Well, here we are, at the end of our trip. At the beginning, it seemed like we would be here forever, but now – in hindsight – the time has flown by. Ayami asked me where was our favourite place in Japan and the answer actually was that each place had a “best” aspect to it.
Tokyo, obviously, for the wedding, but also for the cute district that surrounded our hotel. We loved wandering around there and watching the kimonoed women and other characters wander by. Kyoto was special because we travelled there and stayed as a family in our little rice paper house all together. We watched sumo on the t.v., Cam made us breakfast every day, Ayami made us many dinners, and we shared so many stories and so much laughter. Kobe was a good stop because of the onsen in the hotel, but also our day at the Arima Grand Hotel onsens. And memorable because of the flat tire debacle, which has since been resolved with us driving on the spare for the rest of our trip and the company apologizing for the inconvenience and not charging for the ruined tire. Then last night at the dinosaur robot hotel with Jenn and Cam – that was a unique and entertaining check-in experience! So, all in all, a wonderful and heartwarming family trip, with the highlight of highlights – David and Ayami’s wedding.
Enroute back to Tokyo, we stopped in at the Fushimi Inari red tori gates. I had seen photos of these in my trip planning, but we hadn’t managed to get there while we were staying in Tokyo. The one day we were close, we all drank too much sake and forgot all about it. Anyway, they did not disappoint.
From Fushimi, we headed to where we needed to drop the car off – Ayami dropped the rest of us and our luggage near a restaurant and went to drop the car off. She returned to the restaurant with the good news that we were not going to be charged for the ruined tire after all. So we had a good lunch, then boarded the bullet train headed back to Tokyo.
We kind of snuck on the fast train (there are non-fast bullet trains that stop at every stop) – even though the return tickets we had bought in advance were for the slow bullet train. This is how we know Ayami is one of us – it was her idea! And saved us over an hour of travel time, which we truly appreciate at this point in our travels.
We had to get off at the stop before they did, so we said our good-byes on the train and hopped off on our own to find a taxi to our hotel near Haneda airport. Jenn and Cam picked this one – the Henn Na – a dinosaur robot hotel. Sure, why not?
Cam and Jenn weren’t too far behind us (they had come from a different starting point after visiting Hiroshima, the Kawasaki Museum and Universal Studios Japan) and their room was just down the hall. We headed out to find dinner that wasn’t from 7-11, but none of us wanted to venture far, so ended up with fried chicken, which is a bit hit here in Japan. Good enough. Hit up the 7-11 for some drinks and had “cocktails” in our room. In our matching (supplied) pajama shirts.
Right now I am enjoying a glass of red wine in the departure area, while our plane is being cleaned and restocked for our flight in about half an hour. It has been amazing, but we are looking forward to our own beds tonight.
See you all on the flip side . . .
One response to “Last Day in Japan (Already!)”
Awesome adventures Jan! Loved reading your stories and seeing your photos. Looking forward to seeing you soon!