Time to go homeAugust 19, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C
Today we were heading home but the flight wasn't until 10pm so we still had a bit of time. We decided to have a look at some of the shops in Tokyo as we still had some Yen to spend which wasn't going to be much use once we were back in Sydney.
We have found the shopping in Japan to be about on par with Sydney shopping in terms of prices. All the big brands are here including some I had never heard of so the range is better but it is not what you would call cheap. Even for electronics it wasn't outstanding.
That said we were more interested in Japanese stuff like ceramics and antiques. T had heard of an interesting place to shop called Kappabashi Street so we headed off on the Ueno train to check it out.
Like I said on our first day we bought Suica cards to use on the non-JR lines in the subway. These are the rechargeable cards that you use to pay your fare except mine had run out. I had to visit one of the rather scary looking vending machines to recharge it with a few hundred yen. Trouble was T had gone through first so she was stuck on one side of the barrier and me on the other. Not to worry the recharge process was actually pretty quick and easy and we were reunited soon after.
Like any city certain suburbs are known for certain things like Ginza was the high-end shops whereas Kappabashi Street has all the ceramics and cooking items. It was interesting to look around. There were shops selling Japanese plates, cups, vases, etc others selling the plastic models of food, others selling pots and pans, and others selling antiques. A real mix.
We wandered around for a bit, offloaded a few yen and headed back to the station. It was getting really hot and humid so we checked out the area around Ueno Station and found a nice park with a couple of drink vending machines so we sat and people-watched for a while.
We then headed back to Shinjuku as it is rated as one of the best shopping districts in Tokyo. Once you get past the seedy sections there are some very large department stores like Isetan and Lumine which had huge food-halls in the basement and these were interesting places to look around and see what you could find. They sell everything like dumplings, tea, sake, sweets, cakes, bento boxes (small box with different types of Japapnese food), fruit, and loads more.
Eventually it was time to collect the bags and head towards Haneda Airport. One last journey on the Tokyo subway using 3 trains - Shinjuku to Kanda, Kanda to Hamamatsucho, and Hamamatsucho on the monorail to Haneda. One last work out for the Japan Rail Pass! The
monorail is amazing as it flies along and goes out over water for long stretches.
The nine and a half hour flight home was direct by Qantas, a pretty good flight on a 747-400 except it was obviously a pretty old plane. It's nice to be finally back to some cooler weather.
Overall it was an excellent holiday. The best bits for me were the food, the culture, the trains, and the people. My favourite places would be Hiroshima and Kyoto. It is worth doing a your home work before you go to make sure you have some idea of what to expect (like navigating the subway) but overall it was pretty simple. Would definitely go back again.
So thanks for reading and until next time - Sayonara!Read more