I couldn't get out of bed that early. Just too zonked. I decided I'd simply show up at 9, when the public can roam around freely. The hotel shuttle bus to the airport was leaving at 10:10 (there was another at 12:10, but I'd get to Narita with < 2 hours to go, which I thought was pushing it). The Tsukigi Fish Market was supposed to be close to the hotel. I could also take the subway there. Maybe I'd stay past 10:10, and simply take the trains/subway to Narita. I looked to the information on Hyperdia, certain I could it. I moved my shuttle reservation to 12:10, as a backup plan, in case I had any issues.
I had an issue. Specifically, I took a wrong turn and couldn't find the damn station. I gave up and ran over on foot. It was 9:15 at this point. Assuming I got there by 9:30, and assuming it was about 10 minutes from the hotel, plus a 10 minute cushion for getting switching the shuttle bus back to 10:10 if I thought I was going to make it, that gave me 20 minutes to explore the market. Sadly, I didn't get to see a lot of the odd fish - I really needed to be there earlier, but my body finally said "no mas". The market isn't set up for tourists, it just became a tourist attraction on its own, which actually is a bit of a nuisance to the people actually trying to conduct business - it's the largest fish and seafood market in the world. Forklifts whizzing everywhere, people packing things up and moving on. There are plenty of booths nearby selling fish, and other food as well. I got some good shots, but I wish I'd been able to get up early.
I hot-footed it back to the hotel: 10AM on the dot. Hopped on the shuttle, and we were off. I watched the hotel clerk bow to us as the bus pulled away. I never quite got used to all the bowing. Every time a train conductor would enter or leave the cabin, they would turn and bow. Everyone operating the elevator would bow. Just a different cultural norm. I usually tried to bow in return when I could remember to. Another interesting peculiarities of Japan is its ackowledgment of the rudeness of public cellphone usage, and Japan is all about avoiding rudeness. Hence, no one on a bus, train, subway, etc is supposed to be talking on a cell (texting, I believe, is another matter). The sign on the shuttle bus said it all: "Portable phone should not be used on the bus, and they annoy the neighbors."
Saw a good Engrish sign on the way: "Tokyo Heirport." (at first, I thought it had said Heliport, as I saw quite a few of the on the roofs I photographed the past few days). There was also one for a product called Placenta. I don't remember if M or I figured out what it was - a protective covering of some kind, I think. Other than that, not much Engrish.
The plane flight back was 9 hours. For the hell of it, I put on all three Lord of the Rings movie. If I hadn't watched the end credits, I wouldn't gotten through them all in time - every time the stewardess spoke (in English, Japanese, and Mandarin), the screen paused. Gandalf was saying goodbye to everyone at the Gray Havens when we touched down and the video switched off. When I got home, I turned on the TV, and Fellowship was just beginning - they were showing all 3 on TV. Nice timing.
I got in around 9AM. JR picked me up at SFO. We went home, I showered, and we went out for lunch. Then I came home and tried to keep myself up long enough to counteract jetleg. Tomorrow, I'm off to Commedia rehearsal at 10, and Mikado Act I stumblethrough at 7. I've missed too much rehearsal already (for Commedia, due to Ruddigore, Japan, and XMas in WI, and we don't get that many rehearsals, period; for Mikado, there's a break Thanksgiving week, and a long one over XMas holidays). Monday I have one more week of work before I change jobs, and from the mail I've seen, there's a lot of work to be done and I don't want to leave people hanging. So, it's time for bed. The pix from my phone have been loaded onto my Mac, but the ones from L's camera will require a card reader - my built-in one hasn't worked since I shorted the thing out by pouring water on it while planning L's memorial.
There and Back Again, an Aimeric's Tale...