Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Japan Day 20

Today's Tim Quote:

- Look what you did! You almost made me hit an old lady!

Today was our last full day in Japan. Though I would try to get as many things done today as possible, I really didn't end up doing a whole lot. Unfortunately, the weather was poor. Dark clouds and rain hung over Tokyo all day long. After having a shower and getting everything packed, we went to Tully's Coffee for a quick breakfast and coffee. It's interesting that there are so many Starbucks clones all over Japan. Ther's Tully's, Excelsior, and some other place I don't remember the name of. And those are only the bigger chains. There were smaller cafes similar to Starbucks everywhere we went.

After checking out of the seedy Sakura Hotel, we ventured off to the station to catch a train to Yokohama. Tim and Patrick wanted to visit the Pokemon Center in both Yokohama and Tokyo today, so they got off and stored their bags in some lockers at Tokyo station. I continued all of the way to Yokohama and stored my stuff there. It was a long train ride and the weight of my backpack made it feel even longer. Once there, I ventured towards the harbor front. Even with the rain and clouds, Yokohama is beautiful. I took a lot of pictures, especially of the giant ferris wheel at Cosmo Land. From the station, it took me about 30 minutes to walk all of the way there, but that was with several pauses for photos. Once I arrived at Cosmo Land, I stopped in one of the malls next to it. It was really nice, but kind of empty. There was an HMV store in there, too, and it reminded me of the old HMV location I used to work in before it was shut down. I have a feeling that the same fate awaits this Japanese HMV.

There were lots of nice shops with some trendy stuff. As I was browsing, I realized I needed to find an ATM. Once I found one just outside the mall, I withdrew some money and then began exploring more of the harbor. It was lovely. I kept stopping to take photos. I made my way along this really nice path that looked like it had once been part of the railway. I got to another part of the harbor where a vessel called the Nippon Maru was docked. The Nippon Maru was the flagship Toyotomi Hideyoshi's 16th century fleet, or so I discovered when I read some of the info on it. Still, it was neat to see. Yokohama was just an incredibly nice place to explore. There were interesting sculptures and architecture to see almost everywhere.

Wondering where Tim and Patrick were at, I sent them a quick text message to find out what was up. They informed me that they were at the Pokemon Center in Landmark Mall. Since I had no idea where that was, I told them I'd meet up with them later and continued to wander. Feeling a bit hungry and wanting to get out of the rain, I ventured into a shopping center. Turns out, it was Landmark Mall! I sent the guys another message to let them know I was there and we all met up. We were all hungry, so we walked to the nearest JR station and then rode it one stop to the main Yokohama stop. Once there, we got some food to eat. While Patrick ate at Pepper Lunch, Tim and I tried this awesome curry place in the station. It was a bit more expensive than what we were used to, but the portions were very big by Japan's standards. Even Tim, who was seemingly never full, said that he couldn't eat another bite.

Our bellies full and our energy replenished, I grabbed my bags from the coin locker, and we caught the train back to Tokyo. Once at the main Tokyo terminal, Tim and Pat had to go grab their stuff, so I just continued onward to Iidabashi. Decided to stay at the Tokyo International Hostel again since it has a very convenient location to the JR station, it's inexpensive, and it's very accomodating. There was one person already staying in the room. A really cool guy from New Jersey named Omar. We talked a bit about Japan and Tekken. He was just starting his adventure in Japan, so I gave him some recommendations about what to do in Osaka and advised him to stay at the Shin-Osaka Youth Hostel. After I got settled in and had a drink of grapefruit juice, Patrick and Tim showed up and got booked in a different room. Since they still hadn't gone to the Tokyo Pokemon Center, they headed off their while I decided to make one last trip to Akihabara. Making a quick stop at Mister Donut, I had to pay quickly and leave since the store was closing. Since Tim and Pat sent me a message saying they would meet me there, I let them know it was closing. So, though I have the required points for my souvenir mug, I haven't gotten it yet!

Running around Akihabara at night is a lot of fun. There were some souvenirs I was looking for, but regrettably, could not find. However, I did run into Omar! He was out taking photos of the Japanese night life. He asked me where else he should go in Tokyo for some great night photos, so I recommended Shibuya, Harajuku, and Shinjuku. Looking back, I should have also said Roppongi. It's a shame that myself and the guys never got to see the inside of Luida's Bar, but maybe next time I'm in Japan? After saying so long to Omar, I bought a cheap backpack as a carry on for my flight, and a couple of games that were on sale at SofMap. Wondering what to do with the rest of my night, I sent the guys a text to see where they were at. They had found a Mister Donut in Shinjuku that was still open so they were heading there to buy enough donuts and get enough points for their mugs! Since I just had Mister Donut, I didn't want to go back. I told them to meet me at the hostel, and I did some last minute shopping. Bought a bunch of Japanese hair products. Gatsby brand is very popular, and my housemate Jason asked me to bring some back for him.

Once back at the hostel, the guys arrived with a ton of donuts. Patrick ended up buying $15 worth of donuts just to get his mug. All in all, though, we all spent the same amount. With tomorrow being my last day, I will walk into Mister Donut for the last time and bring home a souvenir mug. Makes me wonder if it was really worth all of the trouble? Half a day left before I catch my flight back home. I'm going to miss Japan, but tomorrow holds one more adventure, I'm sure.

1 comment:

  1. Ahh, so you will be able to stay another day to experience the start of Golden Week! :)

    Honestly, even though you said you didn't get much done, Day 20 sounded incredibly awesome and the most adventurous of them all. While it's awesome having company, going out and exploring by yourself on foot is kind of exciting, too. Awesome updates!