Back to the city

Half way through our bag pack, we headed off for our last breakfast which was great as usual. Upon finishing breakfast it was back to finish the bags before heading to the lobby for our checkout. The one member of staff who speaks a little English and who had helped us with all of our queries throughout the week was present, and presented Denise with a postcard from herself wishing us well and thanking us for staying with them. This was a nice touch to the end of the stay, especially that it was personally from her and not the hotel. Denise asked her about last nights meal as to whether it was a special treat, to which she said yes, and Denise said she hoped we didn’t cause offense by not eating all the food on previous nights. It appeared however that she did not completely understand what Denise meant so the topic was let go. Denise did say to thank the chef however for all the meals and that they were ALL very “oishii”, the word for delicious/tasty we had previously learnt from the baker. After saying our final goodbyes, and then feeling bad again for the girls insisting on carrying and loading our heavy bags into the van, we were off to the other end of town to the bus station. After a short wait we were all aboard and heading back to Yamagata station. Rather than trying to communicate with the ticket office this time, I decided to give the machines a go and found them to be much easier given they had an English language option. With tickets in hand, and over an hour wait before our trains departure, Denise and I went for a wander through some shops nearby before meeting back with Scott and heading to the heated waiting rooms on the train platform. A hot drink machine (made to order rather than prepackaged) nearby was calling my name, and I was fascinated to discover some of the very appealing sounding drinks on offer. I ended up having a banana cocoa, with Denise trying a creme broulee. Both of them were very nice and I would not hesitate having another, with the fact they cost less than $2 Australian for a large cup an added bonus. With our wait soon over the train to Tokyo pulled into the station and we jumped aboard for our couple of hour journey into Tokyo. The bullet trains are still a fairly bumpy ride, but I guess smooth for the fact for the short time I was looking we were traveling at 274km/h. After 3 hours on the train I was glad when it pulled into Tokyo station. Even though there were quite a few people around, being a Sunday it will actually be quite relaxed compared to a what it will be like on a weekday (something to look forward to). We headed for the closest exit with a taxi rank and headed to the hotel. This was a better option than taking another train as the hotel was picking up the bill for 2 taxis. Upon arriving at the hotel and checking in, the first thing we noticed was the loud and rowdy westerners hanging around in the lobby. This is something we managed to avoid over the last week given the traditional nature of Zao. The next few hours was spent sitting around the room, having a beer and doing nothing. This could have normally been done in the bar, but even with its exorbitant prices, it is still closed of a Sunday. Given night was approaching, Denise and I decided we should wander out and find us something quick and simple for dinner. This was a little more difficult than initially thought, as wandering randomly through some back streets we found the places were closed, and upon eventually find a main street with quite a few open places we had a new problem that they did not do takeaway to take back to the hotel where Scott was. In the end it was either going to be McDonalds, Subway, or a Japanese burger chain called MOS Burger (although they can also now be found outside Japan). We decided to give MOS Burger a go, and it was pretty good including all the usual grease and goodness you get in a hamburger from a fast food restaurant. The rest of the night was pretty quiet; making use of the in room wifi and starting to think about how to plan our next few days.