On my last full day in Japan, Stephen and I spent much of the morning relaxing, gathering our belongings, and spending a little time with our hosts. We greatly appreciated their hospitality, so it was very easy to spend time with them.
Late in the morning we began the long subway trek to the Makahiru district. One bus, three subways and an hour and a half later, we arrived at the hotel we would be staying at that night. This hotel was chosen because it was two blocks from the Makahari Messe, where the concert was being held and it has a shuttle available to the airport.
We were early, arriving before the appointed check-in time, but we knew that. We were simply hoping to be able to have our bags held while we went to the show, then get our rooms afterwards. As luck would have it, we were able to check into our room.
I won’t go into the concert itself, saving that for a couple of other posts. I will say though that after experiencing it firsthand, I understand why so many bands love to perform for Japanese audiences.
After the concert, we tried to find something to eat and found what appeared to be the only open restaurant. It being after 10:00 on a Sunday night, and in a commercial/business (non-residential) district, it was understandable that not many things would be open. It was meant to be some variant of an Italian restaurant, but it just didn’t take. Also, the Japanese take on pizza is wrong. The food wasn’t as bad as it could be, but it also wasn’t nearly as good as it should have been either.
Much better was the breakfast at the hotel. On offer was a buffet that was included in our stay, which meant coffee, and enough of it to satiate my addiction. I want to mention a little something about the Japanese concept of breakfast – there isn’t one. From my observances there isn’t much in the way of strict “breakfast” foods and dining in Japan, mostly people eat leftovers. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but does take some getting used to (such as having miso soup and salad as the first meal of the day. At the hotel there was an offering of eggs (the Japanese variant on offer of course) and since you serve potatoes with eggs in the morning this would be no different. Well, it was. Tater tots.
Narita Airport is a great place to spend a lot of time. If you have to be stuck in an airport, you could do a lot worse. We arrived at the airport about 5 hours before our flight was scheduled to depart, and there was no line to speak of to check in. before going through security there is a huge shopping area with a drug store, coffee shops, restaurants, and plenty of book, and souvenir stores. We wandered around, myself with a more specific purpose. One of the few things that I had specifically been searching for was a t-shirt with a map of the Tokyo subway system. I had been searching for it every day while in Tokyo, and finally found it in Narita airport (though it took almost an hour looking in almost every souvenir store in the airport).
If you’re reading this, then the arrival back in the United States was uneventful.