Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 21 (Saturday 6/4)- Flying back and really sad...

Naomi and Adrian both worked Saturday during the day, so we said our good-byes in the morning as they left for work. Darin and I got up, and we decided we needed to make one more feast before we left Japan.

Shumai- Chinese steamed dumplings, but I sauteed them on the stovetop

Yakisoba- grilled noodles

Chicken Karaage- Japanese fried chicken

Darin liked all the food

We finished the meal with my favorite osenbei (Japanese rice crackers)

Of course, we couldn't finish this meal without some Japanese cake. Naomi had pointed out a cakery right near the Nakano home called "Patisserie Asuka". We hadn't been able to visit it yet, and this would've been our last chance, so we stopped in to review the cakes and homemade pastries. To no surprise, everything looked delicious, and it was difficult to choose just  few items, but we narrowed it down (finally).

We came home with 3 items. Almond Croissant- omfg this was delicious. The outside was flaky and soft, and the inside had this almond cream which was to die for. I kept ooh-ing and ahh-ing and Darin eventually took a bite and said "WOW". Yeah, it was that good.

Roll Cake- If you had gotten this in the US, the cake would be super sweet, and the filling would be super sweet (read: inedible). I love how Japanese pastries are not super sweet and are still delicious. This Roll Cake was no exception. The cake exterior was light and fluffy, and the inside was fresh slightly sweetened whipped cream. Mmmmmm.

Chocolate Cake- This was good. Definitely had an intense chocolate flavor, but I've had better.

After we had finished eating, washed up, and packed the last of our stuff, our neighbors (remember them?) came over and brought us some Japanese treats, miso, and other condiments as a gift before we left. So kind! We took some final pictures with them.

Hiroyuki, Miyuki, me, and Darin

They saw and laughed at how much luggage we had to bring back with us, and offered to drive us to Shinjuku station. I thought it was so sweet of them.

From Shinjuku, we took a train to Nippori and then hopped on the Keisei Rapid Express to get to Narita Airport. The longest train ride was about 1.5 hours, and even though we were watching TV shows on our iPod, I also reflected back at our 3-week trip. How could it have gone so fast? Darin and I kept saying- "We just need 1 more week..."

When we got to the airport gate, we had about 30 minutes before boarding, and low and behold, there was a place serving soft-serve and Darin ran over to purchase one.

... And then purchased another one...

This time, I slept for 8-9 hours of the plane ride, which made the 13-hour flight go by quickly!
We had an overnight layover in Toronto, and would be flying from Toronto to Cincinnati on Sunday morning at 8:30am.

Our luggage
This is ridiculous, but here is another shot of all of our luggage- we left with (6) bags and came home with (8) very-full-I-think-the-zippers-are-going-to-break-and-we're-overlimit-on-weight bags. To our surprise,  the zippers didn't bust!

We had to leave a few things behind but we fit all of our stuff.

Once we settled into our hotel for the night, we ordered the first thing we've been dying to eat- American pizza. Sorry Japan, but your pizza just doesn't cut it- How can dough, pizza sauce, and cheese be so difficult? Unfortunately, the Toronto hotel is located right in the 'burbs, and without a car, we were really limited on what we could order. With it being so late by the time we arrived and settled into our room, it became even more challenging. However, after getting a (short) list from the concierge of who would deliver, hovering over Urbanspoon and reading reviews, we decided to just stick with a tried-and-true: Domino's Pizza.

1 large, 1-topping pizza with 2L of Coke cost us... $25. Whaaaat?! I thought we were no longer in Japan! Oh well, the pizza was good, and Darin still managed to eat about 3/4 of it. After dinner, I wondered if he was missing his soft-serve?


jacqui + erik said...

so sad to read this post! that last day there is so hard. LMAO about all of darin's soft serves though! hahaha....

and that bakery looks really good. i am in LOVE with anything almond flavor, so yours looked amazing! and gosh, those neighbors are so nice. japan is #1 in hospitality, for sure.

KikiBelle said...

the almond pastry you got looks like the one i mentioned before!!