Tuesday, January 06, 2009

In Japan - Last day

"Passengers hold on as the Japan Railway Group Yamanote Line train speeds by at Harajuku Station, Monday, Jan. 5, 2009."

Coming home is never easy. Tuesday is my last day here in Japan following a two week stint and I am finding it hard to start packing up my things before I head out for my last day of running around Tokyo this morning.

Going to keep it short as I want to get out and shoot some more today, so here is a brief of what we did. Most of the big things we did.

Yesterday was not much different than my past day in Tokyo, other than I spent a little too much money on food. For a minute I thought I was living the Osaka life.

We started the day back in Harajuku to visit the Japan Broadcasting Corporation or NHK Museum of Broadcasting.

It was really cheap and feature more hiragana and kanji Japanese characters than we could really understand, but it did host a bunch of cool videos, history and photographs.

The best part was a three-dimensional video that viewers didn't need any sort of special glasses. It was truly amazing.

From there we walked up famous shopping area of Omotesando Dori before grabbing our first meal - expensive pork cutlet.

After stuffing ourselves, we headed over to Nippori to do a long walking tour. We stumbled across a large, creepy, yet interesting grave yard and a small street market.

After a couple hours there, night had fallen and we wanted one last look of Tokyo from an observatory, this time at night. So we headed back to Shinjuku to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building which allows visitors to get a glimpse of the city for free.

Finally, we found the restaurant we had been looking for all week in Tokyo - a "real" hibachi grill. I am so glad we found it, too.

From the minute we walked in I knew we made the right decision. Zero English, no pictures for ordering. A very traditional, old restaurant, it housed only five grills and it was anything but like we are used to in the States.

Each grill was properly that. Five pieces of golden, red hot coals in a bed of ashes with a ancient looking mesh wiring over top.

We managed to order a couple beers and an order of a $50 set meal. We weren't sure how much food this would get us, so we only went with one.

One by one, our chef (a elder Japanese woman dressed in a kimono) laid down each portion of the meal: Japanese sweet azuki beans, tofu, yakitori, sashimi, vegetables, shrimp, and my favorite, scallops cooked right in their shells with sake.

While very little food for two people, and very expensive, we still enjoyed the experience. I think the waitresses enjoyed our company and even called us "rich" multiple times. Ha!

Finally, as we made our way back to the hotel we both realized we needed more food, so we swung into a rotating sushi bar for one last meal. Couldn't have finished the night off better than that.

Well, as I said, I am rushing to type this post and really want to get out on the town one last time. I still cannot believe I'll be back home tomorrow. It's gone by too fast.


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