Location: Kobe, Tokyo, Beijing
Friday morning we checked out of the Hotel Okura and took a taxi to the Shinkansen station. With all our bags, we didn’t want to even try the City Loop bus. The car was a roomy Nissan Cedric, and it cost ¥1300, more than three times what the bus would have. The driver was a speed demon, but my experience with Beijing taxis has made me pretty numb to that.
During the train ride, we were treated to some views of Mt. Fuji.
After another three and a half hours on the Hikari, we were back at Tokyo Station, where we lugged our stuff to another platform and took a local to the Shimbashi Station. We checked in back at the Park Hotel Tokyo for one last night, and this time we got a room on a different side of the building.
It was still early in the day, so we took the Metro back up to Asakusa to finish off buying souvenirs and gifts. What a difference a few days made! The trees were in bloom this time.
And for the cat lovers out there, just imagine spending time and money here.
Here’s another example of information food. I do not doubt that the actual dish resembles this pretty closely. Yum!
It was dark by the time we got back to our room, and the view seemed worthy of a few megabytes worth of digital image storage.
I think I’ve seen this on a postcard. Wow.
After dropping off our purchases and taking a bunch of pictures, we went out for dinner at a Japanese noodle place, then took a detour into a Ginza toy shop, where I saw this robot soccer game. Didn’t buy it though. We finished off the evening at the Rose & Crown, a “Victorian Pub” in the Shiodome area. We saw a couple of other Rose & Crown locations around Tokyo. They have Suntory Black on tap, which is a fine tasting beer. We had been here a couple times before. Oddly enough, a pint of beer here is more expensive than almost any food item on the menu. Anyway, it was a comfortable end to our last full day in Japan.
The next morning we checked out of our room, then had a few hours to kill before the shuttle bus out to the airport. We spent it at the French bakery, Tully’s, and the Wave CD store in the Shiodome underground complex.
That’s about it. I’ll revisit the subject of Japan in future posts with thoughts about the country and its culture, as well as more comparisons with China. The flight back to Beijing was uneventful (since a delayed departure is a non-event). Mr. Y met me at the airport and drove me to Seasons Park, where I arrived around 11:30 pm. My plants seem to have survived, and it was very chilly inside. I turned up the thermostat only to have it blow cool air. No, I didn’t forget to pay a bill. The calendar says it’s spring, so they’ve switched off the heating units in all the apartments. Given that it’s still not that warm outside, this means sweaters and blankets.
I’ve spent all day doing laundry, getting a few essential groceries, and catching up on blog posts. And now it’s time for dinner.