Friday, August 29, 2014

Tokyo ’14, Day 11 – Returning Home

On Friday morning my mom and I woke up on time and prepared for our last breakfast in Japan. It was a strange feeling: on one side you know you are leaving, but at the same time you’re too busy in your head with all the things left to do.
During our previous two stays, we had to be at the airport rather early, giving us no chance to have breakfast at the hotel. Since our plane would leave later we could take one bus later as well, giving us the opportunity to have breakfast one last time!
We arrived at the restaurant and put our yellow ‘this table is taken’-card down on a table and went to get breakfast. When we got back, a non-Japanese man was sitting at our table! At first I was a bit annoyed, but when we politely told him, he immediately apologized and sat down at the next table, where his family was sitting. The whole situation resulted into a wonderful conversation with them. Our neighbours turned out to be Americans (with the most American accent ever) and they were super nice and a lot of fun to talk to!

Last Breakfast in Tokyo
I was going to miss our wonderful breakfasts…

My mom and I finished our food, said goodbye to the Americans and went upstairs to pack our final things. I took some last pictures of the room (yes I am weird that way) and checked everything one last time to make sure we hadn’t left anything behind. Then we pulled our suitcases through the door and I said a silent goodbye to the room that had been our home for 10 days.
We checked out at the lobby, received our luggage stickers and walked outside, where we joined the group of people waiting for the bus. There, we put the stickers on our suitcases and when a hotel staff member came to check whether everything was alright, we were some of the only ones that had applied them correctly. XD

Waiting for the Bus
My mom with our luggage, waiting for the bus to arrive.

The bus arrived soon and my mom and I chose two seats. The bus started moving and drove to the final stop in front of Shinjuku station, before heading to Narita airport. We passed the big orange clock one final time (I said another silent goodbye) and then our journey to the airport started.

Goodbye Clock
The orange clock has become a symbol for me. I like it a lot.

I read a magazine provided by the bus company and we took some pictures on the road. Driving in Tokyo truly is an adventure: the roads are very high and the bus driver drove quite fast, being experienced of course.

Tokyo Highway
On the road in Tokyo.

I do believe the bus drove a bit of a different route than last two times, since we didn’t cross the Rainbow Bridge (sadly) but did pass Disneyland. Interesting.
After a long drive, we arrived at Narita airport. My mom and I had to get out at the final terminal, where three luggage carriers bowed when the bus arrived (I still think it’s so funny and adorable. XD). We put our suitcases on a cart and went inside.
We had already checked in online, but we still had to get our tickets printed. I had a bit of difficulty with the machine, but luckily a kind staff member was more than happy to help me.
We had quite some time left before we could leave our luggage at the desk, so we walked around for a bit in the hall. There were television screens showing an adorable ‘goodbye video’, where several kinds of people held up a sign that said ‘See you again/soon’ in different languages. There were normal tourists, a geisha, maids in Akihabara, a bride and groom and an old man wearing nothing but a small towel. We took some pictures of our favourites and then went on.

Goodbye Signs
Maids with a German sign, a Geisha with an English sign, tourists in Kyoto with a French sign and tourists in Osaka with a Dutch sign.

We browsed a small store where they had some adorable key chains (I really need to stop with my key chains obsession…) and my mom bought us two small geisha ones. So cute! ♥
We decided to sit down somewhere for a while and I connected my phone to the airport Wi-Fi network to send my dad a message saying we were at the airport, but at the same time I got a message from my friend May in Germany asking how I was doing. I thought it was so amazing I was talking over my phone in Japan to someone in Germany! Technology keeps on amazing me…
While my mom and I sat down, a tall Western man passed us by and somehow we were both convinced he was Dutch like us. He turned out to be in our plane! Some people just really look Dutch I guess. x)
Finally, it was time to stand in line to leave our luggage at the desk.

Luggage at the Airport
My mom guarding our luggage.

I was a bit afraid my suitcase would be reclined because of its weight after all, but everything was alright! When the tiny desk lady stood up to attach a label to my suitcase, she stood on the luggage scale, showing us accidentally her exact weight! I can tell you, it wasn’t much.
My mom and I looked up our flight on the big departures board. It switched between Japanese and English, which helped. :3

Can you find our flight? ^^

We proceeded to customs and entered the actual airport. Since there was still quite some time left until boarding time, we browsed some shops. We had wandered around this same terminal during our last trip of course, so we recognised most of the shops and entered one that sels all kinds of candy and very touristic statues. It was there that I finally found multiple interesting kinds of KitKat flavours! I hadn’t seen them anywhere in Tokyo itself (although I might be blind. It wouldn’t surprise me XD). They even had Mount Fuji-themed boxes.

KitKat Boxes
Aren’t these boxes colourful and cute?

Unfortunately, the boxes of KitKats were a bit too big to take with me, but the fact I had finally seen and touched them was enough for me. :3
During our previous trip, my mom had found an adorable statue of multiple little geisha dolls that I bought for her and this time she found something cute again. She had decided she wanted to buy another little geisha statue, but somehow she couldn’t find what she wanted in Asakusa. Now my mom saw multiple cute ones here! I decided to buy one for her and eventually she chose a really cute one. ^^ I myself bought a cute cat statue as well.
After we had browsed the store entirely, I went to stand in line to pay, when suddenly I spotted a pile of rainbow-coloured bags of candy. They were the candy my mom and I had loved so much during the flight back home last time! We bought two bags, we just had
no choice! XD
We left the store and walked on, passing cute and creative stores. We arrived at a store that sold books, magazines and so much manga! The right wall was filled with manga, it was unbelievable! Even at the national airport they have piles of manga, I love it!
I picked up the latest Kera, completely forgot to check whether they also had the newest Gohic&Lolita Bible (which I very much regret now) and also looked at the newest PopTeen (a magazine I don’t care that much about, but the cover always looks so cute).

Manga at the Airport
Some last minute magazine shopping at the airport!

I also spotted a manga that intrigued me very much; it was called ‘The Heroic Legend of Arslan’ and the art style looked so much like the style of Fullmetal Alchemist, my favourite manga. Turns out it’s from the same mangaka! XD I should have known.
We left the store, sat down between some art pieces for a moment to reorganize our hand luggage and then discussed about what to do now. We decided to have one final ice cream drink at McDonald’s! ^^ I chose the red one, my mom the yellow one. I was really going to miss those drinks…

McDonald's Ice Cream Drinks
These drinks were just so good and refreshing! ♥

Finally, it was time to head to our gate. We could already see our plane through the windows. I really love KLM planes, they are bright blue and just so cool! :3

KLM Plane
Unbelievable those huge things can really fly!

We sat down on some chairs and waited until it was time to board. Slowly the place was getting more crowded and we noticed that the stewardess behind the desk kept on calling the names of passengers who hadn’t reported themselves yet. It took a long time before the last two, both looking very flushed, reported themselves. The stewardess looked very relieved.
Finally, it was time to board.

Leaving Japan
My last steps on Japanese ground.

My mom and I quickly found our seats. For the first time we were sitting on the left side of the plane. Somehow we always sit on the right side, so this was quite a different feeling. I sat down at the window, my mom in the middle and soon we got joined by a quiet but nice Japanese woman.

Attack on Titan
Just a picture to show you the awesome Attack on Titan shirt I wore that I got from my friend. I adore it! ♥

My mom and I made ourselves comfortable. Soon the plane started moving and drove to the take-off strip. While I held my mom’s hand and looked out of the window, the plane took off and we officially left Japan (*sniff*).

Off We Go
Goodbye Japan!

The flight back was somehow… less comfortable. It seemed to take longer, I couldn’t sleep as usual, the food seemed a little less tasty and the flight was more bumpy. I still had fun though; I read my Kera, watched The Little Mermaid (it’s been ages since I’ve seen it in its entirety) and Thor: The Dark World (I didn’t like it so much), we ate candy and I watched some episodes of tv shows.

Airplane Food and Candy
Pictures of the food since I still love airplane food. And candy.

After some hours, my mom and I switched placed and she took some lovely pictures of the view, which was very clear and sunny.

Great Blue
This picture is slightly more blue than it really was, but it’s just so pretty! *o*

Finally, after what seemed ages although I might have slept a bit after all, we were nearly home! I recognized the square acres down below and the sea in the distance. One of the acres had a very cool advertisement by the way: the grass was mown away into letters, saying: ‘HBO: What would you do if your pilot got lost?’ and then the tv show it was about. Very cool. :3
We finally hit the ground, which meant we were officially back in our own country. It felt a bit surreal…
The plane drove to its tube, we checked our things and left. We headed to the baggage claim, managed to save our suitcases from destruction thanks to a very weirdly built luggage belt and walked through the doors into the airport. My dad and brother picked us up, so we could hug them immediately. ^^ It was great seeing them in real life again.

Home Again
My dad looks sweet and happy so I will ignore my own stupid face and post this picture anyway. ;)

We left the airport and went home, where I could pet our doggies again. The adventure of my mom and me had finally come to an end.

This was my last Japan 2014 post! Thank you all so much for reading about our adventures! I hope you enjoyed them! All of your comments were so sweet and they always made me really happy! ♥ Thank you for staying with me. Onwards to a new adventure~!