Today was my last full day in Tokyo, and there was a lot of stuff I had to get done, so more so than a touristy day, it was more of a shopping/shipping day.
For starters, I’ve been battling this nasty sore throat for two days now. It hasn’t really gotten worse, but it hasn’t really gotten better. What makes it worse is going outside, or going into really dry, overheated environments. What makes it better is hot soup, cold drinks, hot showers, Ricola, and steam.
I’m glad I bought those Ricolas in Nagoya!
I wasn’t all that hungry when I woke up, so I just had some yogurt and some Emergen’C… and now I know I’ve been thoroughly trained to wash my trash by living in Japan, because without even thinking about it, I washed not only the yogurt cup and plastic spoon before I threw them away, I also washed the tear-off foil lid, too.
But the hotel doesn’t do recycling like that here, so it was a wasted effort.
It took me a while to get started today, just because I generally felt so awful. It’s probably because I’m all run-down from the last few weeks of running around like crazy without taking time to rest. My body is screaming at me to take a break. I know this.
But I’m only in Tokyo for a day and half more, and I have no idea when I’ll be back. So I kicked it into gear and got going.
The first order of business was to get the last two boxes shipped. Another reason to love the Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku, as if I didn’t have plenty, is that there’s a post office right across the street. Awesome. The only downside is that they don’t do insurance on surface mail packages. Oh well. It wasn’t valuable stuff.
After a brief break, I was off to Harajuku again, to find one of the very last souvenirs, for one of my godchildren. He’s into ninjutsu, which makes it very difficult to find a good present. I don’t want to get anything that’ll get him injured, so I went to Kiddy Land again, and found him a Samurai Kirby.
Then I stopped at Shakey’s for an interesting pizza buffet lunch of grilled onion, then pepperoni (still normal), then shrimp, anchovy, pineapple and bacon, pineapple/chicken/bbq sauce, and “Mexican,” whatever that means. I skipped “corn and mayonnaise,” because it looked gross and offended my American sensibilities.
I like corn. I like mayo. But on a pizza?? No way, no how. I’m used to the seafood stuff by now. It’s actually not bad, if it’s well-made.
All the pieces were really teeny tiny. That’s why I could eat so many.
Then I went back to Shinjuku for a brief break, then off to Akihabara, finally. The place is a zoo, now, even more so than before. Between Gundam and AKB48 cafes, I’m just waiting for the inevitable Disneyfication of Akiba.
The Vita has only been out a few days, and I already saw 3 used units for sale… all of them 3G units, if that says anything. I tried to find some used games, but the deals on the pricing just weren’t that good. Book Off has better deals.
I picked up some manga, but that was it.
I can’t believe that’s all I’m going to buy in Akihabara. I’m sure in a few months I will most surely regret this, but there’s not much I can do. I haven’t figured out a way to manufacture extra time or extend my temporary visitor status. If I stay too long, I’ll get tossed out for good, and that would be bad.
I stopped off at Oasis, my favorite pay potty in the world. Such an experience for 100 yen. I recommend it to everyone. It’s across the street from Yodobashi Camera, near JR Akihabara. You can just tap your Suica and go. (Pun intended.)
Then I headed to Yodobashi Camera to gawk a bit. It’s 9 floors of electronics. Same as it was last time I was there 4 years ago. Not much to add. Lines were huge for the Vita now. Weird. Honestly, I don’t know what to think about it.
I played with one of the demo units for a while, and I really like the graphics and play, but the price is just keeping me from buying it. Curse you, weak dollar!
Then it was time to head to Maruzen to spend the rest of my points on a few books. Marunouchi is a nice area this time of year. Starting tomorrow night they’re going to have a light display every night for a week. Too bad I’ll miss it.
One of those Special Traveling Memories
After that, I headed back to Shinjuku for dinner, at the soba shop I went to night before last, Sou Hon Kei. This was another attempt to fix my throat. Roasted duck bits and soba in soup. It was absolutely awesome. It helped soothe my throat and my spirit. The view was splendid again as well. This time I sat in the Japanese style section, so it took a bit of getting used to.
But eating duck soba and watching the trains and people come and go in Shinjuku, and staring at the beautiful skyline? That’s one of my priceless moments from this trip. It was just incredible.
I very reluctantly pried myself away from the table and the view and headed back towards the hotel. A brief stop at the local Family Mart for a few snacks for later, and that was that.
I stopped by the front desk and paid the extra fee to check out late, because my flight leaves at 7, and I want the extra time to chill out in my room before I leave. I did it four years ago, too, and it worked for me.
Right now, it looks like I’m going to be flying coach back. I can’t say I’m excited about that. I’ve been trying to see if I can get some kind of upgrade to business class, because as soon as I get home, I have a four hour 250-mile drive waiting for me the next day. I need all the rest I can get!
Now it’s just frantic packing time, and I’ll be physically, if not emotionally, ready to head home tomorrow.