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Welcome to Day 12 of Janet, Randy and Family Japan Adventure 2016

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Today we were leaving Kyoto and heading back to Tokyo.  Randy and I went out to Starbucks for breakfast, then just hung out in the room until about 9:30am - then we went to check out and head to the train station.  I'm not sad to be leaving the micro room we had, and getting back to the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, but I'm always sad to leave Kyoto as it's really a beautiful place and we always have a great experience there.

When Randy checked out, he asked for the front desk to order some cabs for us.  They showed up within a few minutes.  We got to the train station with plenty of time, so hung out in the waiting room, and also got some food to eat on the train.  Our train arrived on time, and we departed exactly at 10:33am.  If you have never traveled on the Shinkansen, if you have a 10:33 train, that means it's departing at that time.  If you aren't on the train, then you will be watching it depart.  JR Rail is deadly accurate with their schedules. I think it's awesome !

The ride to Tokyo was smooth and mostly uneventful - other than the fact that we finally were able to catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji from the train.  In our previous 2 trips to Japan, it was never clear enough to see Mount Fuji.  So, that was quite exciting.  I'll keep my fingers crossed to see if it continues to be clear enough to see Mount Fuji when we go to the Mount Fuji Flower Festival on Wednesday.  I had brought up my Google Maps app and watched our progress to see when we were getting close.  So I knew the general area to start watching out for Mt. Fuji

We arrived at Tokyo station at 1:10pm and caught cabs to the Imperial Hotel.  We were able to check into our rooms right away - and were surprised to find that they had upgraded us to the premium floor.  It's basically the same rooms, but you get plusher robes, more cushy slippers, better amenities in the bathroom, free soft drinks and a free continental breakfast.  Sweet.  And PJs instead of Yukatas.

We had a little gathering in our room once everyone was settled, and decided that everyone would just do their own thing for the afternoon, and we would meet up for supper later.  Sounded like a good plan.

Randy and I decided we would  head to Tokyo Station as there is a KitKat Chocolatory there in the Daimaru department store (the fact that they are in a department store should be the first clear indication of what these things will cost).  This isn't just your run of the mill KitKats, these are fancy KitKats.  They were so fancy, we only bought a few - as they were not cheap! (think nice dinner out).  I told Randy that we will save them for a special occasion - like our 25th anniversary. (ha ha)  (25th Anniversary dinner maybe?)

Crepes for a snackWe were also a little hungry, so we stopped at a place called Momi & Toy's - which served dessert and savoury crepes.  Randy had a chocolate banana crepe, and I had a banana caramel crepe.  Both were so good! (very tempted to have another) That gave us some more energy to wander around the shops in the train station.  We came across a wallet/purse/luggage place that had some really cool wallets that Randy liked.  He couldn't decide between 2 different ones, so I told him to buy both (as he would not see any wallets like this at home). 

We took the train back to the Ginza area, and went back to Matsuya department store and bought some more nail clippers as gifts for friends/family.  (yes, we do seem to have an obsession with Japanese nail clippers - to be fair these aren't for us).  We wandered around Ginza for a bit, then stopped at a convenience store to get some sparkling sake.  There was an Asics store (running gear).  The store had some of the running shoes I use, but in Tokyo Marathon version, unfortunately it was only in size 12.5.  I have large feet, but not that large.  However, I did see some running shirts that were Tokyo marathon themed, so I got a couple. Again it was an example of items I'll use, but won't find anything like it at home.  We went back to the room and killed off a bottle before heading back to Ginza to meet up with the family for supper at the Sapporo Ginza Beer Hall (I think we needed a little pre-game drink - going to the beer hall wasn't our first choice as there are so many other better places, but it was for simplicity).

This time I had some garlic rice and steak, and randy had the omelette and fried rice.  Both were tasty.  After we were done with our meal, we walked back to the hotel - stopping at a Lawson's convenience store to get some more sparkling sake.  We met up in Harold and Lil's room to chat and drink our beverages.

After a visiting for a while, I had drunk enough and was ready to head to bed.  So I went back to the room, spent a little time updating the journal and then went to sleep.


over to Day 13 back to Day 11


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