Although my plane departed at 10:30 and I had to be at the airport at 8:30, I squeezed a last activity into my schedule: visiting Tsukiji.
Actually I was hoping to see the infamous tuna auction which is limited to 120 visitors per day. Interest has spiked over the recent years, making it increasingly difficult to attend it.
Let me retell the early morning as a timeline.
3:03 Woke up and freshened up
3:43 Left the hotel for Tsukiji, it is raining
3:58 Arrived at the Tsukiji, cannot find the place I am looking for
4:14 Found the Tsukiji Fish Information Center
4:17 Tuna auction is booked out since 2:30 am.
4:35 Bought an umbrella at the convenience store
4:45 Strolling through the outer market
4:56 Found the famous restaurants in the inner market
4:57 Long queues in front of Sushi Dai and Daiwa Sushi
5:05 Settled for „Yamasaki“ after reading a decent review on RocketNews24
5:34 Restaurant Yamazaki opens its doors
5:39 Order the nine-piece course
6:15 Left the restaurant and hurried back to the hotel
6:30 Picked up the luggage, get onto the subway
6:51 Arrived at Tokyo station
7:00 Narita Express departs – with me in
As you may have noticed, I was a bit in a hurry to make it on the train. Still, it worked out perfectly and moreover, I managed to have some fresh sushi for breakfast. Every piece of the nine-piece course was delicious and I took the time to appreciate it.
One hour later I arrived at Narita Airport. First, I picked up by delivered suitcase and then crammed some of the goods into it. There was not much room for more items but at least I could get rid of liquids and the heavy books. At the counter of Swiss I checked both my suitcase and my backpack. Many airlines allow for two free checked pieces on flights from Europe to Japan what I really appreciate.
From there I had some time for shopping before heading through security. At the stores of Uniqlo, Muji, Cospa, and others I stocked up a bit more on personal items and souvenirs. Also I returned my WiFi router.
Passage through security and emigration was much smoother than I expected it to. Event though I passed dozens of large items through the X-ray machine, there was no need for clarification or checking.
At emigration I was again a bit nervous. When buying items tax-free in Japan, the receipt is attached to the temporary visitor slip in the passport. That way it should be guaranteed that all items bought this way find their way out of the country. When it was my turn, the officer removed my slip and handed back my passport. No control, no questions, nothing. All right for me, I thought.
The Swiss machine, an Airbus A330, seemed rather outdated and had an old-fashioned entertainment system. The on board service was not outstanding either, and so I felt that my flight with Lufthansa was much better. So far, I was happy with Swiss on short-duration flights but from now I will consider flying with Lufthansa or ANA instead.
The twelve hours did not pass fast but at some point we touched down in Zurich. From there everything went smooth and I stood in the warm sun soon after. The weather was much better and the temperature was higher than in Tokyo when I left. Strangely I did not feel jet-lagged at all, but the tiredness should return some hours later.
That’s it. My third Japan vacation is over. It was a great time and I treasure every day which was different from the others. Visiting Japan in spring was a great decision as the weather was great and the cherry blossoms were just in bloom. Moreover, I could attend many events and could satisfy my yearning for various activities. Not only visiting places I knew but also exploring entirely new areas was highly rewarding, as was tasting many regional or typical Japanese dishes.
Thank you for following my journey and my travel diary. It is great to hear responses and comments which encourage me to keep giving my best.
Here is the list of all articles, as well as maps of places I visited this time, and altogether, respectively.
J16 #01: Arrival
J16 #01: Ueno, Shinkuku and Chihayafuru
J16 #02: Shopping, Kamakura and Enoshima
J16 #03: Todai, Yasukuni, Akiba and Shibuya
J16 #04: AnimeJapan
J16 #05: AnimeJapan Cosplay
J16 #06: Naha (Okinawa)
J16 #07: Okinawa
J16 #08: OIST
J16 #09: Nagoya & Hatsune Miku
J16 #10: Osaka & Kobe
J16 #11: Himeji & Kyoto
J16 #12: Kanamara Matsuri & Tokyo
Color code: Orange: First time (2012), red: second time (2014), purple: this time (2016). Only year of first visit is marked.