from Narita. Gotta love the international date line...

I am very tired from so much activity, so much heat, so much walking, but I am going to miss my friends here so much! However, I do miss home- I wonder how the tomatoes are doing?

Thanks to all who have followed along with our adventures in Japan! Mata ne!

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