I guess another benefit of all the downtime yesterday was that I was essentially all packed. The first item of business for this morning was to run to the post office to mail my package of souvenirs and toys. It ended up being another ¥5,000 (yikes!) so I also took one last ATM withdrawal from the Post Office ATM since they don’t take credit cards. It also allowed me to go down to a local Sunkus convini and buy a ¥10,000 NetCash card—something I can’t get in the states and that I have to have to buy things on Japanese websites sometimes.
There ended up being a couple hours to spare, so I took the train into Shinjuku and explored the area and visited the huge Takashimaya/Tokyo Hands store there. I also stocked up on several N Gauge model train magazines that I hadn’t found (lucky!) and bought the last missing volume of Rough (ラーフ), a manga about Diving by the same author of Touch (about baseball). Just what I need, right? More manga. But I already had the first 5 volumes (bought used this trip) and the sixth volume is the last one and necessary to complete the 6-section illustration on the book spines!
Back at Nakano, I put the finishing touches on my packing then Makoto-san helped me back to Shinjuku to catch the Narita Express. It’s always kind of sad and even a little surreal to leave and have to go home. I really need to come and live her for a year or more, I think…
Right now I’m at the Narita airport waiting to board my 5:30 PM flight. I had one last delicious Tonkatsu lunch at a restaurant here and bought two last books at a bookstore (actual novels this time—the two volumes of Dive! about diving and a recent movie here that I wanted to see but ran out of time). The funny thing about going home is that I’m actually going to arrive in LA before I left (11:30 AM on July 29 PDT).
So there we have it. Doug’s Japanese Tour ’08 is at its end. Expect a couple more entries here as I wrap up my impressions and thoughts of my time here and work my way through the inevitable funk I’ll experience for a week or two.