Japan 2010: Days 13b and 14 (The Final Days)

On the evening of Day 13, I arrived back in Tokyo for my last evening in Japan before returning to Houston the next afternoon.

I didn't know the way back to Yamamoto's pad, so I had to have some guidance from him over the phone. While checking in with him from time to time, down the street I walked.

A most fantastic restaurant indeed!
(Note: It's named "Jonathan.")

Japan: Protecting the Earth with toiletbots.

And thus was I back at Yamamoto and M-Girl's place. I was pretty tired and just hung out for a while.

That evening, Yamamoto, M-Girl, and Shuu-san went and ate at the best restaurant in town: Jonathan. We went to the one that I passed on the way to Yamamoto's place. Jonathan is a pretty nice family restaurant. (It would be nicer if they let me eat for free.) This Jonathan is in Tokyo, so it's more vertical than horizontal, an interesting twist on my Jonathan's experience (which consists on the one that I used to visit with Mikawa Ossan back in day--and now neither the restaurant nor the Ossan are around anymore!).

Very nice just having dinner and chatting with these folks again.

After that, we returned to the apartment where, finally, I was initiated into Mahjongg, the "it" game for a while now out there. I've played a 3D one-person tile-matching version of Mahjongg and thought that I was at least half prepared for the game.

As Yamamoto made clear to me right off the bat: Wrong.

I was taught the game from scratch and it is indeed very different from what I was doing. (Reminds of me when I first got into go and thought that the way to win was capturing more stones than your opponent. Oops!) I think I've already forgotten some of the details (ごめん), but I'm sure they'll come back to me when I make it back.

Sometime in the evening, our Taiwanese friend Melody appeared. I haven't seen Melody in over two years now, but like I've said of so many people during this trip, she was the same as ever. It was ... reassuring in a way.

Throughout the evening, we had our friend Yo on Skype across the room, bantering with us as he (supposedly) worked. He was in the country working and was going to come say hi the next morning before I set sail, so to speak, but was unable to make it because he puts his clients before Me. Real cold, dude.・・・なんて。

We stayed up until around 2 AM. Melody and Shuu, who stayed over, were up talking the whole night apparently, though.

Which is why Shuu was dead to the world the next morning--Day 14, the final day-- when I set out to the station to catch the train back to Narita. Tsk tsk. Yamamoto, I think, was busy with work, so M-Girl and Melody escorted me to the station. I left my good friend Yamamoto with a promise to return again. (泊めさせてくれてありがとう!)

It was raining that morning, so we opted to hail a taxi to get us to the train station I'd first arrived in, Keisei Ueno.


 The press was there, undoubtedly to catch the final
glimpses of me before I left the country.

After purchasing my ticket and killing some time before my train was to depart, I said my goodbyes to Melody and M-Girl (さらば、マイ・フレンド!ありがとうね) and headed to my train.

So long, Tokyo!

I arrived at the airport just in the nick of time. This always seems to happen with my returns from Japan. (ほら!) I got checked in and took my seat on the plane. On this flight, I took an aisle seat for the first time but ended up kind of regretting it. Fortunately, there was a Japanese guy at the window seat who needed to get up and lot and asked if I wanted to switch. Score! The flights home were fine, though I was a bit annoyed at getting flagged for random searches at Narita and Detroit.

When I got home (around 5:30 PM), I was greeted by my mother and the fact that my luggage was not in Houston.


After some mild panicking, I discovered that it had been delayed by a day because I was supposed to have checked it again in Detroit. I hadn't heard that announcement. Since I experienced the loss of some items in a shipping accident when I first left the country, I was pretty concerned about my suitcase, which was to be delivered to me the next day, but it arrived quickly with everything intact. My thanks to Delta for that one.

And that brings my two-week trip back to Japan to a close. I had a fantastic time and, except for a couple of scheduling hiccups, everything went very well. I'll write another post about my thoughts regarding the trip and Japan soon, though. ("Soon.")

My thanks to everyone who made my trip a rousing success. I'm hoping that I can do another week or so next year too (hopefully with my mother), but we'll have to see if that works out.



LateNightMusician said...

Hi Jonathen...I came across your blog and was interested in your story. I'm a jazz musician in NYC but am fascinated by Japan and hope to return. I went there on a music tour many years ago and am hoping to connect with people involved/interested in Japanese life. Do you live in the US or Japan mostly?

Jonathan said...

Thanks for your comment, LateNightMusician. I can understand the allure of the place. I'm currently living in the U.S. and I'm not sure when I'll be able to return to Japan. I do intend to, though. Until that day, I'll have to be satisfied with trips like this one.