We have said our goodbyes to Japan and are on our way home. Despite my sadness at leaving Japan, I shall also be glad when this flight touches down and we return home. Not looking forward to cleaning up our own residence or heading off to work everyday. Working from a hotel room with great views and no constant interruptions is quite pleasant.
We spent our last day in Japan hanging around Shinjuku, our "local" area. B did some cosmetics shopping at Mary Quay and has assisted by a senior Japanese staffer with a very cute scottish accent! Now I think I have heard everything! Thanks to for their help.
Meanwhile I discovered that Shinjuku had even more previously undiscovered shopping options, which was handy as we had quite a few last minute purchases of gifts and "necessities" to make. Amongst the shops we wandered into was the OIOne department store with about 4 levels of gothic/punk/fairtytale/Barbie Doll fashions for the Cos-play-zoki crowd. Seriously wierd.
There was also a Sakuraya hobby store. N-scale model railway goods are incredibly cheap in Japan and I think they would make great souveniers. B bought gifts at Comme Ca (many of the male fashions there look really gay) and found a Zara store right on our doorstep.
We tried Japanese curry for lunch at an underground salariman joint - pretty tasty - shopped some more, then finally rushed back to collect our bags. Slightly less hurry this time and not quite so burdened down. We actually reached the Narita Express with almost 10 minutes to spare!
Narita's Terminal 2 actually has Japanesesouvenier shops and restaurants that feel pretty genuine, although there's the usual kitsch stuff. I had my first bad zaru soba experience though, trying out the addition of yam to the soup mix. Gluey, yukky and a pity that my Japanese gastronomic experience ended that way.
One bad thing about Narita is that the security checks and passport control run fairly slowly, though not intolerably so. There seemed to be quite a few flights leaving to Cairns and Sydney around the same time. Ours is quite empty, especially for Qantas.
The 767 is clean enough, though I dislike being seated further back, especially as this is a rough ride. We both tried the Western option - beef with mustard sauce and egg pasta - and were less tha impressed. Maybe the Japanese option would have been better, considering our flight's origin. At least the pannacotta with apricot sauce was good.
Unfortunately we had already seen our inflight movie, Fun with Dick & Jane, on the way up. I must have fallen asleep part way through. When I woke up I found that bottles of water had been inserted into our seat pockets.
All lights and entertainment are off now. I started sorting through our photos on the new laptop before its batteries started to run low. We have a stopover in Cairns before flying on to Sydney. Maybe I'll try sleeping again.