>Day 15 Tokyo and home!


Last day in Japan!

Woke up to another great blue-sky day, which made me feel even more regretful that its my last in Japan. The buffet brekkie in the Villa Fontaine was really good value. It was packed with travelling business people. But at a table near ours, I thought I detected a familiar accent!
We wanted to take a quick walk to Hama Rikyu koen, just at the back of the hotel, across the road. We in fact made it as far as out of the hotel, right down to the cross junction with Hama Rikyu beckoning tantalisingly close across the road, before we decided we just didn’t have enough time. But note to self – next visit to Tokyo, the Villa Fontaine will be my accomodation of choice again and this time, I will visit Hama Rikyu and also the famed Tsukiji Fish Market, 15 minutes away on foot.

From Villa Fontaine, we checked out and were soon walking back towards Shinbashi JR station. It was a weekend so the place was deserted – very similar to the ghost town that Shenton Way and our CBD turns into over the weekends. The black-suited penguins that hibernate in their glass cubes in the sky were nowhere to be seen. Shiodome felt abandoned and a bit depressing Or maybe that’s just how I felt walking away, slowing leaving Japan by inches.
Getting back to Tokyo station and taking the Narita Express was easy. We used our JR Pass for the last time. I sat looking out as the train zoomed past, as if in a visual rewind, the ferro-concrete grey blocks of buildings, the unlit neon signs, then fields where kids were playing baseball, rivers and bridges, then bamboo groves, rice fields, red-bibbed Jizo on the road shoulder and all too soon, Narita airport.
Yes, can you tell? I was SAD. Only cheered up at the duty-free when I bought a box of mentaiko which was carefully packed in dry ice and insulation! Note: I have eaten half the mentaiko and every bite is bliss. The other half, I am slo-owly savouring knowing that, as with this trip report, once its over, its really over.

The plane ride was greeted with less boisterous excitement than before – perhaps everyone was feeling a bit down at going back home. The holiday was over. As usual, once on board, the kids were glued to the in-flight entertainment system so it was not difficult to keep them occupied.

We transited in KLIA for three hours which allowed us to grab some dinner. Too bad the food was overpriced and subpar (and I think I am being kind in describing it thus). We could not stomach paying RM16 for a plate of wonton mee which we could easily have gotten in the heart of KL for RM3 and at far better standards too!! What a rip-off. Settled for fast food but even that was like sawdust and cardboard. Either our tastebuds were spoiled after 15 days in Japan, or KLIA food was really an overpriced excuse for crappy food. Combination of both, probably.

Arrived in Singapore late, past midnight and took separate cabs home. The night was warm, so different from the crisp coolness that Japan had. Tigerlily greeted us with a meow. Home smells… familiar and comfortable! It always feels good to be home.
But how I wish home was somewhere in Japan!
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