Saturday, April 14, 2012

Harajuku and then Home

Finally, I will be writing about the last day of my Tokyo 2012 trip.

My flight back to Manila was Sunday at around 6:30pm so I still had time to kill before going home. I met  up with Ali in Tokyo Station where I left my luggage in a coin locker and made a reservation for the Narita Express (the high-speed train from Tokyo to Narita Airport). Initially, we planned to go to Ueno to eat at Sweets Paradise (my second time within that week!) but Ali said there's nothing much to do in Ueno so I suggested Harajuku since there's also a Sweets Paradise branch there. I've been to Harajuku three times that week but I still wanted to go on a Sunday because I wanted to see cosplayers at the Harajuku bridge!

SO MUCH PEOPLE ON A SUNDAY! I was just glad that it wasn't raining anymore. It was raining for a whole week!

Sweets Paradise was full but fortunately, we did not have to line up for a seat.

In our student organization, there exists a buddy system during application period wherein your buddy will guide you through the application process. Ali was a member during the time I was an applicant (2006) and she became my buddy. She left the Philippines in 2008 and has been going around different countries. Since then, she's only gone back to the Philippines twice. And this is the best buddy date we've ever had: IN SWEETS PARADISE, IN JAPAN, NO LESS!

Ali introduced to me a yummy snack called ANMITSU. It's a mixture of mochi, kinako (soybean powder), kuromitsu (dark honey), anko (red bean paste) and some corn flakes.

We went shopping in Momo. Ali bought bandage skirts and I bought a navy blue maxi skirt. On sale, only JPY1000! It's the only piece of clothing I bought in Japan because everything is expensive (as expected).

Ali and I took purikura. We were supposed to do this during my arrival (we also went to Harajuku that day) but I think we both forgot in the end because we were tired. Haha.

one of our purikura shots
We walked to Omotesando and looked around the used kimono shop. Oh kimono and yukata! I really wanted one but my luggage was already full. Next time, I promise!

We went to Harajuku Bridge, right in front of Meiji Shrine. There weren't a lot of cosplayers but I was really happy to see the place. FINALLY!!

I also had a photo taken with this interesting person before going back to the station. Ali says the person is male. :)) 

Finally, we had to leave Harajuku. Inside the train, I couldn't believe I was going to leave Tokyo already. It was an amazing week. It was great to see Ali in Japan and not in the Philippines. I told her that hopefully, next time, we'll see each other in another country. 

And well, because we had too much fun in Harajuku (time passed by too fast), we really had to run so that I could catch my train to Narita Airport! Tokyo Station is a very big station; the Narita Express platform is at the fifth basement (!!) and there's no direct elevator to the platform. I saw another foreigner who seemed to be in a hurry with his Japanese guide (probably from a hotel). They were both very nice and noticed that I was also in a hurry; they took me with them so that I would no longer have difficulty finding the elusive NEX platform.

In the end, we arrived at the NEX platform just in time! Well, it was better to run after a train than to run after a plane! I arrived in Narita Aiport early and was still able to buy a few souvenirs.

And then when I returned to Manila... the airport wasn't the best, it took me the longest time to find my luggage, the immigration line was very long and the heat was unbearable. However, it wasn't until I saw a girl selling sampaguita in the streets at midnight that I told to myself "Well, I guess I am home."

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