Saturday, February 25, 2017

Tokyo Adventure IV- Day #8: Ginza, Sengaku-ji, Roppongi, and Haneda Airport

Finally got some rest yesterday, so I'm finally ready to finish up my Tokyo Adventure posts. I see that there's quite a few photos (again) considering it was our last day, so I'm going to break it into two posts as I did earlier.   That way, if you aren't interested in the animal cafe stuff, you can skip the 2nd post.

Our last morning was rather busy.  We had to finish packing and had to clean up the apartment. We always reserve the room for the entire day that we leave so that we won't have to worry about checking out and having to store our luggage somewhere before our flight.  Our flights are always overnight, so we have a good portion of the day to still do last minute stuff.

As stated earlier, I skipped updating my blog on the last day so that we could get the necessary stuff done.  Paul and I headed to 7-11 for our last breakfast in Tokyo.  I also had to get some omiyage for my mom, who fell in love with 7-11's raisin bread roll. I told her I'd try to bring some back for her, so I was able to get her 3.  She said that she tried to look for it everywhere when she got back, but none of the bakeries came close to 7-11's.  LOL!

We also headed to Family Mart to get a couple more bags of that ono shoyu butter chips.  We also saw the layered cake again, so I grabbed one last one for Grandma and Akemi.

Randy invited us to lunch again.. this time in Ginza.  We didn't have too much planned, so we decided to meet up with him again.  We headed to Ginza early so that I could squeeze in one last visit to Don K.  I forgot someone I had to buy omiyage for, so I wanted to make sure to get them something that morning.  After getting my last minute goodies, we headed to the main part of Ginza.  None of us were interested in any of the other stores in that area, so we decided to wait for Randy at a nearby cafe.

We met Randy for an early lunch at Shabusen located at the Ginza Core building.  Its located on the B2 level near the escalator going up.  We were excited to eat Shabu Shabu this time!

Randy had gone in before us and got us seats.  Little did we know that he already ordered for us all the wagyu lunch set.  OMG, it was my favorite meal on this trip!!

OK don't tell Randy, but I think this first course was my favorite part of the meal!  If you know me, I'm not that adventurous when it comes to food.  I stick with what I know and I didnt know what this was.  Randy told us it was tofu with asparagus on the bottom.  It was the creamiest tofu you ever ate!  It reminded me of a custard and the mayo on top made it even tastier! I should've taken Akemi's one instead of giving it to Paul.  Stupid!

Next up was the wagyu beef.  You could also pick pork, or pork and beef, or beef sukiyaki.  Look at the marbling on the beef!  So thinly sliced.  An right behind it, we each had our own hot pot.

Along with the beef, you also get other goodies for your hotpot such as cabbage, mushrooms, tofu, seaweed and noodles.  They also gave us a side of rice.  Then they gave us two empty dishes for the dipping sauces.. one for ponzu sauce and the other for a sesame sauce. 

We were all seated at a shabu shabu bar and the workers are in the middle constantly serving you and cleaning up.

I guess I really liked it!!

Here's what it looked like from my view.  The Guy on the left middle was cutting the meat right in front of us.

See all the hot pots?  Everyone has their own.

The lunch set comes with sherbet. I'm pretty sure it was strawberry.  It was good.

While deciding which station to go to, Paul wanted to take a picture with the Nissan car...

 I told him I'd rather have this pink car...

 Who did we bump into at Nissan? Randy was there taking pictures of the race car too.  He took a picture of us by what he called "your next family car".  I think it was electric?  Not sure. 

Then we really parted ways.  So nice to see friends in Tokyo!  He always hooks us up with the best food.  AND this time we broke the earthquake curse!  Phew!  Mahalo Gozaimasu Randy for your hospitality!

After we left Ginza, we headed to Sengaku-ji.  Grandma really wanted to go to the shrine for the 47 Ronin that was based on the movie.  I think this statue was of the leader of the 47 Ronin. 

This was inside the lord's "estate".  Man, that was a huge piece of property.

They had some ume trees planted there.  Here's the bright pink one!

They decided to offer senko to each grave.  

While we were there, we met up with another Hawaii family visiting the shrine.  They told us their story of all their travel obstacles flying with two babies.  I give them credit.

Then we headed to nearby Roppongi.  Someone was tired on the subway...

Normally Roppongi is not my favorite place to visit in Tokyo. I've been there a couple of times, but there was a very specific reason for wanting to go this time...

I really wanted to play with a hedgehog!  I think there might be more hedgehog cafes, but this is the one that I kept seeing on the internet, and it had good reviews...  Harry.  Unfortunately, we didn't make reservations and there was a line.  We never made it to Harry, but I'll post about what we did end up doing and link it here.

After Roppongi, we headed back to our room to take a shower and finish packing.   Then we locked up and headed to the airport early.  Paul was a little nervous on which route we should take back to the airport.  Although we were on the Yamanote line, he also considered taking the subway cause we had good luck with crowds all day.  He decided to go on the more direct route instead and we got pretty lucky.  He led us to one of the cars on the end of the line, which seemed to be less crowded.  Thank goodness!  We were able to get seats together (except Paul who sat across from us).  Above us was a railing where you could store your bags, so we used that too since we had a bag and backpack each.  Paul was a trooper carrying the largest and heaviest bag.  We laughed cause at first no one wanted to sit by him.  I don't blame them.  This photo always makes me laugh!!

We made it to the monorail and then to the airport without any issues.  Yay!  Then we split up and did errands like returning our train passes to get a refund, picking up our luggage at storage, and going to the restroom.  I'm glad we left for the airport early.  In the middle of the airport was a girl's day display.

After we checked in, we went to find some food.  We finally settled on one that had a variety of dishes we could pick from.  Grandma and I had oyako donburi. 

Paul had negi-toro chirashi.  And Akemi had cold noodles with tempura.  

We were worried that we wouldn't have enough time to eat, but somehow they got us our food really fast!  I guess they know everyone is on a time schedule.  Then we went through security, which was pretty fast.  No lines like back home.  After we all got through, I got distracted by a shop.  I parted from the group to do a last minute purchase before getting on the plane.  Unfortunately, I didn't see one thing that I was hoping to get from the airport, but I guess that's my fault.  Booooo.

I made it just in time to meet up with the group.

Then we were finally on the plane back to Hawaii.  Grandma splurged and got us extra comfort seats on the plane.  Can you tell I was really happy with the free goodie bag!  I know I'm a dork.

 So Akemi went to sleep before we even pulled away from the gate.  She was sleeping with her new snoopy pillow, so I told Paul to use her travel pillow.  He was hesitant and thought it wouldn't help.  Ummm... he fell asleep before we took off!  LOL!

After a 6 hour flight, we headed to customs, which was a horrible wait.  The last 3 times we went through immigration/customs, it didn't take that long.  This time there was a line for US citizens to then get to a machine.  Then you have to answer questions and have your photo taken (see Paul's one below), then go into another line and get questioned.  I think we took over an hour.  Note to self:  don't book inter-island so close to arrival time.  Plan for a long wait folks!  As you can tell, Paul was pretty irritated when he took his photo.  The lady called him on it and I thought she was going to detain him for being a trouble maker.  LOL!

After we passed through immigration, we had to get our bag and then go to customs.  They didn't even check anything- just drop off our bag for the next leg and turn in the photo slip before going to the inter-island terminal.  Geez.  Barley had enough time to get on our flight.

Finally made it on the plane!!  And I saw our luggage make its way to the plane.  Yay!!

Finally made it back to Hilo.  That was a whirlwind trip.  Had a lot of fun and got to do a lot of new things this time.  Can't wait for the next trip!

Thank you Tokyo!  Till next time... Ja Mata!

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