PACKING for our trip home was a sad affair. There were so many places I wanted to go to, like Nara, Himeiji, Osaka, Nagoya, Hokkaido and Okinawa; so many restaurants I wanted to try; so many experiences, like an onsen (40-degree hot spring public bath where you are fully naked while soaking with strangers) I wanted to relish. 8 days is not enough especially if you're a food and adventure junkie like myself.
LITTLE boy was going to miss his tita, who acted as babysitter, playmate and friend the entire trip. Good thing she was due in HK the next day for a much-needed respite from the Japanese language. We will always be grateful to SIL, for being patient enough to take us to the same old places she'd been to countless times, for planning each day so we could take in as many sights and sounds as possible, for tirelessly researching bus routes to Gotemba, for waking up so early every day and walking from her dorm to our hotel in the biting cold just to pick us up, for putting up with our moods and demands. I was the adventure-food-walking-museum type, hubby the coffee shop-shopping mall-food-very little walking please type, and Little boy was, well, wonderful. He only spent a half day at Thomasland but went around with us to all the temples (of both culture and retail) quietly and without complaint. We normally don't buy toys for him unless it's his birthday or Christmas, but we made an exception for this trip and he happily lugged home 5 new toys back to HK. It was his reward for being so well-behaved during the mostly boring (for him) trip. It's good to know we can take him around the world easily.
AFTER checking out we decided to spend our last day walking leisurely around Shinjuku. Lunch -yes, delicious and memorable, was at a mall restaurant serving tempura.
4 kinds of salt for sprinkling on the tempura: pinkish salt, light yellow lemon salt, ordinary salt, herbs with salt
Japanese ceramic pot for soy sauce
the tempura was brought to our table in small batches as they were being fried. how fresh is that? no soggy, cold ones in this resto.
READERS of this blog, I know this took way long to finish. Arigato gozaimasu for your patience!