We have been on the road for a long time, and haven´t accumulated much more stuff, other than a huge cooler, a couple of bottles of wine, and some shells. And a fast-fading tan.
But we always knew we would want to shop for some crazy Japanese stuff, just to really decimate our budget before we come home. We wanted to buy some knives, those really sharp and amazing Japanese knives we have a couple of at home but wanted more – and the real sharpening tools you can only get here. We wanted to get crazy Japanese toys and kid´s stuff. And then while we have been here, the list has been growing: Japanese robes (called yukata), a Japanese water boiler, tiny stickers, kids socks, art/origami supplies, cute Japanese patterened fabrics, miso soup bowls…and the kicker, a Washlet – a Japanese heated toilet seat with bidet and bum spray functions.
Ok, are you done laughing? These functions are amazing. The first day in Tokyo, I tried the bum sprayer and I couldn’t stop laughing for about 5 minutes. It was just so…accurate! But soon, we were both looking forward to the next chance we could use them. Ok, maybe not “looking forward to”, but it added a nice finish to something otherwise rather unpleasant, or something. I am not explaining myself well. Anyway, we wanted to get one – you can buy just the seat cover, which connects to water and electricity for heat. I can´t believe 3 months ago I wanted to get a composting toilet and now here we are buying a super fancy toilet seat. BUT, the idea is that you use less toilet paper. We shall see.
Anyway, we spent the last days shopping. We went to Tokyu Hands, which is a crafting superstore. Seven floors of stationary, origami, kitchen stuff, fabrics (bad selection, but still), pet supplies, art supplies, and that kind of stuff. We stumbled upon a fabric store where I bought an embarrassing amount of cute Japanese (and some not even vaguely Japanese) prints and knits. Two of them were Mickey Mouse prints. Kiddo was ecstatic. We went to Akihabara, which is the electronics shopping area near Asakusa, and bought a toilet seat (not Toto brand, unfortunately, because they don’t have the right voltage), a water boiler, and two electric toothbrushes for Kiddo. (We have a minor/major problem with teeth brushing in our house, depending on who you ask. We bought one first and then we saw a Minnie Mouse one, so we had to get that one too.) Then we went to get miso soup bowls and a couple other things over on Kappabashi Dori, the kitchen street we already went to once. On our last day, we went to an amazing toy story called Hakuhinkan Toy Park in Ginza, which is a five story toy store with amazing selection of the most random Japanese toys, where we spent too much money and had a surprisingly nice time (not the usually stressful experience of Kiddo trying to throw stuff or grab it and so on). We also had to hit up Uniqlo once last time for clean socks and sweats and Muji for additional baggage (plus they have really cute and small markers and craft books – and I finally bought an aromatherapy diffuser – which I have wanted for years!). We looked like the craziest people on the last two days, carting around bags and bags and front carrying a slim but tall as crap two year old.
We failed a bit at eating good food. When we first arrived back in Tokyo, it had been a long day of train travel from Takayama, and Kiddo needed some hotel room time, and Hubby wasn´t feeling well, so we ended up grabbing a quick bite in the train station, and then the next night, Hubby wasn’t even hungry for dinner (poor guy!) so I just went to 7-11 for some ramen. I could have gone to the food court but I just couldn’t face the crowds and the lines. Lazy introvert! Although the last night, we ate great sushi at one of the best sushi places in Tokyo (someone told us this while we waited in line for 1.5 hours to get a table – they don’t take reservations). We had tuna sashimi and some nigiri and half a California roll, for good measure. It was a great way to close out the Japanese food experience.
The last night, we switched hotels from the Prince Sakura Tower for one night in the Imperial Hotel. We had to do it that way so we could store our luggage while we were choo-chooing around Japan on the Shinkansen. We couldn’t have carted around the cooler we hauled with us from Australia and the carseat. It would have been ridiculous! We could have dumped both of those things in Australia, but we decided we would stomach the extra storage costs while we were in Tioman and while we were exploring Japan by rail in order to keep the carseat – which Kiddo loves because it has a cow cover, and the cooler, which is a really nice one that you cant find in Norway. Anyway, my point is that, we stayed in a fancy hotel the last night. You might recall that we got a great deal on a room the first time we stayed there, in March, because Hubby is amazing and found out that you can get half off the room rates in March. Well, I guess we were their only repeat customers or something, because they upgraded us, for free, to a SUITE for our last night there. It was amazing. There was even a guest toilet. I felt like royalty. And most importantly, we had tons of space, enough that Hubby, the packmaster, could manage to fit all the crap we had bought into the bags while Kiddo and I could do something else (Kiddo is definitely in a “take everything out of where you put it” phase. As well as a “throwing things” phase).
All in all, the last days in Tokyo were a fun and fast closing to our time in Japan.