November 10, 2014
Since we were in Tokyo, we had to have sushi at the Tsukiji Fish Market.
In Tsukiji, we chose a sushi place based on the menu displayed outside each shop. We didn’t even know the name of the sushi place we ate in. Ruther waited with us in line, but being allergic to seafood, he didn’t eat with us. He ate at the chicken place beside the sushi restaurant instead.
I had a Welcome Set, and Butch and Allan ordered the most expensive omakase set.
I was very happy with the first sushi I ate—it had teriyaki sauce on it. I’m usually averse to salmon, but their salmon didn’t have the aftertaste I’ve come to hate. The shrimp sushi had a lot of wasabi in between the rice and shrimp that assaulted my nostrils for a couple of seconds. My maki was good, too—I always love me some fish roe. Allan and Butch’s set included fish semen sushi. They said it was creamy but tasteless.
After our sushi breakfast, we went our separate ways to shop. Butch went back to Akihabara. Allan and Ruther went to Koreatown. And I went to Takashimaya in Shinjuku.
My first stop in Takashimaya was the Kinokuniya bookstore, which was in a separate area from the main Takashimaya mall, and once I got there, I was not disappointed. They had copies of Rookie Yearbook Three; Yes, Please; and Rob Delaney’s book. I haven’t seen these titles in Manila. I thought the price would be inflated because this was Tokyo, but they were reasonably priced. I had to stop myself from buying so many books. Sadly, they still didn’t have a copy of Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. Maybe I should just order a copy from FullyBooked once I get home.
I went back to the main Takashimaya building and bought these cute but inexpensive earphones as Christmas gifts for my cousins at Tokyu Hands. I then saw paper bags with a drawing of Santa Claus and when you fold the top, it becomes Santa’s hat so of course I bought those, too. I also got a tax refund for my purchases. Then I went to Uniqlo to look for more Christmas gifts. The price tag for button-down shirts in Uniqlo was half their Manila price! I regret not buying more shirts. But at least I finished most of my Christmas shopping.
I really felt like an adult walking, shopping, eating, and commuting alone in Tokyo. I felt like a subway expert, too, wending my way through the stream of people and no longer looking left and right to make sure I’m going in the right direction. I also enjoyed not worrying about whether the guys were getting bored waiting for me.
I walked back to the hotel to drop my loot and ate the strawberry shortcake and opera cake I bought at Takashimaya.
Then I met the guys at Shibuya for dinner. I was finally okay to have my picture taken at Hachiko’s statue. (However, the photo was corrupted.)
We ate in the same sutameshi place we had dinner in yesterday.
I then went to H&M and found so many clothes were on sale. I wish I went there before Uniqlo because the clothes were so much cheaper. I was able to buy some stuff for myself. I also bought some cute t-shirts for Jonas.
Even though I was there until the store’s closing, it still wasn’t enough time.
I went to a 7-11 and bought different flavors of KitKat and Pocky for pasalubong.
When I was done shopping, I messaged the guys to ask where they were and learned that they had been in the hotel for two hours already.
I packed after Butch finished packing because I found it too confusing to pack with all our shit laid out all over the hotel room. I didn’t know why he didn’t pack while I was still out. Maybe he thought I wanted a companion while packing.
I managed to fit everything in my two bags.
I put Salonpas on my lower back and slept for four hours.
November 11, 2014
We rode a taxi to Shinjuku station and bought our Narita Express tickets there. I was asleep the moment the train started moving. When I woke up, we were speeding through rice paddies. I want to visit the provincial parts of Japan, too.
Ruther forgot the posters he bought at Koreatown in the train. Allan was the most heartbroken that the trip was ending.
I spent my remaining yen buying more pasalubong at the airport. I regret not buying a yukata in Asakusa. Apparently, it’s not available everywhere.
I may not share the same intense separation anxiety Allan has for Japan since this trip has been less than perfect for me, but I still want to go back. We’ve barely scratched the surface of what this country has to offer; there are still so many places to see and food to eat.
I’m definitely going back.