Date of Travel: 08/03/2012
Today marks the final day we were spending in Japan. I started it off by giving my father a call to let him know our plans for the rest of the day. He did ask me if I thought I had planned the length of the trip well and whether I thought it was about time to come home. Thinking back on what we had accomplished over the whole trip, and everything else which we had not yet done, I replied that I wished it would go on for a few more weeks, but yes it was about time to return home. We checked out of our room left our luggage in the storage room before heading out on our final adventure of our Japan trip.
We started off the morning like we did over 30 times during this trip – by going to a convenience store to pick up some breakfast. I bought takoyaki for a change. Looking back on it now, it was strange that I haven’t actually bought takoyaki much during this trip considering it is one of my favourite Japanese food. We caught a train and headed over to Ikebukuro to find Sunshine City. Sunshine City is very similar to Canal City in Fukuoka, in that it contains a large mall, and also living quarters and hotels. Its general idea is that it is a city within a city. But we weren’t here for shopping. No, we were here for Namjatown.
Namjatown is an indoor theme park owned by Namco Limited, a Japanese corporation famous for games such as Pac-Man, Tower of Druaga, Bubble Trouble, Tekken, Time Crisis, Soulcalibur, and last but not least the hugely popular The Idolmaster. The main reason we came was to try out some extremely strange ice cream flavours. A quick search on Youtube will show examples of people going there to torture themselves on the strangest flavours imaginable, such as squid, octopus, ramen, ox tongue, and many more. The two most notable videos of this place are from from Tokyocooney and Rodgerswan (who tragically passed away a few years back). The ice creams are located in a section of the theme park called “Ice Cream City”, which features many other types of deserts and normal flavoured ice cream other than those strange ones mentioned above.
We decided to challenge ourselves and buy two different flavours each. I bought squid and curry, Brownie bought plum wine and ox tongue, while Jay-C bought eel and tulip. I must say, the ice cream was not as foul as some of the previous videos made it seem. The squid flavour was not strong initially, as it was only the aftertaste that you could really taste it, though the small bits of squid in the ice cream was strange. The curry flavour just tasted like normal curry, except cold and hard. We also tried each other’s flavours too. None of them were really that bad actually. Brownie did not like the ox tongue flavour though due to there being strange pieces of meat in there.
After having such strange tasting ice cream, I decided to buy myself a normal type of ice cream with fresh strawberries and bananas mixed in with vanilla ice cream. Definitely helped kill off most of the horrible aftertaste left in my mouth! We then explored other areas of Namja Town. There was an arcade and some small attractions, but the biggest highlight has to be the “haunted” area. Okay, this place was not that scary, but the atmosphere here was great. There were windows with moving handprints on them, ghost cat lanterns, the bones of a trapped man, and many more. It was definitely more impressive than that Room of Living Dolls ride we had back in Osaka! After exploring, we headed back to the train station, and made a return trip to Odaiba.
Why were we heading to Odaiba you asked? It was because Brownie and Jay-C loved Miraikan so much that they requested to go back and finish exploring the place, and so we did. It was good having a chance to see some of the exhibits I did not manage to see the previous day, but part of me wondered whether it was opportunity lost that we did not go see something new. To add insult to injury, I was still unable to finish exploring the place! On the other hand, since we knew how long it took to travel from Miraikan back to the hostel, and that we were on a tight schedule (we don’t want to miss our international flights do we?), it was probably a better option than stressing out over going somewhere new. We did once again stop by Akihabara on the way back as Brownie was still looking for the ship model. But once again, the store he wanted to go to was closed! I took the opportunity to be a nerd for one final time on this Japan trip and do some last minute shopping.
We headed back to the hostel and picked up our luggage. We bid the place farewell, and slowly headed towards the Uguisudani train station. We then transferred at Nippori station to catch the train to Narita Airport. While standing at the platform, I reflected upon all the things we had gotten up to during the trip. I was proud of what we had done, and really treasured the time we had spent. Our train trip to Narita Airport was not smooth though, as we were stuck in a carriage with a crying baby that really gave all of us a headache! Once we got to Narita Airport, we checked in our luggage and picked up our air tickets. It was that time that we turned to each other, gave each other high fives, and congratulated ourselves for surviving and reaching Narita Airport in once piece.
There was still plenty of time before our flight, and we were quite hungry from having an early lunch. We proceeded to find a place in the airport for dinner. We did originally thought that any meal would do, then decided that since it was our last meal in Japan on this trip, we should go for Japanese one last time. After dinner, we contacted our friends we visited from around Japan, and thanked them for going out of their way and spending time with us. I then stopped by a bookstore and bought some additional manga in an attempt to get rid of as many 1 yen coins as possible.
A few minutes later, it was time to board the plane. As there was hardly anyone on the flight due to it being a late night flight, we all had a row of seats to ourselves. Soon after, the plane took off. And just like that, our Japan trip had come to an end. While we were feeling a bit of sadness, our trip was not over yet! We still had 3 days to spend in Singapore before finally going back home.
Train from Uguisudani to Ikebukuro – 160 yen
Train from Ikebukuro to Funenokagakukan – 560 yen
Train from Funenokagakukan to Akihabara – 520 yen
Train from Akihabara to Uguisudani – 130 yen
Train from Uguisudani to Narita Airport – 1,130 yen
N/A […catching a flight out of Tokyo T_T…]
Breakfast and lunch from convenience store – 1,187 yen [tea, takoyaki, double coronet, onigiri, chocolate croissant, teriyaki burger, apple pie]
Ice cream at Sunshine City – 1,250 yen [squid and curry flavoured, strawberry and banana]
Dinner at Keisei Yuzen @ Narita Airport – 1,930 yen [sirloin steak and drink]
TOTAL (cost for whole trip in brackets)
10,832 yen (634,872 yen total)
Total Cost of Tokyo leg (excluding the day which friend’s mum paid for everything)
97,547 yen (19,509 yen per day)*
Note – as we were nearing end of trip, I started spending more than I usually would. If excluding gifts from Asakusa and anime/manga goods, this would be just 7,374 yen
Average per day (excluding international flights)
13,112 yen [11,556 yen excluding the shopping spree in Tokyo]