Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day 8: Tokyo Te Amo

Our last morning in Hokkaido started with breakfast...

our last breakfast in Hokkaido

our last breakfast in Hokkaido

... and a bath.  Then it was time to say goodbye to Asahidake Onsen and the Bearmonte Hotel.

the Bearmonte foyer

We took a cab from the onsen to Asahikawa Airport, a ride that cost a whopping 7700¥ (SGD $123.20).  There wasn't an alternative though - the public bus wasn't scheduled to get us to the airport in time for our flight - so we sat back and enjoyed the most expensive cab ride we have ever taken.

We got to the airport in plenty of time, but as luck would have it, our flight was delayed by an hour anyway.  Not surprisingly, we headed for one of these family restaurants at the airport and had ourselves...

a Hokkai bento

beef steak bento

Fittingly, the restaurant (and the airport as a whole) had a great view of Hokkaido's mountains.

till we meet again

The flight back to Tokyo was on Air-Do.

The Air-Do Bear in the holding area

kawaii ne!

our last look at Hokkaido lol

An hour and a half later, we were back in Tokyo.  We hadn't been able to get a booking at the Oakwood Shinjuku apartments and so went with the Park Hotel at Shiodome instead.  From Haneda Airport, we took the Keisei line to Daimon Station and then to Shiodome Station.  Phew!

From the start, HM was thrilled. The hotel was just her cup of tea.

masculine, with clean lines

with a view of Tokyo Bay

modern and stylish

yet functional

always, a super-efficient bathroom

with a bath-tub of course

and, best of all, Harn and Thann toiletries

We put our feet up for a while, snacking on some Hokkaido goodies that we had brought back with us...

strawberries coated in white chocolate

As soon we felt rested, we headed out.  Our first night back in Tokyo had to be spent in Shinjuku, the very heart of Tokyo, as far as we were concerned. After all that time spent in bucolic Hokkaido, it was good to be back in the streetscape of futuristic Shinjuku.

We did a little shopping...

yes, four floors and more of Uniqlo!

the specs shop at Muji, where HM bought two pairs of frames

... and a whole lot of walking.  We even waded into the gay district to look for a recommended soba shop, but alas, it was not to be found.

Back in Shinjuku, we finally settled for dinner at a busy izakaya-style place that specialised in grilled seafood.

this one

sashimi - not sure what kind

grilled whole squid

grilled hamaguri clam

instant noodles, I swear, but with clams

Washed down with some cola and sake, it was a decent enough meal, though nothing to write home about.  What it did do though was to prove that we should always have a professional grill our seafood for us; we were abysmally bad at it.

Thus ended our first day back in Tokyo.

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