I never heard any Japanese people use the word “Sayonara” while we were here but it seems the right word as we sit in Narita Airport, waiting to board a flight home via Minneapolis. (The Japanese guy at the Delta check in machine looked at our final destination DSM and said “I don’t know that one.”)
We had a last walk around Ginza and the Tsukiji Fish Market this morning and had enough time to take the bus rather than the Narita Express train from Tokyo Station. (The bus was 1000 yen/$10 – one third the price of the train and took about a half hour longer. The bus turned out to be faster than advertised (1 hour 15 minutes, with no traffic issues) and in some ways easier than the train. We just stood in line and paid the driver, rather than having to figure out the machines for the train track and navigate Tokyo station in search of our track.
We had four hours to kill at Narita and started by visiting Sushi Go Round, a conveyor belt restaurant where we scarfed down some more tuna shashimi and fried chicken. Nearby is an outdoor observation deck where you can watch the plans come and go so we trudged around in the heat and humidity briefly. Then time to try to spend as much of our yen as possible. We never did find the wasabi Kit Kats we saw in the Yamanashi bus station so settled for green tea Kit Kats and Oreo cookies to give as gifts.
Last night, I met a nice Japanese woman in the bath who was traveling with an American woman from Maine – both are involved in organizing an Andrew Wyeth exhibit. That was fun. Now starting to board. Goodbye Japan. Great trip!!!