the end of the tour...

We had finished most of our packing on Sunday, so on Monday, we didn't get up particularly early. Alina was having coffee in the morning with a couple friends of hers, so we got up just after her, and joined her down there after a little while. We had some coffee and a small snack, and then headed off to finish up some gift shopping and to get a few things we wanted to bring back for us as well. On the way out of the coffee shop, we noticed, they have hummers in Japan too!

We went to Sanwa, and then to the Wakabadai train station to go to a few shops. After coffee, Alina went home and started packing, as she was leaving for Hawaii for a friend's wedding the same day we were leaving back to Portland.

We came back in the afternoon, and tried to finish up most of the last bits of our packing, and then we walked over to Alina's other boss' home - his wife is from Thailand, and was making us Thai food for dinner. We had a nice time with them, and the dinner was amazing - tom kha soup, red curry with pumpkin, green curry, spicy beef noodle salad, and then almond annin-dofu (kind of like custard) for dessert.

After dinner, they drove us back to Alina's place, and we got ready for bed, finished up packing everything but our toiletries, and Alina cooked us some eggplant, onion and mushrooms in miso to take in our bento sets to eat for lunch at the airport the next day.

Tuesday morning, we woke up at about 7.30, took showers and got dressed, packed up our bathroom stuff, and Alina's landlord/neighbor, Mr. Hattori, drove Trina and our luggage down to Inagi station (Alina and I took a bus). It was a bit tricky, as we were taking a huge bag home for Alina, of things she didn't want in Tokyo anymore, and she was taking two large bags, one of which she was also leaving in the U.S., with her sister. Plus, we still had all of our own luggage. Anyway, we made it to Inagi station with no problems, and hauled all the luggage over to Tully's coffee, and sat and had a coffee. I had woken up with diarrhea that morning, so I had a tea instead. While we were sitting there, we noticed there was a small drugstore in the station, and Trina decided to go try to get me some anti-diarrhea medication for the plane ride. They of course didn't speak english, so she tried to kind of mimic what was going on, and they seemed to understand, and gave her some medicine, which didn't appear to have any english on the package. She brought it back, and she and Alina were looking at it and Alina couldn't quite tell what it was either. Then, to my very great fortune, Trina noticed in *small* print, in english, it said "This is a laxative." EEP! So, she and Alina both went back and tried to explain that I needed the opposite of a laxative - Alina using words like "water poop," and explaining it's when you go poop and never stop, because she didn't know the word for diarrhea in Japanese. Finally, they came away with what was actually an anti-diarrhea medication, and I was very happy.

From Inagi station, we had to take a train to Chofu station, where we would catch the limousine bus to Narita airport. Luckily, Inagi station had an elevator down to the train platform, so we made it down and onto the train just fine. The ride to Chofu was uneventful, other than people giving us really funny looks for having so much luggage :)

Once we got to Chofu, the fun started. We had to go up a full flight of stairs from the train platform, then down a small flight of stairs, and then up some more stairs. Needless to say, carrying all that luggage up those stairs got us all pretty hot and sweaty - plus we noticed the line for the limousine bus was starting to fill up, so we were trying to hurry so we could get a spot.

At the turnstile, Trina and I were just short on our tickets, so we went to talk to the guard, and he just waived us through, so we made it to the bus in plenty of time, and took our places in line.

The bus came after about 15 minutes, and we all loaded up and had an uneventful 2 hour ride back to Narita airport.

Once we got there, we went through the rather annoying process of checking your bags in, going through security, going through customs (apparently there you go through customs on the way out too), and we walked around the terminal a bit to find our gate, then sat down and ate our lunches Alina had made us, which were delicious. Soon after that, our flight was boarding, so we headed over to the gate and stood in line with Alina till we were at the front, and then said our goodbyes.

All in all, it was wonderful to have gotten to see those parts of Alina's life in Tokyo, to be able to experience those things with her, and just to be able to spend time with her in general. It was a bit of an exhausting trip, and I definitely don't think I'd want to live in Tokyo, but it was really interesting to see, and so nice to meet the people we did.

Bye Alina, we love you!


  1. Glad to see that Trina is a very observant woman! I guess it's good advice to learn certain words in foreign languages when traveling outside the states..laxative would be one of the ..lol Thanks for sharing your stories and photos that accompanied them :)

  2. OH NO!!!!! Oh, I hate to admit I am giigling. I mean, it wasn't lovely at all for you to go through that, but, it is kind of smirky after the fact? Right?? Am I wrong. Okay, I won't giggle. I am actually giggling at the package and not the effect you were having, you poor dear heart!!! Off to read more!!