Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Home Sweet Home


After much packing, many farewells, a taxi ride, an express train, two flights and 4 movies, I made it back to bonnie Scotland! Even though I've been home since Sunday night, it still feels really strange not to hear cicadas screeching or see any Japanese people walking about... It's also absolutely freezing.

Anyway, it's been a while since I updated this blog, so let me give you a quick rundown of what I got up to during my last week in Tokyo. I went out for dinner with two of the interns from last year, their family and friends and my guarantor on Wednesday night, which was lovely. But it meant I had to start saying goodbye to people and think about going home, which I didn't want to do! On Thursday and Friday I was with the Japanese sakes desk - these guys sell european products to Japanese clients. On Thursday night, I headed out for a do-it-yourself BBQ dinner at the Sheraton Miyako Hotel with the CDS desk. This was very delicious and, of course, the evening was finished off by heading out for some karaoke - my last time! :(

My last day at work was no different from any other. At the end of the day, I handed out some wee presents that I had brought from home to all the people I had worked with - the Old Course golf balls were definitely the most popular!

I spent my last day in Tokyo picking up some last minute souvenirs, visiting some new areas and revisiting some of my favourite haunts. After doing some final packing, I headed over to Asakusa to grab a few bits and bobs from the many stalls and shops, and also to sample some green tea ice cream (a bit weird, but tasty). I then walked west, towards Kappabashi Dori. This street has become Tokyo's 'kitchenware district' and also an unconventional (yet quite popular) tourist attraction. The entrance to one end of the street is marked by this giant chef and building with huge teacups:

All of the shops specialise in a particular part of the catering industry - some sell shops signs and lanterns, others are filled with different utensils and pots, and many have every type of meal for sale in plastic model form. If you ever wanted to open a restaurant and were starting from scratch, this is the street to come to.

I then walked over to Ueno and hopped on the train to Harajuku. I spent the rest of the day wandering in and out of shops and watching the outlandishly-dressed Harajuku boys and girls, before winding my way towards Shibuya, where I grabbed some cha-shu ramen and then hit Shibuya 109 for the last time... I spent far too long in there, soaking it all in and eyeing up the latest trends before getting the undergound train home and trying to catch an early night's sleep.

It was pretty much a perfect way to end my two-month stay in the city that really never sleeps.

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