It was our last day in Japan. Although our flight was still at around 7 pm, we didn’t want to be running around Tokyo, trying to cross off things we didn’t get to do in my almost-forgotten itinerary. Like the day before, we just wanted to take it easy. Since we hadn’t explored the side of Sumida Park near our hostel, we decided it would be a good idea to go there and cap off our trip during sakura season with a last round of cherry blossom viewing.
We walked to the riverside park, where the cherry-tree lined pathway already had food stalls, low makeshift tables and mats set up (no blue sheets for this crowd) and families starting their hanami. Those who were not lucky enough to get those prime spots, contented themselves with eating their lunch overlooking the river. We followed suit after buying some yakitori, chicken karaage and yakisoba, which were all sooooo good. My mouth waters just looking at the pictures again. (Now that I think about it, it should be part of My top 10 Japanese eats; maybe dislodge number 9 or 10).
While we feasted on our humble hanami spread, we watched Sumida River cruises filled with tourists pass by, a yacht with a family having their own (I imagine, not so humble) feast, and—the surreal sight for the day—an airship gliding across the sky.
When it was time to leave for the airport, we decided to take the train instead of the limousine bus, which we took to get to Tokyo from Narita. Aside from the train being cheaper (we wanted to hold on to our few thousand yens in case we had to pay for some unexpected fee somewhere), it was a chance to see a different route, a different scenery. Though it passed through lot of nondescript neighborhoods, highways and fields, there were also places that stood out—a field with a windmill, a group of kids playing baseball, and a rustic train station, with a brown picket fence called Osakura. The place looked like a small town and I wanted to go down and explore it. Maybe next time.
By then, I was actually looking forward to heading home. To the sunny weather of Manila. To wearing shorts and a T-shirt and still feeling warm. To eating tapsilog, kare-kare, inihaw na liempo, Chickenjoy, and fruits. Lots of fresh fruits. To seeing my mom, my sister and my brother. And I knew, eventually, to miss Japan.
Yay, Japan! Day 1: Bright lights, big city, big appetite
Tokyo, Day 2: Sushi, sakura and Shibuya
Tokyo, Day 3: Drunk on anime, art and a killer view
Tokyo, Day 4: Akihabara, geek heaven
Tokyo to Kyoto, Day 5: In slumber and snow (and a bullet train in between)
Kyoto, Day 6: “The Japan of your imagination” (plus, lots of tourists)
Kyoto, Day 7: In its kitchen, alleys, and castle (and another temple)
Kyoto to Tokyo, Day 8: A few days before going home
Tokyo, Day 9: The day we didn’t go to Ghibli Museum