Saturday, July 03, 2010

Japan/SoKor Day 26: And that's a wrap! Back home to SF

January 5, 2010
Japan/SoKor Day 26: And that's a wrap! Back home to SF

Back home today!! Crazy!!

I got up and they had mentioned to me that breakfast would be at 9-ish. At precisely 9:10, I heard a knock on the door: "Bah-rek-a-fahhst, Pah-reeze-ah!" When I got down there, there was a name tag for me and (thank goodness), they had already opened my bowl of miso soup for me. I packed up my stuff, took a quick video of the room, and checked out. I asked at the front desk if they had a taxi to the station. The guy looked confused and said, "Uhhhh...."?! Haha, so I decided to walk instead.

The train was super quick. Once I got to the station and jumped on the train, I zoomed to the airport in only 8 minutes. I dropped off my bag and didn't see any crazy checkin requirements that I thought there might be given some security issue a week or so before (I think it was in England or something), so I thought they were going to be nuts abut security, but it was actually fine. I got to the airport like 5 hours early just to be safe, and it turns out that security was quick so I had lots of time for shopping! I had actually planned to leave a lot of extra shopping for the airport because I knew they'd have a lot of stuff I wanted to buy, as well as the benefit of buying stuff at the airport and not having to schlep it around for 3 weeks outweighed the amount of selection at other stores along the trip. :)

I got lots of cool stuff: Gigi the cat in a holder from the Miyazaki movie "Kiki's Delivery Service", a cellphone Totoro keychain, Ponyo, a really awesome Sake bottle and cups, an awesome Yukata robe, Uni Qlo slippers to match the plaid shirt I bought in Ginza, a Wall-E Japanese Story book, 2 big boxes of mixed cookies and rice balls, and some other cool stuff.

There were some great massage chairs and I hit that up for a while too. Another amazing airport!! I ended up shopping so much that I didn't bother with food until I got to my gate, and McDonald's was the only option so I had another chance to get the Teriyaki McBurger "seto" ("set" or "extra value meal") with "Qoo" white grape juice!! So many awesome things here! I finished my journal writing and then had an early boarding which was nice.

What an AMAZING trip. I can't wait to look through all my photos and write up my journal!

The sign for my room at Wakamatsu Honten Ryokan. I think this was the only one in English :)

Workers at a sushi restaurant preparing fish for the day in Narita City

Ahhhhhh!!! Back home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I managed to get a bit of a cold over the last few days of the trip, so first things first: chicken soup, orange juice and some halls!

Then my backpack took the liberty of making itself feel at home

Here come photos of all the souvenirs and gifts!! This was the awesome Namitatsu "No wave, No life" sweatshirt I got in Fukuoka/Hakata at the Namitatsu Okinawa clothing store.

Their trademark is to have iconic Japanese cultural icons (eg Samurais) riding the waves on a surfboard

Lots of cool books - the guide to the Ghibli museum, a book about the Pixar exhibit at the Ghibli museum, the guide from the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Seoul Museum of Art, and The Art of Totoro, my favourite Miyazaki movie

Lots of Narita airport purchases here! Sake bottle, assorted Japan sweets to share with friends at work, a yukata robe with Koi fish on it, a Toroto hanging keychain, Green Tea Kit Kats, Ginger Ale Kit Kats, Royal Milk Tea Kit Kats, Chocolate Strawberry Hi-Chews, and some purple Uni Qlo slippers that exactly match the plaid shirt I bought there!

Lots of gifts: headbands (they say "Kamikaze!" and "Number One"), an anime book for Kurt and for Alex, a Wall-E book (in Japanese!) for me, Gigi the cat from Miyazaki's movie "Kiki's Delivery Service", handkerchiefs and table decorations

Gigi the cat

Nekobasu!!!!!!! The cat bus for Matt :)


As is usually the case with Japanese things, something cute (Mei from "My Neighbour Totoro") is made even cuter by putting it in a costume with a hood of another animal on it (in this case, the Cat bus?!!!) Such a weird item, but I loved it.

Siggraph stuff: T-shirts from Siggraph Asia, Lightsaber chopsticks!

A model of a Shinkansen train

Awesome little Totoro and Catbus model with the farm house from "My Neighbour Totoro" - love the roof!

Little Totoro keychains

SCAD Hong Kong shirts from Siggraph, Kiki's Delivery Service towels, other stuff from Siggraph

A crazy "Engrish" t-shirt I bought in Osaka. I have no idea what it says or what it means!

Seoul Museum of Art calendar, and two sets of placemats with chopsticks and spoons

Totoro Bento Box for Matt

Buddhist Temple gifts, bracelets, lotus flower wall hangings, cool placemats

Art scroll from Insadong, South Korea

Toy Store 3 ad from the Disney Store in Japan

Cars shaped like Pixar characters from the Disney Store in Japan

The cat with a towel for a face, the mascot for the onsen in Hakone

Crazy stickers from Korea, and weird ads from Shibuya

This is what our receipt came in from the crazy "Alcatraz E.R." restaurant in Shibuya. It is supposed to be the kind of envelope that a pill prescription might come in

Totally crazy ads that girls were giving out on the street in Shibuya and Akihabara, advertising "Maid Cafes"

Crazy "Engrish stickers" from Suncheon, South Korea 1

Crazy "Engrish stickers" from Suncheon, South Korea 2

Crazy "Engrish stickers" from Suncheon, South Korea 3

Crazy "Engrish stickers" from Suncheon, South Korea 4

Crazy "Engrish stickers" from Suncheon, South Korea 5

Crazy "Engrish stickers" from Suncheon, South Korea 6

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