So after continuous long 2 days in the office and the most spicy dinner the day before, I left my 1 year old home (Kamata) for my real home (Amritsar)! My friends woke up early morning to accompany me till the airport in Haneda. We sat there for about little over an hour before bidding farewell (took a lot of shots of the airport as well outside and the Tokyo Monorail).
I wanted to buy that delicious Japanese Malt whiskey(not allowed to take pictures) but then was suggested not to buy for it would not be let to pass through during the baggage check in Beijing. An unfortunate thing as I could have bought it form outside and put it in my main baggage.
By the way, Haneda is the Tokyo International Airport and not Narita (didn’t know that before).
During the taxing, before taking off, I took a lot of photos of the airport as well as the surrounding areas. I could see Chiba prefecture (千葉県) from the runway. The scene was beautiful. As we were about to take off, I saw the long lineup of the airplanes (3-4 at least) waiting for their turn to land at HND (Haneda).
During the flight from Tokyo to Beijing, we passed over lots of snow covered mountains, a few (perhaps) non-active volcanoes, South Korea over the East-China Sea. During the flight I saw many different type of ships, a plane that moved in the same direction as ours, a plane that moved very fast in the opposite direction and something that was burning and was falling down!
After 4 hours of flight and with an almost satisfactory lunch, I reached Beijing.
The flight arrived late and the next flight was to take off after just over an hour. I didn’t spent much time to take pictures and walked straight toward the check in counter to reach the boarding gate for the next flight.
I used to have a thought that Japanese was very difficult even after a year of stay in Japan. The kanjis, new vocabs. But then I could look at the advertisements in the PEK airport. I was petrified. Reading Chinese seemed just out of bound! I had a lil hard time to find the immigration counter and then the boarding gates. The workers there don’t speak English at all. I tried to make some sense of the incomprehensible guide maps and boards.
I hurried to run toward the boarding gate as it took a lot of time during the baggage check. Thought that I might be one of the last ones to board the plane. On the contrary, when i reached the boarding gate, everyone was sitting still. I read the flight status and found that this flight is also delayed, for about an hour! Its seemed that they (Air China) are quite influenced by India! :D
I started to look for a charging point for my smart-phone. They were these small, rare, oddly placed points on the ground which you had to open and plug-in your chargers. Then I tried to connect my mobile to the Internet via wi-fi. I realized that SNS was not working! (although notifications were). Foursquare was accessible and I checked in. I could check mails on gmail and could make some calls via Fring. I found out that Delhi has its own specific kanji in Chinese [ 德里 ]. I called Sameer informing him of my late arrival and then boarded my plane for India. (That feeling and excitement… :) )
I reached Delhi at about 23:00. Turned on my mobile phones, the old reliance number also. To my amazement, that number was also working :) and it was Delhi’s number (small serendipitous things that make me happy!) Bought a Black Label and Double Black Label, paid in USD with my Japanese Credit Card (JPY was so strong) from the duty free. As I was about to leave the airport, i was stopped and enquired by the custom’s officer. He saw my custom declaration (value of goods imported = Rs. 0) started to scrutinize my big loaded bags! He asked, “How can you declare such a value even though you are carrying these humongous luggages!” I asked him (boldly) to confirm my words by letting him open my bags! Without doing so, he let me go leave :D. I was so happy! Called my friends in IIT (found that they were already out!) Took a cab to Zanskar hostel to my old buddies for a night! happy moments…
I loved the whole trip. Love Homecoming, 帰国.
“Home Home Where I Wanted To Go…”
Other pictures related to this blog: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rishabhmhjn/sets/72157629166845985/detail/
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Dinner with Sasaki-san and her Friends, a set on Flickr.The dinner was great and we had an awesome time discussing about India.
I really can’t express how much grateful we are to that sweet lady, Sasaki-san. She was our main source of communication when we came to Japan and started working in Rakuten. Unfortunately for us, she left the company last year but luckily, we have been in contact with her even after that. She is very caring and helped us in a lot of things. She looked after us as if her own children. Thank-you Sasaki-san for everything.
Roppongi(illumination, kebab, !fBar, chinese), a set on Flickr.
After the long night out in the office and a lil party at @abhijeetparande’s house, we decided to go see this excessively talked about place in Roppongi. This was an illumination show being organized by #Emirates in Tokyo Midtown, Roppongi Hills. The place was full of enthusiastic audience and a couple of PRO photographers with their heavy duty DSLRs. The show was organised at the same place where they (I hope) would set up the Ice-Skate rink again as they did last year. That small area was extensively decorated with various kinds of lights and were synced with a soft music. That small show was for about 5-7 min and we stayed there to see it 10-15 times. I was busy getting some few good shots with my newly bought DSLR and some amateur knowledge about good photography.
After this show, we went around the place to get other views of the beautiful decorations. Some trees covered with snow made of light, a big Christmas Boot, Decorated Bamboos and A Big Christmas Tree.
To fill up our empty stomachs (hungry since last night’s party!), we went to grab some Kebabs in a Turkish Restaurant. The food was great and so got ourselves charged up to come back to the same place for another round of photo-shoot. I could take some great shots of Nisha near the decorated bamboo trees (others were very reluctant to get their flicks clicked).
We, then, set off to get a touch of Tokyo’s Fashion, the F-Bar Tokyo. Walked from the mainstay of Roppongi to a lil less shiny, sort of hood area where they(F-Bar) were located (lil bit odd of the place). Were excited, but unfortunately, were not allowed to enter! (#WTF in capitals). The night was reserved for a private party and entry were limited. All (my) hopes shattered. We then looked out for the possibilities to get some food at that late of time. Went to a Chinese restaurant to make @abhijeetparande experience some #gyouza flavors. Ordered ourselves some dishes(forgot the names). One I ordered was loaded with some very strong spice (and we thought only Indians love spicy food). Tired and exausted, came back to our homes and I sorted out some good pics to be put up on our private group. Another good memory worth cherishing…
Oktoberfest, Delux Cruise, Chinatown - Minato Mirai - ver 2.0, a set on Flickr.
We once again got the opportunity to go to Yokohama’s Minato-Mirai, one of the most lively places I have ever been. We could, this time, go to Chukagai (China Town) and visit various Chinese shops & attractions and have some flavor of the Chinese Cuisine which is definitely not the same as the Chinese food menu back in India. Loved the food, had some great conversations over the meal with some of our Chinese fellows. The place was beautiful and full of zest.
We then came to visit one of the oldest Cruise Mariners in the world, The Hikawamaru (since 1930s). We visited the various parts of the ship inside which made me felt as if we were in that period when it was still in operation. There was a video being played inside the halls of the ship about the journey and voyage of the Hikawamaru, the various sails it went upon and the many of the well known personalities who have been a part of its many journeys, including Charlie Chaplin.
We moved on to the International Cruise port where we spent a night out last time in May. The place is absolutely stunning, it gets your attention by the design and model of the decks. Unfortunately, we could not experience the celebration of a Cruise journey like we could last time!
And finally we landed up at a place that was filled to its max, yet full of energy! “The Oktoberfest”… I love this… We have experienced once before in Hibiya, Tokyo but that celebration was hindered by rains. Luckily, this time, we could actually see by ourselves and could agree upon the various hype we heard about it. The place was all packed, with people from various places, from Japan and beyond. This time, we could have a spaten and a HaffenBrau again. We sang along with others, the various German Oktoberfest Songs.
We then moved to the Indian Newcomers’ apartments, had dinner and a night out, came back the next morning.
The Stone Chair Camp 「Summer 2011」, a set on Flickr.Via Flickr:
The First Camping Experience. Was on talks with the manager of the place for about 2 days. Little did I know about camping and the essentials required. We had bought 2 tents and a few sleeping bags a day before from Don-Kihote. Reserved 3 Auto-Camp sites. Cancelled 1 while eating at Mc. But after reaching there, we realised that even a single camp site is huge (we don’t have a car!!!). We had the cheapest stay there though. Set up our camps, had some food and beer and went off to sleep. Our light sources were the headlights of our bicycles. :)
PS. we were already burnt. :D
My First Surface Water Sport Experience - Bodyboarding on the Imaihama Beach (by rishabhmhjn)
Japanese Sushi, a set on Flickr.We were late and hungry. Went to the Sushi Restaurant along with some Japanese colleagues.
This was the first time for half of us. Though a bit nervous as never had we, raw meat before.
As they were served, it went scary as the food looked so fresh, as if the fishes were just caught 10 min ago and has been served to us!
I tried a few of the types of fishes, sea food and the supplement sauces (one of them was super spicy).
I admit that I wasn’t able to adapt to the taste! It did seem delicious in between but, for a guy like me, cannot do with spices and cooked dishes.
But, yet another experience gained. We apologised to our Japanese friends as we were unable to eat what was ordered for us!
Gyouza Night at Nihao, a set on Flickr.Gyouza is something that’s same as Momos in India, except that it has Pork.
I often heard that Gyouza of Kamata is very famous. We didn’t get much chance since we were quite unfamiliar with the place. Thanks to my colleagues, We were introduced to a very famous Chinese Restaurant named Nihao. We had some real good Chinese Gyouza. Another new experience. :)
10辛にチャレンジ | The day we had the most spicy food ever, a set on Flickr.
It was friday night and we set out for COCOs Ichibanya, a very famous Curry house chain in Tokyo. Lead by Mori-san elevating our spirits to challenge the most spicy curry of the house. Went to grab some beer as the place was full. Then came back and ordered our respectiive currys - nato, chicken etc. The house guy was told to set all the currys to level 10 spiciness, the highest available in the house. We all waited…
As we started to eat, damn it was spicy. But I wont deny the fact that it was actually very delicious. As we were eating, all started to perspire. But one man stood still - Mori-san. He actually put the special spicy spice on his curry, probably making it to 15 level. And he finished it in just 5-10 min. I don’t think anyone can beat him. Respect.
I share these pictures of before and after. It was a fun time. We had good chat about food and made some plans for the next time, to challenge something more. \m/
After that, we went to Jonathan’s to get some deserts. Thank you Kinoshita-san for the treat.
Surely a memorable night.