Friday, 19 September 2014

Day 10 - Leaving Tokyo

It's our last day in Tokyo today. We leave for Dubai this evening. We booked the apartment until tomorrow to avoid having to "check out" early. We used airbnb to book and highly recommend our place. 
Vinnie and his new friend.
We didn't get up to much except pack and take a little trip back to Shinjuku. Proving how hard it is to be vegetarian here we tried and failed in Starbucks, we picked up two Mexican Salad wraps to find half way through it contained tuna fish. I wouldn't mind but I did ask the staff prior to purchase if it was vegetarian. We did enjoy our pumpkin pie though. 

Our lunch from Starbucks
The Shinjuku area.
Feeling hungry we stopped off at pizza place Sbarro in Shibuya for a margarita pizza - you can't go too wrong with that. Staying in Shibuya we returned to the Apple store. It had now been open some 7 hours and were still selling iPhone 6 phones. I got a chance to hold them and as an iPad mini user I feel the iPhone 6 Plus is way to big. There was still great excitement about the store. 

Trying out the new iPhones hours before they launched in Europe and America. 
It's always horrible having to pack, it never gets easier. We left the apartment around 5pm knowing how long it takes to get to the airport. We took a taxi to the station and somehow managed to get a ticket for the express train at 5:45pm. It wasn't very straightforward, the ticket machine wouldn't accept any of our credit cards. We only had ¥4,000 left in cash, not enough to pay for our tickets. Somehow Japan is still a cash country, chip and pin is available, but limited. All local train tickets, even sucia card reloads have to be done in cash. It's rather odd. 

Shibuya crossing
Anyhow with the help of the non English speaking staff we managed to part pay for our tickets requiring to pay the difference when we got to the airport. Over an hour later we arrived at the airport and paying that difference was another hassle. But we got there. 

This little device gave us free internet throughout Tokyo during our stay, free with our AirBnB booking.
We had already checked in online, using Apple Passbook boarding passes, this allowed us to skip a line of at least 100 waiting to check in. However more hassle followed when the check in staff insisted our onboard allowance was strictly 7kg per person. Checked bag allowance is 32kg and combined we were some 22kg under this, but my carry on was 1kg over, Vinnie was 4kg under. At one point they were insisting we move the weight to our checked in bags. It really was a hassle over nothing and left a bitter taste for the local Emirates staff. We have been flying emirates for the last three years with no bother. We can only assume its the Japanese staff following rules to the letter of the law. 

Narita Airport is a little shabby. Come 9pm most shops were closed. Duty free was abysmal and eating options worse still. It's really not up there with other international airports. We took off after 10pm for an almost 11 hour flight back to Dubai. 

On the way to the airport
Goodbye Japan, we've had another wonderful visit, Tokyo can be like New York in parts, but it's oh so unique. It's unlike any other Asian city we have visited over the years, which is the reason we decided to return to Japan and stay in Tokyo for the entire time. We did our best to experience different things to the last visit and we've certainly accomplished that. Highlights for us are definitely singing J-Pop in a tent at the all night party in AgeHa, dancing under the stars whilst drag queens performed on a stage overlooking the swimming pool and definitely seeing sunset over Tokyo from Tokyo Bay as The Rainbow Bridge illuminated and the city in the distance turned on its lights. We both recommend a visit to Japan. You will never forget it. 

The adventure continues in Dubai.

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