Day 20: Return to Tokyo

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I’m now reaching the last few days of my trip. At this point, it’s hard to imagine going back home, where people speak English and drive on the right side of the road, and where convenience stores don’t have everything you could ever need.

But, the reality is that I’m flying home in two days, so today, I left Osaka to return to Tokyo to make it easier for me to get to Narita Airport, and also because I scored a ticket to the Ghibli Museum for tomorrow (you have to reserve in advance and tickets sell out fast!).

For now, though, I just spent the day traveling and returned to Akihabara in full-out geek mode.

The train ride out of Osaka was pretty much uneventful. I still marvel at how quiet and smooth taking the bullet train is. This time, I sat on the correct side of the train to see Mt Fuji and the weather was clear enough to allow it.

Getting back into Tokyo was like déjà vu, although it was kind of nice sort of knowing my way around for once, rather than the confused state of being whenever I changed cities before. The city is still as insanely busy and packed with people as I remember it.

Finding my hostel wasn’t too much if a problem, but let it be known now that my roommates this time are slobs. There is stuff everywhere. Strangely, this was never the case in all the other hostels in Japan I stayed at.

Anyway, after settling in, I decided to return to Akihabara. Anyone who knows me knows that I love anime. I didn’t really look around for anime stuff the last time I was in Tokyo because I knew it would only bore my sister and her fiancé, so now that I’m alone, I was a bit freer to look at all the anime merchandise I wanted.

I didn’t really buy much, though. Most of the anime merchandise up for sale are media, like manga, DVDs, and CDs. The manga I can’t understand and the DVDs wouldn’t work on the DVD players back home, so there wasn’t any point. Any other merchandise was mostly stuff I’d never find a use for, like posters, cell phone charms, puzzles, and figurines (which I know are popular but I don’t collect them).

Left: some figurines for sale. Middle: street view of a corner in Akihabara. Right: some huge (by that, I mean taller than I am) figurines from “Ah! My Goddess”. There is a third one but she wouldn’t fit in the frame.

I spent the late afternoon just wandering around and snacked in a strawberry-chocolate-custard crepe.

Once I checked out all the big stores, the sun was setting and I was getting hungry, so I returned to Asakusa and found a sushi restaurant. After talking with my friend, Maxine, back home, I realized that I had yet to visit an actual sushi restaurant while here in Japan, and it would be a travesty to leave here without doing so.

And so, I found one and, thankfully, they had an English menu. I ended up getting the basic sushi set. It was delicious! Except for the squid nigiri. The texture of that one wasn’t very pleasant. Otherwise, though, it was a great to watch the sushi chefs at work while eating my dinner and sipping my green tea.

My sushi set dinner! It also came with miso soup and chawanmushi.

That was it for today. I’m looking forward to tomorrow – Ghibli Museum!!

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