The day after we ate at the New York Grill, we had our long awaited architectural tour in the Shibuya area. We met up with our tour guide by the flagship Japanese Gap store. There were two other people on our tour, but one of them wandered off within the first 20 minutes of the tour. His (I’m assuming) girlfriend told us not to worry about it and that he would show up again at some point, so our small group got even smaller. The tour guide was amazing. Not only did he end up being a former JET, but he is an architectural student at one of the top universities in Tokyo and studying under a famous architect.
I am typically the kind of person who feels the need to show off my knowledge on a topic like Japan. I am that tour member that most guides probably hate. At least, I used to be, I’m sure. Since becoming away of it, though, I am much better at holding myself back. I am actually pretty proud of how I handled myself in our tour. I kept myself from supplementing what the guide was saying unless I knew that Aunt Marty would be interested in something he had not mentioned. Even then I tried to keep that to a bare minimum because the truth is, he’s clearly done many, many of these tours and has a reason for what he does and does not include.
I had a great time on the tour. It combined all my favorite elements: cool buildings I can take pictures off, history, and some new random facts that will never actually help me unless I take part in a weirdly specific pub quiz.
We had to leave our tour a little early to get back to the hotel in enough time to get on our shuttle busses to the airport. To do that, I had to flag down a taxi. That was not something I’ve ever done, but rather than freak out about that fact, I managed to act before my brain had a chance to catch up. We were safely in the taxi and on our way back to the hotel by the time any anxieties hit and those were easily combatted by “It worked. I did it. Everything is fine.”
By the time we finally got back to the hotel, we did not have much time to do anything but go to the bathroom. Aunt Marty got changed into something more comfortable for the upcoming long-haul flight, I ran quickly to the convenience store nearby, we had a long hug, and then she was whisked away by the hotel staff to the waiting bus.
I was on my own after that and it was strange. When the bus I was on got to the airport, I turned to tell Aunt Marty that this was our stop, but she was not there. I had to get back into solo-traveling mode, which was more difficult than I expected. Other than the fact that I wish I had booked an earlier flight, getting back to my apartment was uneventful.