This is going to be a fairly short summary of the final week in Japan, mostly because I am insanely tired after travelling back. Trains, waiting in airports, overnight flights, more waiting and I still have a long drive to get home, but the trip was worth it. Next week I’ll be trying to resume daily posting as usual and I’m looking forward to catching up on the spring anime so look forward to first impression posts.
Okay, the final days were mostly about doing some final shopping and grabbing a few souvenirs for people back home but we did do an overnight trip to Yokohama (even though it is pretty much right next door to Tokyo). Totally worth it. We had a fairly good deal on a hotel room and then when we checked in they moved us into a nicer room with a much better view so all and all nothing to complain about.
What I loved about walking around Yokohama, other than the constant sea-breeze, were the number of street performers around. Singers, dancers, musicians, fire eaters, baton twirlers, guys who twist balloons into weird shapes, and, my personal favourite, the hula-hoop guy were literally everywhere as we walked around and it was always fun to stop and watch them for awhile.
The food was also really, really good but if you’ve followed my trip so far I doubt you are surprised I enjoyed the food. Actually, my biggest issue is that the majority of the shopping centres have a heavy number of western food chains and actually finding Japanese food takes a bit more of a walk which was a bit weird.
We visited the Cup Noodle Museum, which is actually kind of interesting, though nothing in it explains why it has three exclamation marks at the start of the word ‘cup’ in its signage. If you happen to have kids they do a great workshop where they make their own cup-ramen and watching the many kids participating it was clear it was great fun. For adults there’s a room displaying all the different cups and flavours the cup noodles have come in, a brief film that explains the history, and then some exhibits and timelines that show the history of cup noodles. The film is even in basic enough Japanese that I understood most of it (yay, I understand stuff aimed at six year olds), though if you have no Japanese skills they do offer you an audio translation to listen to while the film is on.
Anyway, the dock is beautiful to walk along, there’s plenty of great gardens, lots of shops, and generally it was great fun.
I also took a day trip to Kawagoe to see more traditional style buildings and it was really fun walking through the district though getting photos is really hard between traffic and tourists. Still, if you want to see more traditional Japanese buildings or if you just want to spend a day shopping and shrine visiting, it is a great place to visit. It took me about an hour and a half to get there by train but I spent the majority of the day there and had plenty to do.
Seriously, I was really happy to get to go to Japan this year. I made some great memories, I have plenty of photos that I need to sort through now that I’m home, and while I’m going to be super busy getting back into my usual routine, I’m really glad I took the opportunity to go. Next time I go to Japan I definitely have to go to one of the other islands and at some point I will need to actually win something in one of the UFO catchers because I am still pretty terrible at them.
Thanks everyone who has enjoyed following along with my travels and as I said, I’ll hopefully be back to anime reviewing next week.
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