Sunday 21st of October and today was the last day of the study trip! The schedule of the day was free, as from now on everybody makes their own trip plan. The big group was split in smaller groups of friends that took their own way. Some went to the south of Hiroshima, some to the north and some back to Tokyo to start their own exploration or catch a flight to Thailand, Vietnam or back to the Netherlands. Me (Jorge) and Athina were of the last ones, who finished their trip here and were to head back to the university. I can only give you our story of the day!
The last day in Japan had to be good, so we decided to start relatively early or… let’s say really early! After we had breakfast and enjoyed for the last time the view of the Hiroshima city from the 15th floor, we headed to the station. For Sunday morning it was quite busy if you imagine that the morning Shinkasen to Osaka was fully booked! It was just after the train departed when we realized that taking spontaneously a train earlier was the worst decision ever, as that one would take more than double the time to arrive in Osaka. This actually means that the reservation for the route from Osaka to Tokyo would be lost! However… it was still early, so changing back to the original plan in Fukuyama Station helped us arrive in Tokyo without delays by one o’clock. Our hotel for the day was located exactly in the exit of the Tawaramachi metro station in the nice neighborhood of Asakusa. After checking in, and messing one more time with the highly structured mindset of the Japanese people – the booking name was different than any of our names causing them a moment of panic – we had lunch and some siesta!
During the afternoon, we explored the neighborhood of Ueno which came out to be really interesting! Next to the zoo, and surrounded by the high skyscrapers, there was a small artificial lake with big fishes (sushi fish) and recreational activities for kids. A Sunday street food market was set around the lake where you could taste the typical Yakitori, grilled squid and other Japanese snacks. Leaving behind the Ueno we walked again through the Asakusa market and the street in front of the famous temples with the fascinating lantern lights. We bought some small gifts and sake and it was time to find the best bar for the last night in Tokyo. Walking around in Ginza we located some of the most famous cocktail bars in Tokyo but they were too fancy for our student budget. So we decided to go to the No.1 recommended bar by TripAdvisor! A 300yen bar in the very center of Tokyo. Tasty snacks and several light cocktails in a cozy tiny basement was the best way to close the night and get drunk enough to sleep early. Tomorrow would be a rather long traveling day!
The last three weeks have been a great pleasure. Looking forward seeing you all back in Enschede.