Day 12 - Returning to Tokyo
The morning after the night before and I wasn't feeling to bad at all, my wife on the other hand was suffering with a terrible hangover. We checked out of the hotel and made our way to the station, we had a bullet train to catch back to Tokyo. My wife was feeling even worse when we arrived back at the station, a salt and fruit drink seemed to be the best plan. This drink had a similar effect to drinking boiled water with a spoonful each of salt and sugar, it works wonders at re-hydrating you after a night out on the booze.
I really fancied a mug of hot coffee but the nearest thing I could find on the platform was a chilled milk and coffee from the vending machine. A decent sized bottle and it certainly hit the spot!
My wife ate a plain ham roll to settle her stomach but wasn't feeling in the mood for food. I was though and I thoroughly enjoyed this ham and egg sandwich, really fresh and as always in Japan with crusts cut off.
With a while yet till the train was due I returned to the vending machine and chose the most mysterious drink I could see. Only 100ml but an amazing fizzy fruit vitamin D drink, I felt fresh as a daisy shortly after drinking this!
I picked up something else to eat on the journey and we boarded the bullet train for the last time. The final leg of our trip was four nights in Tokyo, we were going to be returning to the same guesthouse in Koenji where we had started our trip.
No sooner had the train pulled out of Osaka and I opened up my small ekiben box. It cost just over £2 and contained 3 large rice snacks, tempura prawns, a chicken ball, egg and some ginger.
The rice snacks covered in seaweed each contained a hidden filling, this one was salmon.
This particular bullet train didn't have smoking carriages but instead smoking booths. Quite claustrophobic inside and very smelly with a selection of tobacco adverts displayed on the walls. I popped in briefly with my e cigarette but didn't stay for long. Something else I spotted was a men's urinal, I hadn't come across that on a train before!
We really should have remembered to bring some drinks on the journey, after 2 hours we were really thirsty. Finally a trolley arrived selling drinks, I had an iced coffee with sugar syrup and milk, ice cubes made it even more refreshing.
We also bought a tube of chip star crisps and a selection of sweet biscuits. The picture on the tube of crisps reminded me we would soon be passing Mt Fuji.
Back in the smoking room I looked outside and noticed we were passing Mt Fuji again, it was even clearer than it had been when we passed it last week.
By the time we had reached the guest house my wife was feeling much better so time for more food! These almond crunch Pocky were the best ones we had tried so far.
Another packet of sandwiches, two were quite bland but the one on the right was a pretty tasty prawn in breadcrumbs.
The sandwiches here are incredicly neat and tidy!
We ate a boiled egg and decided to head out to Shibuya, we wanted to witness the famous crossing.
Armed with a bottle of steamed five berry juice we boarded the train.
The buildings surrounding the crossing are covered in huge video screens.
We stopped for a coffee at the worlds busiest Starbucks, it offers an excellent view of the crossing. The window looking down onto the crossing has hoards of people pointing their cameras down waiting for the green man to appear.
As soon as the green man appears the road becomes a sea of people, all crossing in different directions.
We walked around Shinbuya and spotted these amazing cheese cakes in the window, they had run out of small ones though and we resisted the urge to buy a large one.
This was one of the strangest things I saw in Japan. Eight cats sitting still in a pushchair, I looked it up when I got home and found this article.
Before leaving Shibuya I tried a fruit mix for the afternoon, clearly a very nice evening drink too.
Back in Koenji we decided to eat at a place we had previously visited as we remembered the food looking good. We loved plum wine so decided to have some mixed with soda and ice, some edamame beans also arrived.
We ordered some food and watched the flames from the wok rearing up beyond the plates in front of us.
I chose Japanese noodles in a tomato sauce. A really nice combination of noodles, chicken and vegetables served with ginger and topped with seaweed.
My wife chose stir fried vegetables with noodles, it contained meat as well though which is often the case when you think you are ordering a vegetarian dish in Japan. My wife managed quite nicely with her chopsticks but tonight I was struggling..
Luckily the waiter saw me struggling and brought me a plastic fork.
We also ordered some chips, not as nice as the ones served at Grosvenor chippy in Norwich but not too bad at all.
Back at the guesthouse we enjoyed a cup of tea and some nut and caramel clusters coated in chocolate, these were really nice.
The memo on the guesthouse toilet wall ensured we all felt great!
Coming soon - Day 13
Fat toast, fast rollercoasters and Tokyo Bay
Fat toast, fast rollercoasters and Tokyo Bay