Just Me in Japan – Wrap up

Thursday 29 November 2012

Sadly, today it is time to go back to reality, boarding the first leg of my flight home from Tokyo to Singapore. Taking to the skies, I get to see Mt Fuji (although the plane windows are dirty and smudgy and the photo shows it as a blob on the horizon) in the distance one last time – of course it would be a clear day the day I leave!

A final glimpse of Fuji

Some last minute shopping is required at Narita, and I stock up on the Kit Kat flavours I can find – so I have blueberry, wasabi, brown sugar syrup, rum and raison and strawberry/green tea.  I also find a store that stocks Royce Chocolate:

“ROYCE’ was founded in Sapporo in 1983. By gradually acquiring better techniques and enriching our experiences, we are dedicated to making real good chocolate of world quality in Hokkaido where the climate and the clean air are suitable for making confectionaries. The fundamental principle of Royce’ has been and will always be to painstakingly source for high quality ingredients, and to sell its products at prices that customers can afford for daily consumption.”

Man, if I could eat Royce chocolate every day I would be the happiest girl in the world!  It tastes divine, but unfortunately they don’t have that much stock, and some of it is the kind that requires refrigeration, which rules it out straight away! You can’t get Royce in Australia, and it’s actually quite hard to find in Japan (well in Tokyo and Kyoto). It’s usually reserved for my Singapore trips, where there are several shops with heaps of stock.

I stuff a few more last minute souvenirs in my bag (or should I say bags, cause there’s now three of them!) until they literally cannot hold anymore. Hard to imagine I will still be returning to Australia with money.

The flight is rather uneventful and seems like a really long 7 hours! I watch a movie, a couple of tv episodes of Modern Family, finish my Idiot Abroad book, listen to some music and it’s still not time to land. Flying has to be the worst part of travelling!  The plane has a lot of Chinese on board also – I can tell by the amount of hawking and throat clearing going on – why do they do that everywhere? Sounds so gross but I’m glad we’re on the plane and not in main street China, where the gobs would be landing in front of me left, right and centre!

I have a 7 hour stopover at Changi Airport, so I’ve booked a room at the Transit Hotel, which is a first for me. The transit hotel room basically has a bed, tv and bathroom facilities and it’s really a great way to spend a few hours having a proper sleep and get refreshed.

Transit Hotel room at Changi Airport

There’s also plenty of time to change my cash, grab some new books, duty free and have a some dinner at one of my favourites – the Hard Rock Cafe! Tacky I know, but as soon as I walk in, I notice Motley Crue’s song Livewire playing on the tv and I know all is good with the world.

Finally, at just after 1.00am in the morning, my plane is about to depart for home.  Just 5 more hours to go.  I can’t believe what a fantastic week and a half I’ve had. I have to say even though I’ve loved all of my trips with the people I have travelled with, people are right – travelling by yourself does have a certain freedom with it, because it’s all up to you!  And I guess the only person you are disappointing if you don’t try something is yourself!

I really feel like I’ve made the most of time in Japan. I did most, if not all the things I set out to do and surprisingly, I don’t recall having any moments of self consciousness that stopped me from doing things like I normally do.  In fact, I found that I was more willing to give things a go, which was surprising.  I found myself thinking “just take the chance, you may never get it again” and then I’d picture the worst that could happen and took a leap of faith.  Japan is a great country to visit for the single traveller.  Most hotels cater for this market with cheaper single rooms and there’s always someone around more than willing to give directions or take you where you want to go.

I loved Japan even more the second time around, and I can’t wait to go back again and explore some of the other cities.  I would love to see Japan in Winter (I can only imagine how cold it would be then!).  And then of course, if you’re going to see Japan in 3 seasons,  you may as well see it in all 4!

But it’s always good to be home – besides where else but Western Australia, do you get a sunrise like this…

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