Our last day in Tokyo went quite smoothly, and we’d had enough time in Japan (plus that last visit to Disney) that I didn’t feel like I had missed anything on our list. In fact, I can’t ever remember feeling so content at the end of a trip—neither sad to leave nor desperate to get home.
We woke up around 9 and emptied our suitcases and repacked the whole shebang, including souvenirs, and weighed the two checked bags.
Disney would make a mint if they could create a functioning Mary Poppins bag…
Our breakfast consisted of the “Delicious” model of the convenience store’s “Sandwich Series”… no, really—look!
Not only that, but it sent to us the lovely flavour of the wind in the meadows!
It had a surprising deliciousness which we’ll never forget. Ever.
So long, view!
After we checked out, we left our bags at the bell desk and went in search of a good last lunch (the surprising deliciousness already forgotten). We found it on the top floor of the Daimaru department store at what is apparently one of Tokyo’s premier eel restaurants.
We got a seat with a nice view…
….But that wasn’t the only place with a view—check out the john!
World’s Best View from a Urinal
This was probably the least edible meal of our trip for me – the eel and the rice was about all I could do, and the eel had little bones that irritated my already irritated throat.
Three guesses what this is, and the first two don’t count
Eel combo meal
The two businessmen next to us struck up a conversation with us. One was Japanese and one was French, and the Japanese guy complimented me on my Japanese pronunciation! When I told them I’d only had 2 weeks to learn, they seemed really surprised, and the French guy wrote down the name of the program I used because he was having trouble picking up the language. Now Patrick thinks they were just flattering me, cuz when I excused myself to go cough up some eel bones, the Japanese guy quizzed Patrick about whether we were a couple. Now I know this is the city where you can find such off-the-wall fetish items as used underpants in vending machines, but somehow I doubt this guy had a thing for ginormous pasty broads in frumpy, too-short pants and frizzy hair …
I *think* this is a shot of the elevator we took down to the basement of Daimaru.
On our way out we got some shots of the baumkuchen counter for you…
The ever-present line
Hundreds of dollars’ worth of baumkuchen
We back to our hotel to get our bags and ask about catching a limo bus to Narita Airport. We were able to buy our tickets right there (cash only), which was a big relief cuz I was stressed out about buying the fare on the bus from the ticket agent for some reason. Oh yeah, because you can only buy them at the second stop, Tokyo City Airpoort, and I didn’t know if I’d have to get off the bus or what (turns out the agent comes on the bus and goe down the aisle selling tickets). Then they drew us a map to the limo bus stop across the street from Tokyo Station.
We picked up our bags back at the hotel and wended our way through the construction zones at Tokyo Station and emerged at the correct exit (hooray) to cross the street and meet the limo bus. Here’s what the stop looks like.
They must’ve known I’d be there…
The bus ride was easy and comfy – we got our own rows of seats to put our huge carry-ons in.
I dunno, it’s just weird to see the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel from this vantage point
Check in went smoothly, and security had the shortest line ever. JAL had these robo-check-in machines, but they weren’t saving a lot of labor, cuz as soon as we approached one, a nice employee came over to help us use it.
So THAT’s where Tokyo’s recycling containers all are!
Once you get beyond security, there’s miniature mall to browse while you wait for your flight. When we spotted our pal Anita’s two favorite stores—Hermés and Tiffany—right next to each other, we had to get a shot.
There was also a mini-Akhiabara hawking electronic goods, plus the usual assortment of gift-wrapped foodstuffs, most of which we’d never actually encountered in Tokyo.
Wait a minute—how’d this picture get in the camera? Paaaaaatrick!!!
Because eel bones only tide you over so long, we decided to have a second lunch at a café—which took Pasmo/Suica for payment! I merrily depleted the remaining balance on my subway card to buy our lunch.
Then we loaded up on snacks for the plane at a convenience store, including a jumbo box of Patrick’s favorite Meiji strawberry candies, which I saved as a surprise.
And then we got on the plane! It was an uneventful flight, about 9 hours. The only drag was that the seatback TVs cut out a few times for about 20 minutes. But I still managed to catch “Up in the Air” and the truly awful “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” plus 1/3 of “Kinky Boots.”
The people in the row ahead of us got moved to premium economy cuz their TVs never worked at all, so Patrick got to stretch out and nap in that row. Oh, and the dinner included more delicious egg salad, and Patrick let me have his! (These are the highlights listed in my journal, so you know the trip must’ve been uneventful.)
When we got into SFO, we staggered to passport control and waited in line to the strains of Disney’s IllumiNations soundtrack, which plays over the US State Dept.’s “Welcome to America” video. The line was only 10 or 15 minutes long, and we just answered some questions about our trip and got passed to baggage. We eventually found all our luggage and then dragged it to the last stop, customs, where they glanced at us and sent us on our way.
Patrick’s dad picked us up and whisked us to his parents house, where they fed us split pea soup and sourdough bread that tasted like manna, I tells ya! I think we took about a 2-hour nap, but we were pretty much fully recovered the next day, so jetlag wasn’t even an issue.
We gave Môma & P-Daddy their omiyage, which they LOVED! They were so excited about the fake food we brought them. Patrick was right – it was the highlight of their own trip to Japan, and they couldn’t believe they finally owned some.
I’ll post this one again…
Omiyage in action!
Then we dumped out our suitcases in the spare room and separated the omiyage from our loot.
Uncle Not-Traveling Matt’s Birthday Present
I can’t resist showing you a few shots from Uncle Matt’s house, where we went to deliver the birthday goods the next day. It looks like a Disneyana Convention exhibitors’ hall!
And that’s it! I am so glad we were finally “forced” to go to Tokyo instead of keeping it a far-off, someday dream. I really hope that I’ve been able to make a trip to Japan seem slightly more accessible to US Disney fans (I just wish I could make it cheaper too!).
The Lurkyloos will return in…