Today marked the final day of of our two week long escapade in Japan. Since our flight wasn’t until the evening, we still had the morning and early afternoon to spare. We took this opportunity to fulfill last minute impulses before our dreaded plane back to Singapore.
The hotel required that we check out of our rooms before 10 am. I unwilling arose from the bed this morning to pack my remaining luggage and joined the rest who had already finished their breakfast downstairs. We left our luggage with the counter and headed for our separate destinations.
Wilson headed to the park we missed yesterday morning while MJ and I returned to Ueno. We agreed to meet back at Suidobashi for lunch, so at Ueno we split up to settle our respective goals.
MJ’s purpose in visiting Ueno was to get a pair of shoes that he’d been was eying since yesterday, a $200 pair of Dragon Beard sneakers. He already owned an identical pair (if not for the different colored accents) but they were worse for wear.
I thought I might settle for another pair of Timberland shoes similar to what I was looking for. So back at Uechun, I blazed through some of the previous shops. Some pairs caught my attention, but alas I couldn’t find any of the designs in 24.5cm. I left hurriedly for Akihabara to look for the AKB48 Fashion Book that I had missed at the Yokohama Concert. Its public release, today.
A large queue for today’s AKB48 shows had formed outside the Don Quijote building at Akihabara. Entry to the theater was barred at this time. The AKB shop on the 5th floor didn’t have the book so downstairs at the main Don Q store, I stocked up one some toiletries for use back in Singapore. Surprisingly, I encountered MJ who was here to buy some sort of magic comb.
On the way to the station, I found the AKB48 book at a magazine rack and picked up my copy there. There was still time to spare so I stopped by the older streets of Akihabara where some semblance of its origin as an electronics city remained.
Beyond the small stretch of electronic stores though, even more recent ventures took place. A row of shops here resold premium cards for arcade trading card games at ridiculous prices. Highly sought after cards sold for hundreds of thousands of yen.
I eventually returned to Suidobashi, where MJ was already waiting at in the Tokyo Dome Starbucks. The prices at this branch were a couple hundred yen cheaper than over at Ebisu.
They had Sakura seasonal specials going on here. The Sakura Frappuccino was sold out, so I decided to get a Sakura Steamer while waiting for Wilson to arrive. Each sip of the strong smelling tea tasted like a mouthful of potpourri. I gave up after barely half the cup, Wilson tried some and reacted in disgust. Sakura flavored stuff was just one of those really acquired tastes we didn’t possess.
Prior to arriving in Japan, we planned to sit Tokyo Dome’s mega coaster, the Thunder Dolphin. Having learned the extent of my limits at DisneySea though I passed on this idea. Wilson and MJ had rode the coaster before but this didn’t mean that they were any less afraid. In the end, we just continued on to LaQua in search of lunch.
It was term break so the outlets here were packed with children even on this weekday afternoon. We didn’t have time to spare queuing since the bus would pick us at the Tokyo Dome hotel at 2.30 pm. I remembered the eatery that Wilson mentioned eating at while MJ and I were at Yohohama. It was just across the road, so we decided to have a quick lunch there instead.
Steak no Kuishinbo was a western styled diner. Apart from steaks, it also sold pork, chicken and combination sets. The grilled meats were served with salad and rice. We decided to get three servings of the grilled steak after Wilson commented that the other meats weren’t as nice. I had no complaints of the reasonably priced meal. MJ felt unwell after lunch though.
We ate hastily and returned to our hotel to collect our luggage, making time to fit our morning’s purchases into our bags. We thanked the hotel staff for our pleasant stay and proceeded to struggle our way across the road to take our bus. The Limousine Bus was already parked by the time we arrived.
We handed our passes to the usher and boarded the bus. While waiting for the bus to leave, a hotel staff entered the bus bearing a sign with my name (to confirm our attendance). MJ and I didn’t have tickets since the ticketing woman at Shinjuku assured us we could use the coupons. So when the man asked for our ticket receipts I anxiously feared for the worst. When I told him that we made our reservations at Shinjuku he gave us no further trouble. The Shinjuku office was probably famous for making this mistake.
Yan had requested of me some souvenir snacks. According to Wilson, we could get the snacks inside the departure hall. Since I had a hard time fitting anything else into my luggage this seemed like a good option.
It turned out though, that the shop sold a really limited range (they didn’t even have the Chocolate Tokyo Banana or Tokyo Banana Biscuits). Whatever the shop had though, was sold at ridiculously marked up prices. Some snacks were even going for double their normal retail price. To add to the insanity, larger boxes were priced at an even higher cost-to-serving ratio than their smaller counterparts.
Before long, we took our seats on the flight. Even prior to leaving the ground, I found myself missing Tokyo already. As the plane lifted off in the clear night sky, I managed to catch a glimpse of the black mass that was Mount Fuji. Something that we regrettably weren’t able to witness during the trip. With a heavy heart, I bid farewell to the sparkly skyscrapers and the beautiful steaks of brightly lit streets, wondering when I could set foot again on my motherland.Planning your holiday? We recommend visiting Agoda for a full list of hotels with early bird specials.