For my last day in Japan the friend who picked me up at the airport when I arrived met up with me again to go to Enoshima, a small island located slightly down south of Tokyo and Yokohama.
This was again a change of scenery, but before we got there we had to endure what was the biggest problem I had with Japan public transport during all of my stay. Apparently there was some suicide on the JR tracks leading to Enoshima which was why we had to take the trains of another railway company. It seems that the different companies cooperate if something like that occurs so we got a small ticket which enabled us to ride the different company’s trains for the same price as the JR lines, which in my case meant I was still able to use my Japan Rail Pass. Why changed trains quite frequently and after about an hour why arrived at the sunny seaside of Enoshima. The island is connected to the mainland via a small bridge so after searching for a post office to get some money we went there to have lunch at one of the numerous restaurants leading up to the mountainous area with the shrine of the island. The lunch was a first for me. Raw fish which at first didn’t look very tasty but turned out to be very delicious. I still don’t exactly know what I had eaten there, but it consisted of a large number of small (very small) white fish and something grey which was “fishy” as well. Very tasty.
We realized after we paid that our timetable was very strict as we had to head back by 6 pm to meet with the family I was staying with so we climbed some parts of the island’s mountain very fast and got a few looks at the beautiful scenery. I definetely have to here once more when I go to Japan the next time. For our travel back my friend chose to take a streetcar which ran through small streets and close to the seaside on a very old and narrow track. Again something you wouldn’t expect only an hour travel outside of a megalopolis like Tokyo. Back in the main city we fought ourselves through the rushhour traffic and ended up in Kitasuna where funnily enough it was me who had to take the lead as my host had been there only once by car. After meeting the family we all went to a sushi restaurant in the neighbourhood and had the best sushi I ever tried. Forget everything you know about the stuff you might get in Europe, the things you will be served in Japan are a completely different dish. The sushi parts are a lot bigger and so is the variety of what you can choose from. I had a few drinks at the restaurant, so after we paid (last order was called at around 8 pm) we headed bback to the house to down a few more beers there. It was a very nice farewell party for me and when I had to wake up the next day at a few minutes before 7 am my head was aching a lot.
The friend I had been staying with was kind enough to drive me out to Narita so early and from there on everything went smoothly. Although I don’t think I will get used to 11 hour flights. Arriving in Frankfurt and taking the train back to Cologne I soon realized I was back in Germany and this time it was a culture shock the other way around. While in Japan the people are encouraged to turn off their cell phones in the trains in Germany, although there was a sign saying you shouldn’t take phone calls in the train, everybody was talking very noisily.
Aaah, I’m looking forward to going back for a second time next year already. Thanks to everyone who made this trip and unforgettable one. I am really, really grateful. This was the best holiday I had in my whole life so far.