Woke up early to goto Arashio-beya Sumo Stable 荒汐部屋 (Japan, 〒103-0007 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Nihonbashihamachō, 2 Chome−４７−２) to watch sumo wrestling practice as the big sumo wrestling tournament takes place next month. This particular beya has windows that you can watch from and you aren’t allowed to enter the building. There are other beya’s where you can enter and sit down to watch them practice however for those ones you cannot leave until the practice is over or it is considered disrespectful. You also cannot sit with the bottom of your feet facing the ring as that is also disrespectful. You also should bring a gift of some sort (snacks or something) to offer to the sumo wrestlers as a sign of appreciation for their hard work. We walked back to the hotel and just relaxed a bit and repacked.
We were running out of yen but luckily good timing as it was our last day. We were trying to figure out what was our best option to not spend the remainder of our money until needed but also get through the next few hours with out luggage. We decided to just head to Tokyo station and figure it out then. We arrived at Tokyo Station using our JR pass from JR Akihabara. The line to reserve tickets for the trains was long and I needed to charge up my pasmo card however didn’t have enough time to and I didn’t have access to one inside the station. We walked around, found food and sat in the food emporium and ate before our NEX express train to Narita Airport. The express train takes an hour. I then picked up the final requests I had from my cousin to pick up certain items and last meal of Japan trip – 15 McNuggets. Our flight offered 2 free checked in bags and I gave in and checked in my bag (hoping the kit kats survive). Good thing I did check it in as I needed my hands to grab the last purchases in Japan. 11-11.5hr to ORD. Smooth ride and fixed my jet leg I think. Unfortunately, our flight home from ORD got delayed 3.5 hours due to bad weather in Toronto.
All in all, a wonderful trip and I was very ambitious with my itinerary and wasn’t able to accomplish some of the items on there but its a lesson learned and all about going with the flow. I was able to reunite with 2 friends in Tokyo & Osaka and also meet up with my volleyball friend as she was travelling visiting family and spent 2 days with my crew and I. Only 1 bag of kit kats got squashed – still tastes just as good.
Overall, all the places I’ve visited, Osaka is still my favourite. The vibe is just perfect – not too busy like Tokyo but also has its little boroughes with stylish people and of course the copious amounts of delicious food anywhere you look. The weather is perfect as well with city and nature somewhat meeting. Japan is somewhere I could visit again and again and never feel like I have fully explored what the country has to offer. I do love the culture and especially the architecture however I can go without the slow walkers, the slow escalators, the not covering their mouth while coughing or sneezing and the not moving out of the way when walking and bashing into the next person.
Who knows, maybe the next time round will be Taiwan & Okinawa.