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FIVE THOUSAND MILES One Prew's adventures in Japan. April, 2014.

Day 17: Tokyo & home

I had an alarm set for 6am but actually woke up even earlier than this. Having packed up everything the night before, there was barely anything for me to do and I was soon ready to check out. I went downstairs at 6.20 and quickly checked out, leaving my suitcase briefly at reception whilst I went off to have the speediest hotel breakfast ever. I was first in line when they opened the restaurant at 6.30 for breakfast and I quickly helped myself to my final Japanese buffet breakfast.

I managed to devour everything in about 15 minutes and then popped back to collect my suitcase from reception. I said farewell and went outside to join the other people waiting for the airport bus. It soon arrived and our luggage was loaded onto the bus before we ourselves got on.

I took some last blurry photographs of Tokyo as we headed for Narita airport and I said goodbye to Japan.

I arrived at the airport with loads of time to spare before my flight at 11:15am, even after the slow check-in, security and passport control. I had plenty of time to wander around the duty free shops and buy lots of things to take home with me. Although there weren't actually that many shops, the airport is a lot smaller than Heathrow.

I stocked up on green tea Kit Kats by buying a box of 10 packs. I also decided to sample a red bean Kit Kat – funny how at the airport they had extra flavours that I hadn't found anywhere in Japan prior to that. I also bought some Japanese green tea for my mum, three boxes of Pocky, an assortment of rice crackers, a selection box of mochi to take in to work and a few last souvenir bits – fridge magnets etc.

Finally it was time to board the plane and say sayonara (no one actually says sayonara in Japan, I found) to the wonderful country. It had been an incredible holiday and an experience I will never, ever forget but I was more than ready to get home. I was looking forward to being back in Britain and couldn't wait to see my cat… and family, of course.

The return flight seemed a lot longer than the flight out to Japan. Probably for several reasons: a) it actually was – it was something like 13 hours in the end instead of the 11 it had been on the flight out. b) it was daytime so I couldn't pass the time by sleeping. c) I was keen just to be home.

I watched a total of four films on the plane before I couldn't bear to watch another and resorted to simply reading and listening to music. All of the films I watched were good though, and very different from one another: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Dallas Buyers Club, In A World… and 12 Years A Slave.

As on the flight out, they provided us with a hell of a lot of food which if anything made me more sleepy. But I didn't sleep! And when we did eventually arrive at Heathrow, I felt fairly awake when I stepped off the plane. It took a while to get through passport control at Heathrow and a little while longer to wait for my suitcase, but by something like 5pm I had met my brother and we were on our way home.

Here's my duty-free foodie haul.

And the pile of leaflets, maps and souvenirs that got unpacked right onto my record player – they have sinced been moved to the side so that I could use said record player. As well as this web-journal, I would like to produce a book of my trip including scans of some of these things that I gathered. When this will happen I do not know…

Miraculously, jet lag never hit me. Sure, I felt tired but I went to bed at 10pm – a fairly normal time!

And so ends one girl's adventures in Japan, April 2014. Until the next time…

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