Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day 25 in Tokyo - packing up and flying home

I am writing this as we fly south from Tokyo. The girls are both watching their DVD players. I have just started reading 'Geisha of Gion' written by an ex geisha from Kyoto who became the foremost in her profession. It's great to be able to read a book like this and now have a much greater appreciation and understanding of the cultural context in which it was written.

Our day began fairly sedately after our big night out. We had already done some packing the previous day before we went to the Sumo. We realized even then that it would be a challenge to fit everything in and still meet Jetstar's weight restrictions.

After a couple of hours of arranging and rearranging we finally had a collection of luggage that probably made us look like gypsies. Judging by the fact that the various Japanese travellers we have seen all seemed to be travelling light we probably provided a source of some amusement as the locals watched us trundle along.

After going a short distance I began to fear that a walk to Shinjuku Railway station, which normally takes us 30 mins max could end up taking the whole day!! At this point Diane had the sense to hail a passing cab and we arrived at Shinjuku Station in record time.

Our plan at this point was to leave our luggage in a locker, have lunch and then browse through the many shops in the station precints. But I had no idea lockers were in such high demand. Especially since it was Saturday. After much trundling to and fro with our caravan of luggage we finally found some vacant lockers, ditched the luggage, cashed in our Suicas and had lunch. There was even time for Laura to buy some jewellery and Diane and I to purchase souvenirs.

A bit after 3.00 pm we headed down to platform 5 to await the Narita Express which goes to the airport via Tokyo, and at one stage passes through Chiba, home of our baseball team, the Chiba Marines (we will make sure we see them play next time we are in Japan)

The Narita express proved to be fast and comfortable - booked seats only and a bit reminiscent of the Green Car. Also the fare was about the same as a bus from Shinjuku.

Everything went well at the airport. Laura and I had a quick side excursion to terminal 1 to return our hire phone, we checked in early (no queueing), our luggage was just within weight, we had a pleasant Japanese meal and even some time to do a bit more shopping.

My fear that Jetstar would refuse to take us because of all our cabin luggage proved groundless (maybe because there were very few passengers on the flight?) Nevertheless, a couple of things I've promised myself to remember about packing and purchasing with future trips to Japan:

- books are really cheap in Japan; books are also heavy. Lots of books are really heavy
- Hats are very light but take up lots of space; three hats take up even more space (this is for Laura to remember, not me!)
- Merrill shoes are cheap and widely available in Japan. One pair of shoes takes up considerable space and ain't light. Four pairs of shoes become a bit of a load and really take up space (especially when a number of pairs are already making the return journey from home).
A plastic chocolate banana ice cream sundae is quite heavy, takes up a lot of space in cabin luggage and shows up really clearly on the luggage X-Ray machine.


Thanks to Rumi for spending so much time and care in organising our accommodation which worked out perfectly and enabled us to be able to afford to stay one whole month in Japan

Thanks to Rumi, Andrew & Neo for their advice in places to go, how to travel around, the sorts of things we should do, customs, etc

Thanks to Paul and Joss for the wonderful times we had together. Great meals, interesting trips, lots of fun. We miss you heaps and can't wait till you get home.Also thanks for taking some great photos which we've used in our blog. Check out Paul & Joss' blog  to read about their adventures and see some more really great photos.

Thanks Sarah and Daniel for planning some time in Japan to coincide with our holiday. It was great to have these special family times together - lots of great memories to share in the years ahead. See you Friday.

Thanks to Diane and Laura for being part of this wonderful adventure and sharing so many great experiences. We make a great team and could probably all now get jobs as removalists

Love to you all. GM

-- Post From Geoff's iPhone

No comments:

Post a Comment