Japan | Sushi and Returning Home

11:40 PM Ally M.G. 2 Comments

The day began at 7ish with a call from my mom asking if I was awake. Clearly I woke up after this phone call. I got ready and finished packing the few things I had out (cables, electronics, toiletries). I also lost my lock for my luggage for a couple minutes (it fell inside of it as I was looking for my plane itinerary). As soon as I was packed and ready Michelle and I headed out to Tsukiji Market to get breakfast. 

Tsukiji is world famous for its Tuna Auction held between 5-6 in the morning. The previous plane mate Chris recommended it to me (eating sushi for breakfast) at first I was appalled by the idea of eating fish for breakfast...looks and behold...that exactly what I did in the morning. With lack of directions the previous day I decided to to risk it (since I was short on time) and I asked for directions as soon as we get off the correct station. Thankfully it was very simple. Down one straight street. We also rose a train during rush hour and it was pretty packed. Thankfully we didn't get pushers to fit everyone. 

In Tsukiji, Michelle and I ate sushi. Sushi Tomo was the best and only sushi I had in Kyoto, but the sushi in Ishiki market was out of this world. I could feel and taste the freshness (if that is even a thing?) especially of the tuna. The little shop that we ate had a little counter section where we sat down and watched the sushi chefs clean fish as we ate our sushi.

Afterwards, I felt sick. One, I ate too much raw fish and Two, my stomach in shock that I was feeding it raw fish so early in the morning. We strolled around the market area for a bit after eating our breakfast, and the smell of food and fish made me very nauseous for a while. We left the market (for my sake) and stopped by a near by temple. It was called Tsukiji Hongan-ji which is interesting because it had a western architecture exterior while the inside was very temple and shrine like. Michelle and I spent a good half hour there, mostly cause I felt to sick to do much. Thankfully there were chairs available (for some reason) and I was able to rest till my stomach decided that eating raw fish for breakfast isn't such an insane idea. 

I returned to hotel afterwards where I changed into my comfortable plane gear, Ritsumeikan joggers and the Disney shirt I bought at Disney Sea. I looked ready to sleep. Michelle was kind enough to come with me all away to Akusaka Station and she also helped me with my luggage. 

After this, things got stressful. I got on Akusaka line which was suppose to take me directly to the Narita Airport. And it was for a while...until I got to the Aoto Station and saw everyone on the car getting off. My original Google train station thing told me to stay on the same cart till the end...but...I didn't listen and got off the train is panic (big mistake). I then got on the first train that was heading toward Narita airport...and I did not realize till later that it was a local train...meaning it would make every single stop, meaning it would take longer (second big mistake) by this time is was 1ish and I was suppose to already be at the airport. Panic was slowly settling in.

Next, in some station, I think it was Ueno, they made me get off the train because it was its last stop...not Narita airport...I waited half an hour for the next train to arrive, a Limited Express Line that goes to the airport. By this time I was in full panic mode, because according to my GPS I was going to arrive to the airport almost at 3! And my flight left at 4. 

Thankfully, once I got there everything went nice and smooth and check in was fast. My big luggage weighted 22.0 kilos exactly (50 lbs). It was such a big relieve. I entered the terminal and made the decision of assuming I had enough time to enter some shops and look around for stuff and then later sit down and eat something quick (third big mistake, I wasn't keeping track of the time). On my way to my gate, which was the very last one in the hall, I came across a Geiko (maybe) and a man in a kimono taking pictures with people...soooo....I stop and take pictures with them. (My mistakes slowly accumulated), by the time I reach my gate they are already boarding passengers on the plane.

I was starving because I ate at 9 in the morning. It was 3pm. I also did not know what time they would be serving dinner on the plane, so I was in another state of panic. I was chatting with my mom during this time, and I saw a little convenience shop less than 20m away. So I drop all my stuff, prayed no one touched it, and hurried to buy food and water. I bought 3 rice balls and a large bottle of water. (And three different flavors of kit-kat). 

Buying the rice balls was a smart choice, the plane food turned out to be so gross that I did not eat it...just the bread and the dessert. 

I got on the plane, and began saying my final goodbyes to Maho through voice messages and keep talking with my parents for a bit. My plane buddy is a middle aged lady who seems to be the head of a tour guide of a bunch of old Japanese people. She won't talk to me the way Chris would chit chat with me. I think she secretly hates me because I have asked her three times if I can exit the isle to go use to the washroom (I've been drinking a lot of water)

I saw two and half movies. Kingsman, which is fantastic and I wanna own it on blu-ray. Cinderella, which is so beautiful and makes me want to be a person of more courage and kindness. And Project Almenac, which is pretty okay, little over half way through the movie the audio got out of synch so I stopped watching it. I sat around for a bit hoping that by giving it time the audio would synch back up, but it didn't work so I decided to go to sleep.

But that did not last long because we crossed the time line, and it suddenly became really bright. And soon the flight attendants began serving breakfast. 

I slowly began regretting watching movies rather than sleeping on the plane. In the airport I took a couple of snoozes while waiting for my plane...which later turned it to be delayed. Once I arrive to Toronto I will have to wait 16 hours to get on another plane that will take me home once and for. 

These past 40 days have been a grand adventure that I always dreamed of having. It's was fun and stressful with every emotion in between.

Dear readers, thank you for embarking on this journey with me. I hope you enjoyed yourself and have as much fun as I did. My Japan adventures have come to an end, but it will not be forever. On March 15, 2016 I plan to embark back the country of the rising sun. This time for almost 5 months. There are still many things in Japan awaiting for me, so many new people to meet, and brand new memories waiting to be made. 

For the world is still beautiful and I am ready to continue exploring the beauties it has to offer. 

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Japan | Last Minute Roaming

11:53 AM Ally M.G. 0 Comments

At 9am I was ripped away from my sleep when "Shy Guys" by Seaway rang from my phone nearly giving me a heart attack. I got ready, preparing for my final day in the country of the rising sun. I am actually pretty excited to go home, because I realised that I do not like Tokyo very much (all the bad things that have happen to me in Japan have happened in Tokyo).

Anyways, first thing in the morning Michelle and I headed of to Shibuya where I visited the Amway Japan HQ and Michelle roamed around and did her own thing. At the Amway HQ, I FaceTimed my parents and showed them around before approaching a stranger and asking them questions about the business. I spent nearly 2 hours in the Amway HQ before I met up with Michelle.

When I met up with Michelle around noon time, both of us went to Shibuya 109 where I did some shopping. Here I bought a book bag I needed in order to distribute weight in my bags. It is not the most fashionable but it will serve its purpose! Which is, fit stuff. Also in Shibuya 109 I found some more cute clothes and the best engrish shirt ever. I also saw a luggage I really wanted but knew I did not need it and it was out of my price range too...(maybe next time).

Then we had lunch in Shibuya 109, a cafe called 'cafe Ma Maison' and there I ate Lady Ramen and it was super yummy and it had eggplant in it~ It was supposedly with pork broth but I did not taste the pork at all and it made me really happy.

Once we had our bellies filled with Lady Ramen, I tried to take Michelle to the Disney Store and got lost...twice...but we found our way in the end and that is all that matters. I wish all Disney Stores in the states were as lovely and cute as the one in Shibuya.

Afterwards, we went to the Tokyo Metropolitan Building in Shinjuku and went up to the observatory deck in order to get a glimpse at the city line of Tokyo. I was looking at seeing the tip of Mt. Fuji...but just like Tokyo Tower and Sky Tree it was cloudy and I was unable to see Mt.Fuji! I better see it next year when I come back or else I will be beyond upset. Why won't Mt.Fuji show itself to me? All I want to do is appreciate it's white tip beauty.

By this time my feet were dying and we were both really tired so we decided to go back to the hotel for an hour rest. When we arrived to the hotel I distributed things into my new book bag and now the luggage that was over 50 pounds is now right on the 50 mark! Yay me! (But now I have more bags to carry...boo.)

After our power recovery Michelle and I headed to Akihabara, because Michelle wanted to buy some anime stuff from her favorite anime. While she did find what she was looking for I found a CardCaptor Sakura folder that included both Sakura and Shaoran. (I have so many folders now...what am I going to do with them all?)

Since we got to Akihabara a bit late, most stores were closing so we did not really roam into many stores, but I did find an amiiboo (I am a great sister), I actually found two today! Then we entered a department store where we spent some time trying Japanese massage chairs, which by the way, are one of the greatest inventions in the world. I am honestly considering investing the 4.000 dollars in one in the far future. That massage made me feel so relaxed afterwards, that my feet nor my back no longer ached. Bless Japanese tech.

Then we returned to the hotel where we watch anime on the teli, and I came to realize how much my listening skills have improved. (While snaking on tea and grape ice cream) I understood a whole episode of Sailor Moon Crystal without subtitles (and I have seen the episode before...so I knew what was going on...but that is beside the point!). I also finished putting the final things in my luggage so I have them prepared when I return to the room at noon.

Michelle is going to help me with my luggage. She is going to the main Tokyo Station with me so I can board that train that takes me to Narita airport so I can catch my flight at 4pm.

Tomorrow morning we will going to eat breakfast at the famous fish market where they hold the tuna auction, but we will not be attending the auction. We will be going around 8. Meaning that we should be getting around 7 so we can figure out how to get there in one piece. And with my great sense of direction we are very likely to get lost.

Earlier today while I texting Mika she told me that I should not return back to Miami because Kyoto was my new home and my heart broke. She even used the grammar for returning home, rather than just returning, and it made my heart turn into mush. She even offered to house me forever, which I thought was really sweet. Being 13 hours apart is going to be so heartbreaking and difficult, but I will fight to maintain all these wonderful relationships I was able to obtain while I was here in Japan.


Japan | Ghibli Museum and Harajuku

11:24 AM Ally M.G. 0 Comments

My day began at around 8:30ish. I slept about 6 hours and it was beyond magical! Especially after the crazy night I had last night! Anyways, for breakfast I had a croissant and juice from 7/11 and then Michelle and I headed off to Mitaka to visit the Ghibli Museum!

I've had the ticket reserved for about two months and today I finally visited the museum!

It took us about 30 minutes to get there by train.

The Ghibli museum is a magical world that Hayou Miyazaki opened to the public to show how his films are done and to allow people to live in that world for a short while. Unfortunately you are not allowed to film or take photographs inside the museum whichever as a complete bummer because it was so beautiful! I felt that I was in a Ghibli story. 

We ate at the restaurant there! Almost everything had pork which made me sad so I ended up eating pasta. It was really yummy, it wasn't themed which made me a bit sad, but being inside the little hat shop was so much a nice environment and when you are really hungry anything is tasty!

We spent a total of four hours (give or take) and I felt it wasn't enough. I wish to spend a whole day there just walking around and catching all the detail in the museum had to offer.

Once we were done exploring the museum Michelle and I returned to the hotel where we took an hour nap (we kept dozing off in the train).

After the power nap we headed off to Harajuku for a while. I had crepes again! And this time I got cheesecake with strawberries.

We also visited some shops where I purchased a few things, mostly clothes and omiyage. And as I bought things I realized how little space I have in my luggage. Thank god I have become a pro a real-life Tetris!

For dinner we had Omurice

By 8pm everything was closing so Michelle and I returned back to the hotel...where I have two videos to edit! 

Tomorrow, will be my last day in Japan and I have a few errands to run. Hopefully Michelle and I visit the Government Building, because I did not get the chance last time.


Japan | Back to Tokyo

7:51 PM Ally M.G. 0 Comments

My day began at 4:30...and I went to sleep at 2:30ish. So I slept for two hours give or take? In the morning I finished putting away the final things in my luggage and aided Pamela in cleaning her room. As a form of thank you she made me breakfast that consisted of toast, salmon and Pokemon apple juice. AKA stuff that was left over. It was fine, Pan cooks really yummy.

Half of the Floridian team was heading up to Tokyo so we all decided to hop on the same bus together. Originally we were going to get on the bus to Kyoto Station, but that God Miguel stopped a taxi, allowing several more to randomly appear

We all headed to Kyoto Station and bought our tickets and got on the 7:12 train to Tokyo. Between all of us and our luggages we occupied three rows of  seats. We had a lot of luggages.

When we arrived to Kyoto we separated and went our own ways. Pam and Oscar had a plane to catch, Miguel, Jorge and Itsy had an apartment rented to go to, Michelle had her hotel and I had my hostel. 

When I finally arrived to the station of my hostel I got a bit lost because the directions that say sent me made little sense, but after a while and some Google mapping I found my way! The hostel is literally rammed between two buildings that I nearly missed it. I entered and they took about half an hour to check me in, it made me a bit angry. And they made me pay more than they told me by email which angered me more. My room is a literal shoe box that was forced 4 beds in it. There is no room to walk there. I kinda prefer the one I stayed at previously...(it was roomier).

Anyways, I set off to Disney Sea and it took me about an hour to find it because I was not exactly sure what line I was suppose to take. But I made it! And Japan really outdone themselves, their Disney is so precious and cute! I died. Disney Sea is also beautiful, it takes a lot of water elements (hence the name) and brings it to life....and some other not very sea like things. 

There is Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Sidbad, New York and Mexico and much much more! I really enjoyed it. 

I actually took a lot more pictures with my actual camera, but I have no wifi in my hostel...so I cannot upload the pictures (nor videos).

Something really cool about Disney Sea is that each section of the park has its own theme popcorn! There was Curry, Caramel, Cappuccino, White Chocolate, Royal Milk Tea, Black Pepper and Sea Salt. I tried most of them and some where good some were bad, the milk tea was bad. 

I am currently sick of popcorn...I couldn't get on many rides because we got there around 1pm and the fast pass system is different than America so they were gone way before Michelle and I arrived. So we made lines from 40-120 minutes. We mostly did rides that we could not find in the states. There was a very misleading roller coaster, and was advertised as cool and fat and it was quite the opposite, we also did a Sinbad boat ride, and Journey to the Center of the Earth (that scared me! There was random lightning strike that caught me off guard). We also did Storm Rider (my favorite ride so far) there were a bunch of other stuff we didn't get to do but we lacked the time and the fastpass to be able to do so. 

When the buddies asked me about my day at Disney they all told me that they wanted to go with me next year~ more Disney!

Michelle and I spent all our time there. Till the park closed, the. I returned to the hostel, but my parents want me to move to a better place, an actual hotel. I want to but I have no will power nor motivation to do much with two hours of sleep. I am sorry.

Sorry for the lack of video, I would usually pull through my tiredness to get it done, but the lack of good working wifi is real. So phone post yay!

Update: I will be going to Michelle's hotel and be staying with her. Thank the lords