Day 15

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Thursday, June 3—Tokyo/Yokohama

As Advertised: Breakfast will be served in your hotel today. Early this afternoon you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to the United States, arriving the same day with connecting flights on to your home city, with fond memories of your Japanese experience.

The above was the end of the Hamden itinerary. From this point we were in Glenn’s hands. In one of his many helpful compositions (“Four Perfect Days in Yokohama”), he wrote, on the subject of “Getting to Yokohama”:

On Thursday, 3 June, your Hamden tour itinerary will end, and Joe and Jeff will head off to Narita with the other returning Rotarians. There is a direct bus to Narita Airport from the Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku, where you will be staying. You can check the schedule and buy tickets from the hotel bell captain’s desk. [Note: This was unnecessary, since the Hamden tour provided transportation to Narita.] For the other nine, you will move to Yokohama and check in at the Novotel. I have arranged to take the day off to help you move, and Jeanette Thomas, the headmistress of Saint Maur, has offered the school bus and driver to take you (and all of your luggage) door-to-door from the Keio Plaza to the Novotel. I will arrange a pick-up time that suits all of you as well as the bus driver’s schedule. Since the bus seats 26, there is room for all of your luggage as well, and you won’t need to take advantage of Japan’s efficient baggage courier delivery service.

He goes on with instructions for any of us who might “have business in Tokyo longer on Thursday” and hence be unable to take the bus. I can’t imagine what further business he may have envisioned; in the event, we all rode the bus together.

In an earlier write-up, “Schedule of Events and Options,” he had provided a list of Daytime Options and another of Dinner Options. For Thursday, he wrote:

Arrive at Yokohama Novotel around noon. Check in and enjoy the view of Yokohama harbor from your window. I have taken the entire day off from school, although Chie is busy until late afternoon with graduation practice.

Afternoon: Daytime Option A (choose from list of options on the next page)

Evening: Come visit our apartment (in groups of no more than three, as previously explained), and then go out to Dinner Option 1

We rose early (6:35) and went down to breakfast, again in the Glass Court, about 7:30, then finished packing until 9:40, when we went down to check out. Glenn and the Saint Maur bus were already there, so we loaded up. We didn’t actually get away till about 10:35, but the drive to the Yokohama Novotel took less than an hour: we arrived about 11:30 and were checked in by 11:45. We agreed to meet for lunch at 12:15, though of course there were the inevitable delays to be expected when trying to coordinate the movements of ten people. Eventually we all opted for lunch in the hotel café, Café Saisons, and most of us ordered the set lunch.

Once we had finished lunch, we were ready for “Daytime Option A.” Dad, Tom, and Joan opted for a tour of Sankeien Gardens, highly recommended by Glenn, but Barney and I, pretty much gardened-out at that point, settled for a leisurely stroll around Yamashita Park. One of the numerous landmarks of the park was the statue of “The Little Girl Wearing Red Shoes,” which we learned more about later.

At some point we ran into Sam and Debby, who had just toured the Hikawa Maru and enjoyed it, so we ultimately did the same and also found it quite enjoyable.

After our tour, we returned to the hotel, where we collected Tom and Joan to go out to dinner. We ended up at an Italian restaurant near the hotel, Roma Statione—not one of Glenn’s recommendations, but it was handy, and we were hungry, and we got a good meal. It was a good thing we were the only patrons, as it appeared that a single man was proprietor, waiter, bartender, and chef. The restaurant took only cash, so there was a certain amount of scrounging around for yen and perhaps more restrained ordering than if we could have paid with a credit card.

After supper we wandered around looking for ice cream, which apparently we had decided was the required finish to the meal. We wound up at a FamilyMart down the street from the hotel, in the shadow of the Marine Tower, that proved to be a favorite resort while we were there. From the large selection of intriguing-looking frozen confections in the chest-type freezer case we were able to select ice cream bars (like Eskimo Pies if I recall correctly) that just hit the spot in both taste and price (¥103).

Returning to the hotel about 9:30 p.m., I requested an iron and ironing board and received another inscrutable (but fairly efficient) cordless iron and an “ironing board” that was exactly that: a slab of particle board about 15" x 24" wrapped in padding and sheeting. It had no feet, legs, or other means of support, but I managed to wedge it into a partially open drawer and get some use of it.

After “ironing” as best I could, I read till midnight and then turned in to prepare for another exciting day.