On my last day in Japan, I went to the Tokyo Sea Life Park.
Anyway, I arrived there at about 11.30am. By this day my feet hurt a great deal less than before but… I had a dreadful cough. I’d had it ever since that last night in Kyoto. It was bad that night, but improved somewhat the next day and was fairly low-key until this last day. It flared up again badly and I was reeeally having a bad time of it but stubbornly went out anyway.
The Sea Life Park is almost next door to Disneyland. I took the same train line, just got off at the stop before Disneyland. Ah, it was so tempting to go back to Disneyland. You can just see Cinderella’s Castle and Big Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain from here. (And you know what was aggravating? The weather was so hot the day before when I went to Disneyland but on this day, when I was at the aquarium – and hence, indoors – the weather was cloudy and just about perfect. Gah.)
First thing I saw when I went down into the aquarium was the shark tank. There were some students there, drawing pictures of the sharks. Art students, perhaps? There were hammerhead sharks in there, which I found rather fascinating to watch. I don’t recall having seen hammerheads before.
The deep sea tank really intrigued me, but it was sooooo dark. I can understand that – they’d want to simulate natural surroundings and there’s no light way down there; even the dim light they provided was probably a reluctant, necessary compromise.
And this was what I was most surprised to see. A giant isopod!! If I had been with someone, I’d probably have exclaimed aloud at this: “THEY HAVE GIANT ISOPODS!” I didn’t expect them to have this at all… *completely fascinated, even though the isopods just sat around doing nothing*
Ah, sunlight! Here are the penguins. Oh yes, this is the place from which that notorious penguin escaped. (Remember that crazy poem I wrote?)
At the cuttlefish tank, I noticed loads of these things that looked like seaweed hanging down one side. I peered at them and realised that they were cuttlefish eggs! *gasp* Adorable tiny cuttlefish inside! <3
I went back to the hotel, collected my bags and then left for Inage, Chiba, to visit Ohtawa-san and Shioko-san at their home and have dinner with them.
Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of their place because I was just too tired to take photos. I was coughing so badly that when Ohtawa-san picked me up from the Inage station he decided to stop at a pharmacy and bought me some medicine for the sore throat and cough.
They made okonomiyaki for dinner! I liked this much better than the okonomiyaki I had at Roppongi.
After dinner, the Ohtawas very kindly took me to Narita Airport, which was maybe a 40-minute drive away? Maybe less, I don’t quite remember.
When I think about it, I feel like I had quite a mixture of experiences on this trip in Japan:
- I stayed with a Japanese friend in her apartment, I stayed in a hostel, I stayed in a 4-star hotel.
- I had the full tourist experience with Yang and Danny in Kyoto, a full day and a half of solo travel, and had the great pleasure of experiencing Japanese hospitality in my friend S and in the Ohtawas.
- I ate at small restaurants, I ate fast food, I ate food from the convenience stores, and I had home-cooked okonomiyaki! How many people get home-cooked food when visiting Japan?
- Butler cafe, bunny cafe, purikura, karaoke, kimono. Just short of the tea ceremony. haha
Not many people get such a ‘package.’ In that sense I was very blessed to have the contacts I did and the chance to go on this awesome trip (even if my feet suffered terribly and I had a bad persistent cough and sore throat throughout the second half of it).
I wanna go again… Kyoto calls me. And so does the Disney Resort.
(Hmm. Maybe I should write another blog post with Japan travel notes and tips…)