This was our last full day in Japan and today we had to travel back to Tokyo ahead of our flight the following day.

We had a midday flight back from Naha Airport to Tokyo, so it was an early departure from the hotel at around 8:30am and the weather was terrible. Checked out, we loaded up the hire car and headed to the airport.

After about an hour we had to stop for fuel – which we seemed to pick the busiest fuel station in Okinawa… but the locals were using it, so I guess it was cheap!

We then dropped off the hire car – thankfully everything was ok and all the charges and excesses wren’t invoked! So we jumped in the shuttle back to the airport.

I’ve come to realise in Japan, that when everything with the machines/computers etc… is working, then its great, but when something goes wrong, they take ages to solve it and this was the case when I turned up with an extra piece of checked bagged (my diving gear), it took them so love to sort out for me to just pay for the extra bag. At £50 though it wasn’t too bad compared to Ryanair.

We settled into the lounge area by the gate, as there was still a few hours before our flight. Lunch consisted of some kind of mince meat and rice microwave meal… there wasn’t a lot of food options in the airport!

We then boarded the flight, which was also quiet like the way out. Mick had a seat next to him free and we all had emergency exit seats with plenty of room.

Landing back into Tokyo we collected our bags and headed for the metro line. The weather in Tokyo was also terrible and the landing was nice and bumpy as you would expect.

The hotel we had booked for the final night, literally translates as ‘strange hotel’. We arrived pretty wet from the short walk from the station and went to check in. This is when it became clear that it was a little strange, as behind the check-in desks we were greeted by dinosaurs and a robot lady. We used the machines to check-in and get our room key then headed up to our rooms for our final night in Japan.

The rooms were quite quirky with not a lot of space as we were used to. They also didn’t have TV’s instead there was a projector that would just display on the whole wall. Gladly waiting for me in the room was the parcel from Tokaido that Masaya Sensei had ordered for us to bring back on our flight. Inside was my new black belt to remember the trip by, along with some Gi’s.

We then decided to head out for dinner somewhere local, for 2 reasons; 1, we were tired and were fed up of travelling, but 2, it was still raining and we didn’t fancy getting too wet. We actually ended up in an Italian place, which was our first ‘western’ meal since arriving in Japan. It wasn’t completely ‘western’ as the menu was a little different and we still had a Sashimi appetiser to start. This place though, didn’t have any english menus, so it was once again a job for Google translate

After dinner we spent half an hour trying to find a bar nearby with little success. It seems that they all open at 8pm onwards. So we settled on some beers from Lawsons (like a Tesco Express) and some biscuits to eat back at the hotel.

With that, that was our trip over. We set a 4:30am alarm for the morning and settled in for our final night.

Click here for the next post: Part 12


Sensei Steve

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