Saturday, August 6, 2016

2016 Japan Vacation, Day 16: Our Last Day

Our last day in Japan was the hottest. The temperature reached 90 degrees with high humidity. It was reminiscent of the sweltering heat we experienced regularly the last time we came to Japan two years ago. We were very thankful that it wasn't this hot for most of our stay this time.

My wife and I walked around the neighborhood one last time. We stopped at a Starbucks for a Crushed Orange Frappuccino to cool off. (Do they even have that flavor here in the U.S.?)

Kai stayed behind with his grandparents to play with his Pokémon plushies.

After lunch, it was time to head for the airport. We said goodbye to Baba at the apartment.

My father-in-law drove us to Narita Airport. Kai gave Jiji a heartfelt hug goodbye.

Our return flight was uneventful. We made it home safely and on time. And now we're very tired, but have had an opportunity to begin to reflect on this wonderful vacation.

Even though this was my fourth visit to Japan, we visited many places this time that I had never been to before and had many new experiences. My father-in-law in particular did so much to make our trip enjoyable, from making hotel and restaurant reservations before we departed for Japan to buying tickets to the Yokohama baseball game and Ghibli Museum; from driving us around Hokkaido and to Nikko, to looking after our every need. My mother-in-law did our laundry and made sure she had snacks and beverages for us. We are very grateful for everything that Jiji and Baba did for us, and are so happy that we could spend such quality time with them.

As my blogging friend Shiroi commented yesterday, I think our leaving was hardest for Kai's grandparents. Living so far away, we just don't get to see them very often. But Kai was already thinking ahead to our next visit. On our last night in Tokyo, Kai told us that he wants to come back for the 2020 Olympics. I think we'll likely make a return visit before then. Though the future is not guaranteed, we hope to come back and have another great visit with Kai's grandparents.

Kai's initial impressions of this trip may be shaped by the Pokémon he caught playing Pokémon Go, or the new plushies he was able to get at the Pokémon Center through his grandparents' gift cards. But I hope that longer term, what will remain are memories of the places that we went, and, more importantly, the love he received from his grandparents. Those are the wonderful memories that I'd like to think will live on with all of us.


  1. A child remembers the magical events in his lifetime. Trips to Japan are magical because they are so unique, and the foods are so delicious.

    These trips will always stay in Kai's mind, and he will have many fond memories of his grandparents.

    1. I think you are right that trips to Japan will stand out and be remembered because the experience is so unique and special. I don't remember every detail from the vacations I went on in my youth, but think of them very fondly. I think these trips to Japan will always be special for Kai.

  2. Oh wow.

    Crushed orange!

    I remember this as a drink from when I was very young.

    And the way the ice was made.

    I think they do it now with Fanta and other similar drinks.

    I hope the love does live on.

    1. It was fun to see flavors that I don't believe they have here in the U.S.

  3. Glad you had a wonderful trip! Looks like a lot of fun!
    Now back to reality and work. haha.

    1. It was a great trip... the worst part is coming back to reality, ha! Not really looking forward to work tomorrow.


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