Japan Travel Diary part 11
Finally, this is the last part of my Japan 2015 travel dairy! It only took me almost all of a year to write up… Just in time mind you, considering that I have another holiday at the start of next year.
We flew back to Tokyo early in the morning for a whole day of shopping and more shopping.
I started the day, exhausted with a parfait from Denny’s in Ikebukuro before heading straight off to Harajuku for some bargains.
I picked up some great pieces from Closet Child, which have since become staples in my wardrobe. We then meandered along cat street, stopping at La Fee Delice for lunch. La Fee Delice strays away from the typical Japanese style Harajuku crepe and instead serves French style galettes, which to be honest I prefer over Japanese crepes. The savory egg and ham galette was perfectly cheesy and surprisingly filling. Luckily, I had just enough stomach space left for a caramel crepe.
We continued shopping all the way to shimokitazawa. Last time I visited I had been pretty impressed at the selection at Grand Bazaar, but unfortunately this time I didn’t see anything that caught my eye. Instead I was content to just wander and soak up the hipster-ish atmosphere and pick up some coffee from the legendary bear pond coffee, with its slightly surly staff.
Finally, shopped out for the day (with my funds running at an all time low…) we returned to Ikebukuro via Shinjuku. One of my greatest regrets from this trip is not picking up a cute red Mary Magdalene coat that I saw at the Shinjuku Closet Child. I’m still grieving over it now.
Moving on from that, the cold weather and all the walking had made us peckish again. This Shabu shabu warmed me down to my toes!
Tokyo and Yokohama
Surprise, surprise, we started the day with another round of shopping. However, this time we went looking for gifts for other people in Ikebukuro. Sadly we just came away empty handed after playing around in the costume section of Tokyu Hands for a little too long to be self respecting adults.
As fans of the manga Honey and Clover, Yokohama holds a special place in our hearts. Also, as the title of this blog alludes to, I’m really fond of Ferris wheels. There’s just something special about those stupidly giant wheels, and the time that you spend on them, slowly watching the changing scenery. So for our last night in Japan decided to splash out a little and stay somewhere a little bit fancy, in a hotel overlooking Minato Mirai and hopefully the Cosmo Clock Ferris wheel.
When we arrived we couldn’t check in just yet, so we left our bags in the hotel and returned to the main Yokohama station area to continue my shopping spree. Unfortunately the Yokohama closet child was really… underwhelming and although there were some sales on at the lolita stores in Vivre department store, I was fairly conscious of my lack of funds and luggage space and elected to just pick up some socks and go for some ramen at the famous ichiran.
Once again, we spent a little too long shopping and only got back to our hotel in the evening. Sadly, we couldn’t see the bay from our hotel room, but the view was still pretty stunning. Although there were some difficulties we rode the wheel and went to a random sushi train for dinner. For some weird reason I was starving again, but luckily this meal ended up being pretty cheap despite the luxurious items we ordered.
Luckily, or unluckily, I’m not sure, Ryan also enjoys Ferris wheels and the Cosmo Clock in particular. So off we went at almost midnight, to take photos of the wheel on the bay, just as it struck 0:00. This is also when we learnt that shortly after midnight the lights of the Cosmo Clock turn off, so we were left with a very dreary and dark city scape in the cold. I tried to deal with the blistering wind for as long as possible, but before too long we were rushing into the nearest conbini and then back to the hotel for some much needed warmth and cake.
Day 20 (final)
I woke up in the early hours of the day and I don’t think I’ll ever forget the sunrise over the bay. It felt so serene and peaceful, watching the slightly orange glow of the sun slowly creep over the city skyline onto the almost empty streets.
We took the train back to Narita airport, and reluctantly said goodbye to Japan.
On the way back from Hokkaido we flew with ANA’s Experience Japan Deal. (https://www.ana-cooljapan.com/ejf/ ) If you’re a foreigner flying into Japan, this lets you fly anywhere within Japan for 10,800 yen. This is really useful during peak times, as even more budge airlines like Jetstar and Vanilla air can get pretty expensive when there’s a big event like the Snow Festival.
We stayed in Yokohama Royal park hotel (http://www.yrph.com/index.html). This was definitely the most traditional Western hotel that we stayed in during the trip. As expected it was spacious and had that feeling of old world luxury. If you see a special for it I would definitely recommend staying for at least a night.
And that’s the end! Thanks so much for reading about this trip. Going through all the old photos made me want to revisit Japan but I have other new and exciting plans for 2016 that I hope to be able to share with you soon.
To be honest, I feel pretty happy about being able to actually finally finish this blog series and I really hope that in the future I’ll be able to update much more often. I hope you’re all having a happy holidays!!