Monday, June 25, 2018

Japan: Tokyo PT. 2

After Odate, we went back to Tokyo for a few days before we flew out, which we did right before a TYPHOON which was so crazy and anxiety filled but it ended up all working out and I was so happy to be home and thankful to Singapore Air for getting us there (also there was news about the typhoon all over and I kept seeing the number five so I thought it was a category five typhoon but nah, typhoons are so common in Japan they don't name them, they just number them haha)
We don't have a ton of pictures from this part of the trip, mostly because we were so tired and it was also raining a lot so we didn't do very much. This was also the time where we all wanted to kill each other from being together for three weeks so.. things were a little rough, haha. But we got in to Tokyo and had a great airbnb (beds! we had beds! yay for no floor!) and went to get some yakiniku again, while I had a delightful second course of McDonalds because I was ready for no more rice. 
The next day Mark, his mom and I went to the place that David Chang from Momofuku and Ugly Delicious fame said was the best pizza in the world. You heard that right, the best pizza in the world and it's in Japan, so we had to go.


You guys, it was. It was the best pizza I have ever had, My perfect pizza. It makes me sad I have peaked so early in life and that I will have to go to Japan to get a pizza like this. It's for sure worth a stop if you are ever in Tokyo.
Immediately after pizza, Mark wanted to try another food place and since we didn't know when we were going to go back to Japan we decided to make room for a Delifucious fish sandwich. I lost nerve and couldn't make room, but Mark did and he 10/10 recommends this place as well.

After that, we met up with some friends and the rest of our family and went to a little cafe (lol) since none of the others had eaten. Again, I fell asleep on a table which really brought the whole trip full circle. We then went to a twelve story mall and bought a few more fun things. 
After a rest back at the airbnb we were all starving and exhausted so we just decided to wander the streets to find somewhere to eat. We stumbled into this ramen place and they made us order from a vending machine that gives you tickets, it was really confusing and we were all so hangry so it was not awesome. Once we did finally order we all calmed down, and I especially appreciated this little touch.

We were watching the guys make the ramen and they just seemed very tense and angry with each other and I was like, "oh they are having the night we are having." 
We all got our ramen and started eating it and it was soooo oishii (delicious) like my favorite ramen I have ever had. My FIL started talking to the chef guys and saying "this is so good, perfect last meal in Tokyo, thank you thank you" and the guys just started talking our ear off! We realized that they only get business men coming home from work who don't really talk, they just slurp their ramen and leave and these ramen boys might have been desperate for a little kindness and human interaction? Idk it was just a very heart touching experience for some reason. We for sure left them better than we found them, joking and getting along. It was good.

Because of weird travel plans and the typhoon messing evyerthing up, we had to check out of our airbnb at 11 but didnt fly out till 7:30 so we had a lot of time to kill in Tokyo with our luggage which was not ideal nor expected. Usually finding coin lockers is no problem but this time we couldn't find them, so we were in the rain and angry at each other, ready to go home, pissed we had our suitcases when we saw the warm glow of the golden arches and decided to head that way.  Lo and behold, there were coin lockers right by the McDonalds so we were able to lock our suitcases away, have one last teriyaki burger, and hide from the typhoon rain before catching our train to the airport.
Just a tip for anyone flying out of Japan, everything takes two seconds. I was PANICKED because my mother in law suggested that we go to eat at a restaurant in the airport an hour before we boarded the plane. We were literally not even through security yet. I was like "WE DO NOT HAVE TIME!" and she was like "trust me trust me" but I did not trust her and I was so stressed. When we finally did go through security and customs, it took less than ten minutes which apparently is very common.
We did some last duty free shopping (man they know how to GET YA) before boarding our flight.
If you remember, on the flight to Japan we were #blessed that no one sat next to us. As our flight was boarding, the person next to us just kept not coming. We couldn't believe we got lucky twice. It made the flight so much better. It turned out to be absolutely crucial because I got food poisoning about three hours into the flight! Puke for literally days, made the airport bathroom my new home, it was horrific. Also, shoutout to Singapore Airlines who SUCKED on the trip back. I thought they would be so helpful because on the way to Japan they took care of Mark so well, but they wouldn't even bring me water after I hurled my guts completely out. I feel like I was owed a free flight for making it in the toilet every time, so the least I deserved was a freaking water bottle refill. The flight went fast despite flying through a typhoon, puking out every organ I had, and generally being miserably tired. We also didn't have a day layover in L.A so that was really nice. I felt significantly better when I was able to get some soup in LAX during our short layover, and we made it home just as the sun was doing its thing, it was beautiful. 

I loved this whole trip, although traveling isn't always easy, sometimes downright miserable, it's 100% worth it every single time.  It was an honor for me to learn about the culture. I was really appreciative that my in laws really kept a rich culture experience for Mark and his siblings and I hope to continue that in our home. I have grown to love traveling abroad because you are given some perspective that the world absolutely does not revolve around you and not to get caught up in your own bubble. I also love seeing the cultural differences and it makes you question a lot of the way you live. 
I wouldn't say that Japan is a popular place for people our age to visit, but I think you should add it to your bucket list. It's beautiful and unique, and 100% worth a visit.
If you have any questions about the trip logistics or any general questions, feel free to email me at rileyjoblog (at) gmail.com
Thanks for following along!
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