What will it be, where will I go? So many potential destinations from Nagoya. But I am up against a hard limit. My flight leaves from Narita Airport at 8.30 pm and I intend to be on it.
The last three days of travel have left me exhausted, so I allow myself a bit of a sleep in and a Google Hangouts video chat with B and Alex. It’s a lot of fun seeing them again. Alex tries to tickle me through the screen, the tease that he is. It’s been difficult to find a time when we are both awake and have internet access to make the call.
The hotel supplies a free breakfast of salad, rice, miso soup and a variety of buns. It’s not terribly exciting but it is always a pleasure to eat fresh salad in pickled Japan.
Most of the shops surrounding Nagoya Station are closed when I cross over to catch a train. Do I try for a trip up through Central Japan and ride on some more rural lines? What about the Kansai Main Line, now partly local services only to Osaka? Will I still get to Narita on time? I don’t want to be too rushed. I go up to a platform but at the last moment decide not to continue with the trip.
Instead I realise that I should take this opportunity to do some shopping for things that I am interested in, especially as there seem to be quite a few shops conveniently located close to the train station in Nagoya.
First stop is Bic Camera, which has all sorts of fiddly little parts for computers, cameras, and audio equipment that seem quite hard to find in Australia.
I search other shops around the place for a new bag for Alex. No luck.
Tower Records is hiding in the Meitetsu Station department store. I have to go up through seven levels of teenage fashion before arriving to find that they did have some highly limited edition soundtracks in stock.
Having spent enough money I return to the JR Station and book my tickets to Narita Airport. I’m just going to do the boring thing today an go as quickly as possible there using a combination of the Shinkansen and Narita Express.
There is just enough time for a quick lunch of the flat kishimen noodles, a local speciality.
It seems that there is a big sumo competition going on, judging from the numbers of sumo wrestlers on the platform. They are a colouful sight in their yukatas and, for once, I am not one of the largest people on the train.
The train is also full of young families. My reserved seat is blocked by a stroller and a breastfeeding mother, so I go in search of a spare seat in the unreserved cars, find a better one than the original.
I sit down and relax, listen to music and watch the landscape flash by. I am the wrong side to see Mt Fuji, though I suspect it would have been obscured by haze anyway. There are a few pretty coastal sections, but this is familiar territory for me. The massive scale of buildings are inner Tokyo is in stark contrast to the rural areas I have been frequenting on this trip.
I don’t have much time between the Shinkansen and the connection with the Narita Express and I waste it unsuccessfully searching for rice crackers. The NEX is located down in a dingy tunnel. It arrives in two parts, which are then joined together to continue on to Narita Airport.
Another so familiar route on a comfortable express, I just relaxed and enjoyed the trip out to the airport, from suburban Tokyo to rice paddies and bamboo clad hills. It was interesting to see Narita again, knowing now what the temple looked like up close.
Then we pulled into Narita Airport and my train adventure of Japan came to an end.