We left Kyoto today and headed on the Shinkansen bound for Tokyo. After a quick 2 hr ride at speeds that would blow your socks off, we arrived at Shin-Yokohama where we got on a local train towards Yokohama. After maneuvering our way through this enormous station towards the Keikyu line, we found some gigantic lockers to store our suitcases in while we ventured down to Oppama station where we used to live. We met Kei and Koto Murata who took us to an amazing ton katsu restaurant near the station. Kei, Takeshi, Rin and Koto Murata were our neighbors for the 3 years we lived in Japan and they were some of the best neighbors we have ever had. The girls used to love playing at the park together and Kei used to teach me how to cook Japanese food at her house. I called it cooking with Kei. We have stayed in touch these last 6 years. It warmed my heart to see Kei and to catch up on life in person. Her English was definitely better than my Japanese. I think this visit meant as much to her as it did to me. As we walked to the station after lunch we just kept looking at each other saying how much we had missed each other. After a sad goodbye, Andrew and I headed up to the old house in Shonan Takatori. We managed to remember how to get there and even didn’t miss the tiny street that took us to the shortcut with the steep stairs. And yes...we didn’t stop on those stairs even though it was so hot and a million stairs to climb. After a few photos by the house we headed to the Seiyu (grocery store) to buy some treats for old times sake. We were definitely like little children in a candy store as we cleared out ALL of the Bontan Ame candies. That’s right...we took every single box. We had anticipated hiking the Takatori trail but it was way too hot and we were already getting tired so we decided to head back to Oppama station. We reminisced on the way back down about life in Japan while we enjoyed our ice cream. It was fun to remember the great life we had while living here.
From Oppama we got on the train and headed back to Yokohama to collect our bags before making our way to Tokyo. Luckily the rush hour crowds weren’t too bad. However, after essentially all day of traveling, we were so exhausted when we got to the hotel that we both fell asleep for an hour. It was hard to pull myself out of bed. I let Andrew sleep while I explored the beautiful gardens on the hotel grounds. Then it was off to find allergy medicine for Andrew. Luckily I can read katakana because I actually found Allegra. Blessings!!! I had ordered a hamburger through room service for Andrew and I to share. It was probably the most expensive hamburger we have ever had and it was pretty awful. Lesson learned...don’t order hamburgers from fancy Japanese hotels.