Two Fridays ago. My final day in Japan. Or, better said, my final half-day in Japan.
First I'd like to tell you about our hotel in Ueno.
It was built around the home of this gentleman
His home. Maybe he was an important samurai? Or perhaps a poet?
The hotel featured many amenities, like on-site karaoke rooms
A fine communal bathing area
And a good massage chair, but not the best massage chair I've ever known (Tayebi Family Massage Chair. Yorba Linda, Ca.)
Early Friday morning I set out through Ueno on an adventure to try to find the Tokyo Temple (Mormon). Basically all I had was the address and a hunch as to where it was located. These are pictures I took as I walked to the subway in Ueno . . .
Arriving where I thought I was supposed to arrive to get to the Temple I set out in the general direction of where I thought the Temple was . . . well, do I have to tell you my search was a lost cause? After walking for a while it became clear I didn't have the time or the tools to find the place so I headed back to Ueno, taking a few pictures along the way to make up for my loss.
So, yeah. I had to rush back to the hotel to meet up with Cheryl and head to the airport so she didn't miss her flight to Korea and so that I'd have plenty of time to catch my flight to Newark. The lucky thing for us was the express train to the airport leaves from Ueno. Here we go, zipping through the outskirts of Tokyo.
There was something of a self-service bar onboard the train so Cheryl and I celebrated our week of adventure with Suntory CC Lemons, a beverage containing the vitamin C of 50 lemons. I know this picture came out mysteriously underexposed, but I like it.
Cheryl went to her terminal and I went to mine and then I had a bit of time to kill. Something they have in Japan that they don't have in the US (at least at the airports I'm familiar with) but should are outdoor observation areas. Later on Airplane Enthusiasts showed up to photograph and log the jets they saw.
I ate this for lunch. And then there's a picture of where I bought it, and a picture of my change. And then pictures of me killing time. And a picture of the concert in the airport. And pictures of the airport. And TV.
Strapless sticky sandals? I once saw these advertised on TV in Utah when I was a kid. I always wondered where they went . . . of course! Off to Narita Airport!
Finally it was time to board my flight and get the heck out of Japan.
Here's a surprise twist ending. Remember how I flew first class to Japan? Well, I flew back in coach. And you know what? I kind of like it better in the back of the plane. That's where my roots are, that's where my people are, it's where I belong, with the proletariat masses who must do without luxuries as they jet between hemispheres. It's nice to be up in front where the flight attendants know your name and bring you food on plates the whole time, but it's not as fun as getting your little tray of food and wondering what sort of gamble you're taking when you choose between chicken and beef. Plus the seat next to me was empty and for some reason the flight seemed to go by very quickly. Also, I watched House for the first time. I liked it lots.
I can't remember what surface I took this picture of my reflection in, but it was unusual. Uhm. How many unusual reflective surfaces could their be on an airplane? Maybe it was the back of my iPod.
Oh, hey there New York. Guess my trip is over now.
But guess what?! Even though the narrative tale of my trip has now been told, I have about 3 supplementary posts to post! When I'm done with you you're going to know so much about Japan you'll never need to go there yourself.