Arigatō gozaimasu (thankyou very much) has probably been the one phrase we’ve used more than any other during our trip. I’ve nearly said it instead of thanks a few times here in Sydney. So yes, we’re back home, and the journey here was a little more eventful than our departure. Despite some misadventures, I’m still pretty grateful for the way Jetstar handled it all.
The end draws ever nearer, and soon we will depart from these fair shores. But in the spirit of completeness, to bring this blog full circle (subject to any closing remarks Sim may wish to add), I will now publish my list of:
Things I’m Looking Forward to Coming Home to, and Things I’ll Be Sorry to Leave Behind
I do not know, dear reader, whether you have yet investigated the Go! channel via your digital tuner. If, like me, you’ve turned it on during the day just to see, you’ll know that it plays repeats of The Nanny for the edification of bored housewives.
Well, that’s pretty much how it feels to be here in Nagoya: it seems to be entirely populated by women (and indeed men) with improbable shoes and enormous teased hair. Being our last full day in Japan, we had a lot of shopping to finalise before making the trip back, and we thought Nagoya would be perfect, being a shopper’s paradise.
Our final meal in Tokyo did not compare favourably to the culinary highlights we’d experienced there. We wanted a quick bite before we got on the Shinkansen to Nagoya, so we headed to MOS Burger. Holly’s choice of a Yakiniku Rice Burger turned out to not be a burger containing rice, but a burger made of rice. It fell apart as soon as she attempted to pick it up – who’d have thought rice wasn’t a suitable substitute for bread rolls?
When today started neither of us knew much about Sumo. After a few hours of watching it we’re not really any the wiser on most of the rule or rituals. I could try and explain some parts vaguely, but you’d be better off looking it up on Wikipedia instead.
It’s our fourth day in Tokyo, and so far the best way I can describe it is like an Easter Show taking place in a massive airport. Train stations and shopping centres are made up of long corridors filled with people. On the streets, cars are outnumbered by people, who are outnumbered by neon lights.
Since we’re on holidays in a country that doesn’t wake up until lunch, we figured, why not get up at 4am and see what’s going on then?
Well, for starters, the nearby okonomiyaki establishment known as the “Big Pig” was still open, so that’s good to know for future reference. Not much else seemed to be happening though, so we thought we’d go down to Tsukiji and see where the action was.
I was looking forward to Harajuku. It’s meant to be the home of cosplay – dressing up as characters from anime and the like. We’d made sure we’d be in Tokyo on a Sunday, because that’s the day when the cosplayers come out in force. I think someone forgot to tell the cosplayers that.
Today has been a bit of a nothing day: we travelled from Kanazawa to Tokyo on a weekend preceding a series of public holidays, so the whole country is travelling and we had to have a couple of tries before we could find a train with seats available (thanks to Sim who managed to figure out how to tell on the Japanese website whether the trains were booked out or not). Most of the day was spent on trains, so we haven’t really done much at either end. Accordingly, I thought that instead of describing the day, I’d take the opportunity to discuss a subject very close to my heart.
If it’s gold you’re after then forget about the Incas and head to Kanazawa – they’re giving the stuff away.