Aunt Sumiyo made us some noodles for breakfast with some tempura toppings
Note: In Japan, it is ok to slurp when you eat noodles- actually, it is encouraged!
We were sad to go, but we had to say good-bye to my family and head back to Nakano (to my sister's home). We had a lot of packing to do, and wanted to hit a few stores in the morning on our way home.
We finally got back to Nakano, and started to pack. It took us 3+ hours since we had to determine what to place in checked bags (large liquids, heavier items) vs. carry-ons, and still keep in mind the clothes and bath products we still needed to pack for the few remaining days we had left. We packed. And then unpacked. And then re-organized. And re-packed. This took us all afternoon!
Here is a wall of all our stuff we needed to pack
And another wall...
And more stuff...
We thought we were going to have to buy another suitcase until we realized that we could have up to 8 bags total- (4) checked bags and (4) carry-ons. One suitcase was so packed, Darin had to lunge and apply all of his 6' body weight for me to zip. When we first started packing, I wanted to make sure we didn't crush any of the chips and snacks. By Hour #4, all I cared was that we could fit everything into the suitcases. (I couldn't even think if things were getting crushed.)
While we were packing, we felt another aftershock (our 3rd one). It shook for about 10 seconds, and stopped. We were getting used to this by now.
It was hitting me (finally) that we were going to leave soon. Darin and I both didn't want to go back home.... but we couldn't really think too much because we had to take a quick shower and meet up with Naomi for dinner. Naomi wanted to take us out to dinner in Nakanosakaue (25 minutes via walking from the house). Since it was raining, Darin and I took the train and met her at the station. The restaurant was only a few minutes walk from Nakanosakaue station- a cute little restaurant Naomi and Adrian just stumbled upon one night and they really liked it.
Name of the restaurant: 手しおごはん 玄 GEN (Te Shiogohan GEN)
Plus: They played American music! A little Bon Jovi, Pink, Katy Perry...
Here is what the inside of the restaurant looked like
The menu was a slew of different items- from Chicken Karaage to Japanese hamburger to Ramen... Darin ordered the homemade (home-brewed) ginger ale- This was one fantastic gingerale! You could definitely taste the ginger, it was mildy sweet, and had a "punch" to it. It was awesome (I wish I had ordered it)
A konnyaku side dish- It has a greyish speckled color that has a firmer texture than most gelatins. Not a lot of flavor, but konnyaku isn't my favorite either
Darin ordered the Chicken Karaage (Japanese fried chicken)
I was hesitant, but Naomi encouraged me to order the Japanese hamburger. Boy, am I glad I did. It was so good! The hamburger was topped with grated Japanese horseradish, and the entire dish was delicious
I also got a bowl of rice- it was a different grain (thus the different color) but didn't have a different taste to me
Our meals also came with miso soup
I ordered a side of potato salad- talk about a side. This was super small (maybe a heaping Tablespoonful?)
Of course, no meal is complete without another Japanese soft-serve. Darin got Vanilla, and Naomi got Green Tea/Vanilla twist at the local convenience store by the house.
Adrian also got Vanilla