Last day in Tokyo… Last day in Japan!!! 😦 I know, I know, you can’t believe I bought a ticket either! I think I forgot to mention it.
I’m not sure what to do. I feel there’s so much left unexplored in Tokyo and yet I can’t think of anything to do. I bought New Year’s postcards so I’m definitely sending them out properly this time in the country of origin. I spend most of my morning writing postcards and eating as many mandarins as I can. They’re forbidden fruit in New Zealand. Literally.
After dropping off my postcards at the post office, I take the metro to Ginza. It’s the section that I stayed in the first time I was in Japan. I don’t remember enough to get around but the Tsukiji Market isn’t difficult to find.
I don’t get far before I remember that the reason I had one leftover postcard is because I forgot someone. /Sigh. Note to self, stop at the post office for another card.
It’s late and a number of sushi places are beginning to clean up. I find one that has customers inside and I am one of the last before they start turning people away. I choose a set and also one extra piece that has salmon roe. I’ve never had it before so I want to try it. The roe are tiny beads that pop full of salt water. I’m not sure what I expected. The whole set was good.
I walk around the market but all the shops are closing. Tsukiji Market is moving to a new location soon. Should I return to Tokyo again, this place will probably turn to office or apartment buildings. Tis the life of a city.
There’s a garden nearby but I don’t think autumn is a good season for such things. I keep going, making a large lazy route back to a metro station.
I buy a postcard from Family Mart and am grateful that I have the address on me. Later I spot a post office that’s down in a basement. It’s busy so it doesn’t seem like a shady idea. Postcards are officially sent for real this time.
I walk down whichever street looks interesting, trying to take it all it before I’m gone tonight. Three weeks left and I’m home for Christmas.
As per usual, I spot some sweets. There’s others and I get in line. Yum!
I find myself walking through Hibiya Park. There is a cluster of the most beautifully colored trees! I’ve been looking for such a scene all month! Of course it’s still only like three trees. 🙂
The sun is beginning to set as I reach the Imperial Palace. There’s not much to see whether it’s closed to the public or closed for the day, I’m not sure.
It is lovely.
I know I need to get back to the hostel to pickup my things and go to the airport. I can’t convince myself to move any faster. I keep walking toward a shopping area that I heard decorates nicely for Christmas.
I’m just stalling at this point. I walk through and buy toothpaste.
I take the metro back to the hostel. I reorganize my stuff so my tea and sake sets plus snacks can be comfortably taken as a carry on. I cram everything else into my backpack and for the first time will check in the bag. The weight of it is too much. I don’t want to deal with it on the layover.
I drag my things over to the metro and head towards Haneda Airport. This is the smaller one.
Once inside of airport, I do a double take. Where am I? A club or an airport? The lights are low, everything bejeweled in twinkling lights. It’s fairly quiet. I suppose it’s not a busy time for the airport. I still have to wait before it’s my turn.
The woman at the counter politely goes over my information and then politely tells me to leave. This is not my best moment. It’s late, I’m tired and I’m about to go on a 16 hour flight. You empathize right?
In a huff I toss my backpack off to the side to use as a seat. They’re not letting me on because I don’t have an outbound flight from New Zealand. China didn’t care about such things and surprisingly nor did Japan. New Zealand is not where I thought I’d have a problem. I’m not even there yet and find myself disliking the place already. Luckily common areas such as this have free wifi.
Earlier this week I already picked out a day and flight that seemed ideal to go home. I didn’t buy it though because I thought it would be best to figure out a plan for New Zealand and then buy a ticket. December 20th. I book that flight and hope for the best. I forward the information to my mom. She’ll be excited to know I’ll be home in time to make pierogi and cookies with her for Christmas. I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of excited too.
Now, I’m allowed to proceed. My bag is checked in and I’m on my way. There’s still some time before the flight. I order food thinking it’ll be done quick. Nope. So in the meantime I try spending what is left of my yen. I check a few shops but there’s nothing I’m drawn to. I figure snacks are the best– another to gift for my hosts in New Zealand and some more for family.
My food is finally ready. I shovel it all in as I don’t have much time.
This is going to be a long flight. I arrive in Australia at 9:30am with a layover of a couple hours before arriving in Auckland in time for dinner.