Saturday saw my last full day in Japan. I started with a swim in the pool in the hotel with its amazing views before we checked out and headed to Shinjuku, leaving our bags behind to collect later.
After a quick Starbucks to get us going, we headed to Shinbashi station to catch an overground monorail type train which my Dad had told us would give us great views of Mount Fuji – if it was a clear day.
Unfortunately for us, it wasn’t a clear day, so we didn’t see Mount Fuji on the one hour round trip, but we did see this amazing building with its big globe bit in the middle, which, I think, would make the perfect lair for a James Bond type baddie.
Then we hopped back on the subway and headed to the Daikanyama area – small streets littered with pretty expensive designer shops. I wanted to visit one store in particular, but before that, we finally managed to find a fairly popular breakfast type restaurant for lunch – which didn’t have a queue!
Sarahbeth’s is apparently a New York institution, but I’d never heard of it. What I can say though is that the Eggs Benedict was delicious.
After lunch, we wandered around and eventually managed to find the A.P.C. men’s store I’d been looking for.
I was hoping to pick up a pair of Nike / A.P.C. boots to replace ones I’d left behind in Kyoto, but I was out of luck. I did get a t-shirt and some trousers though, so it wasn’t a trip completely in vain.
Before we knew it, it was time to get back to the hotel and collect our bags. Because our flight home was leaving Haneda Airport early (like 6.25am early), it wasn’t going to be easy (or at least cheap) to get to the airport in time from the hotel, so I’d booked a night at a hotel in Kamata, which was closer to the airport.
We caught a shuttle bus from the hotel to Shinjuku station, and that was the start of our journey with seven bags between us. Mostly it was ok, but I did nearly give up when trying to get my luggage up three flights of stairs and I got the giggles.
Finally, we got to Kamata, found the hotel, and then went a wandering for someplace to eat dinner. First though, I had to return my pocket wifi router I’d hired in the post. The receptionist at the hotel bizarrely told me to post it at a Family Mart store (it was already stamped). Finding one, and asking a guy behind the counter to post it resulted in a weird scenario.
He stripped off his uniform’s overcoat, handed it to another guy, and then beckoned me out on to the street. Saying “straight! straight!” he half ran, half walked down the road for about 100 metres, before pointing at a post box, and holding his hand up for a high five. Bit bizarre, but thank you for your good service!
We both wanted something traditionally Japanese on our last night – and after a walk up and down a street filled with fast food restaurants, we found it. A tiny little ramen restaurant. It was pot luck really, as most of the restaurants here didn’t seem to have pictures or plastic models outside.
Once we entered, we were faced with a ticket machine again to order our meal from. Seeing as the vast majority of the descriptions were kanji, I could only really make out the word ‘ramen’ which wasn’t particularly helpful. Soon the chef and a customer were over helping us though, and we ordered a pork dish.
It was cooked in front of us, and tasted absolutely amazing. Delicious.
After getting a photo of the staff (that’s the chef on the right), we headed back to the hotel. I saw a Mos Burger (which is Japan’s home-grown equivalent of McDonald’s).
I was full after my ramen, but I did not want to come all the way to Japan and not say I’d tried a Mos Burger. So in I went, and ordered the most unusual looking item on the menu – a burger with an omlette and mystery sauce on it.
We waited, and waited…. and waited….. for what seemed like an eternity at our table before the burger was delivered. It was tasty, but weirdly breakfasty because of the egg on it. And I couldn’t place the sauce either – but it tasted beefy. So it was kind of eggy-breakfasty-beefy which was unusual.
Stuffed by this point, we headed back to the hotel (where weirdly room doors opened out into the corridor, which I thought was a good space saving idea), and headed to bed. Our alarms were set for 3.15am. Ouch!