So I’m back home in St. Louis now. I left the Keio Plaza on Japan time Monday at 11:50AM, and after a 25-hour series of bus, flight, layover, flight, and car ride, I was back at home. To be honest, I’m not really sure what everyone means by “jetlag” because I think some people mean different things. If jetlag means not being adjusted to the different time zone, then yes I have a serious case of jetlag since I slept yesterday from about 5PM to midnight. Stepping into the Wayback Machine for a moment, my last weekend in Japan was spent mainly hanging out with people, buying souvenirs, packing, and sleeping. I’ll go into a bit more detail, but I’m in a kind of lazy mood right now so this won’t be as painfully long as a lot of my blogs tend to be.
Spend the day Friday hanging out with Sayoko; went to LaLaPort but realized that there really isn’t anything to see or do there. Defaulted to lunch at Saize, which is awesome because I haven’t been there since last year. That night, met up with Yoko, Tomomi, and Shigeru. Went around Tsudanuma and I just barely made it to the very last train back to Shinjuku. I don’t think I’ve run that hard in a while. There’s a lot more effort to running when you realize the penalty to not making it is having to sleep in the streets for a night. Next day, Bryan made the long journey from Ibaraki. We went to Akihabara where Bryan tried to find a store shady enough to sell a modded PS2, but was unsuccessful. We also tried to go to a Maid Cafe, but there were so many otaku in line that it was totally not worth it. Also, we walked past one and saw inside but it was just pretty boring looking. Like the insides of a McDonalds, but the waitresses just happened to be wearing weird costumes. Akihabara has definitely gotten weird these past few years.
We went to Makuhari that night, saw some of the old sights, then went to Hana no Mae with Sato san. Shin san was supposed to hang out that night, but he didn’t pick up his phone all day, so I’m assuming something came up. Sunday, Bryan went back on his quest in Akihabara and I went to Takashimaya Times Square to finish purchasing souvenirs for people, etc. That night met up with Bryan again in Ikebukuro Sunshine City’s NAMJA TOWN, also known as the happiest place in the world. In addition to Gyoza Stadium and Ice Cream City, the place has grown impressively since last year. Good job Mr. Mayor. Cream Puff Town has been expanded into the Tokyo Dessert Republic, there is now the completed Relax Forest, and they even added Fortune Tellers Street. What an amazing town. Here are some pics:
That night, I was able to do my laundry in the apartment complex coin laundry I found the other day. It was only about a 10 minute walk, and surprisingly the machines not only had hot water, but they actually got my clothes dry! Quite amazing for Japanese laundry equipment. I was almost positive I would have to hang-dry my clothes that night. Anyways, I packed up my suitcases and a 29 kilogram box of my clothes and stuff to ship off to the AEON school. Luckily, there was a takkyuubin delivery service within the hotel, and it cost me less than 2000 yen to ship the box next day to Ichihara. What a bargain.
There weren’t any real problems with getting to the US via air, thankfully. There was of course the “no liquids or gels” rule with carry on luggage, but otherwise things weren’t any different than normal. Lines at Narita were a little long to check in and then go through security, but that might have just been because it was Narita Airport, and not necessarily because of terrorists.