Big in Japan: Back to Tokyo

All good things come to an end they say. And sadly my trip had to finish as well. After super exhausting Mt. Fuji climb I had to take a few hours long ride back to Tokyo (on a suburban train) and urgently needed to take a shower. I decided to take that last day lightly. My legs were tired but surprisingly still able to carry me around!

Train towards Tokyo

After a long, cold and fulfilling shower I took a trip to Yoyogi park located in Shibuya district. It’s a rather splendid park in a very busy Shibuya district. One thing worth visiting there is Meiji Shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife. Unfortunately the site was undergoing some restoration work and I could not see a lot of it. But a walk in the park was exactly what I needed.

Meiji Shrine 2

One of the most famous places in Tokyo is located in this very district too. And chances are you would recognize it. Shibuya Crossing! It’s a big diagonal crossing with hundreds of ants people walking on every time a green light (for pedestrians) turns. It’s amazing how quickly people gather on both all ends every sequence.

Famous Shibuya Crossing

I believe it’s even more busy now due to tourists (like myself) trying to experience the walk so many people come here for the experience and add to the congestion! I did it back and forth couple of times myself! 🙂 Although at one time I wished I was driving them crazy mario carts instead! Oh Japanese… 🙂

Shibuya Crossing Mario Kart

As you can probably imagine, the same place is as busy at night. I believe the below picture was taken around 10 pm on Friday. It’s surprising how many office people (proper white collars) only finish work at that time. It’s part of Japanese culture one could write a book about. Work is a huge thing for Japanese and they work many, many extra hours every week. Even on Friday…

Shibuya Crossing at night

That’s pretty much the end of my trip. I had to catch the flight quite early next day so went to bed around midnight. I feared I would sleep in but fortunately nothing like that happened. Something else happened instead though…!

Tokyo Narita Border Control

This wouldn’t be a grand trip without a grand ending. So… I almost missed my flight back (again!)! As much as I loved Japan and wanted to stay , work back home awaited. I usually allow myself to arrive at the airport 2 hours before the flight departure. But that will have to change I think. 2h is just not enough! The chances are I’m gonna miss a flight one day. This time not only I missed the train to the airport from Shinjuku Station and had to wait another 40 minutes for the next one (2h -> 1h 20 mins), but also the next train took 20 mins longer (1h20 mins suddenly became 1h). And 1h to do the check in, go through security and passport control is a no no! Mind you it was the total time before the departure and they tend to close the gates 20 minutes before that. LUCKILY I run like crazy right from the train to the check in point (4 floors up) to the security (1 floor down) to the passport control and eventually to the gate (yes, I have run between all them places) and the whole thing took me 17 minutes! Try that in any other major European airport! Thank you Japan for being so efficient. You have saved me £500. And thank you for giving me shed loads of absolutely good memories! 🙂 So I bid you goodbye and hope to get back someday… In the mean time… off to London…

London Canary Wharf

Thanks for reading. A small gallery below 🙂

 


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