Tokyo – Day 7, March 31

My last day in Tokyo was more practical than sightseeing.

I was out of data on the SIM from the airport almost a week ago. Without the cell data on the phone, I was pretty much stuck. I could have returned to my hotel without Google Maps but would have had no idea where I was anywhere else without data. I blew through 3GB in a week and I was being careful. For the same price – $37 – I have a new SIM with 50GB. I have about two more weeks in Japan.

So I spent way too much time looking for a phone store, waiting in line to get into the food hall in a department store, only to find that I was waiting for some sort of cheesecake that I didn’t want.

I took it a little easier today, dropping back in at my hotel to relax in between excursions. I decided I wanted to go to Shibuya again, and took some fun pictures and videos of the famously busy intersection but I couldn’t really find any good shopping. Just not my best navigating. I also think I was over it all the craziness for now.

After a rest at my hotel, I started the journey to the Skytree area because that is where my Airbnb dinner experience was. It took about an hour on the most crowded trains I had been on to get there. I watched as the train employee wearing a uniform and white gloves directed people to back into the super crowded train and keep stepping backward. I guess pushing your way onto the train facing forward would be rude or something. So it was interesting to see the process of stuffing the trains with people firsthand. I was already standing further in the car and only got a little squished. I always sit down when I can. The Tokyo natives are pros at standing on the train without holding on. I’m sure they are happy that a visitor sits down so I stop bumping into them. Plus, I need the rest after all the walking.

Okay, back to the dinner. In a cool cafe by day, a chef and his wife close the cafe and serve up these private Airbnb “Experiences” 4 or 5 nights per week. He prepared the special, super-delicious Kobe/Wagyu beef for us in several courses. Each one was plated, sauced, and served beautifully. Each dish was paired with a unique sake. It was all indescribably delicious. All eight guests were American. We had a great night meeting each other, chatting, and sharing travel tips, mostly about food. Folks there were from Houston, Nashville, and San Bernardino, CA. There was an assistant helping with the whole process. He was an American who serves in the US Air Force Reserves. This guy flies back to DC once a month to serve at Ft. Belvoir. He works in the same building as Max. Again, I’ll say, it’s a small, small world.

I got back home after a bit of dodging the partying salarymen here in Shinjuku on a Friday night.

Next, I’m off to Mt. Fuji. Fingers crossed it will be clear and I’ll be able to see it. In any case, I’m looking forward to fresh air and less city living for a day.