Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Day 56 - Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - Shimizu, Japan

It's sad to have to type this, but today was our last port of call for this voyage. We arrived on time just before 2pm following a fantastic scenic cruise sail in with clear views of Mt. Fuji. It was the first time that we have seen the mountain and it was spectacular. Before the scenic cruising we played the BBC Earth trivia game with another passenger. With this scenery, memory cards were definitely being filled. Since we weren't in a real hurry as we planned to just do some local sightseeing around the Port area, we ate a light sushi lunch.  

We scanned off the boat, went through the passport inspection, and obtained a local map from the very helpful local tourist information booth that was set up. We headed for the large Ferris wheel and for 500 yen per person and it took around 20 minutes to make the slow. There was also a souvenir photo taken which only cost 1,000 yen or $10. After our Ferris wheel ride, we continued our walk up the very nice pedestrian walkway (we met Pat & Rick from the ship along the way), and we continued on up to the "Fish Market" which turned out to be a mini mall of fish related restaurants. In this little mall was a collection of "Claw" machines. These are coin operated machines that have a mechanical claw that's operated by the player and one attempts to pick up an object and deposit it in the outgoing chute. Generally they are pretty hard to successfully obtain the prize. There was one that caught my eye as it had Claw pens as the prize. For 2017's Halloween at our daughter's church, I built a Claw Machine prop (the mechanism didn't work, but it looked just like a real Claw machine). So I took my chances and for 100 yen or $1US, I played the Claw Machine and won a Claw! While there, we took many more pictures of "Fake" food displays. They were really good!

We then walked back towards the Port and stopped in at the shopping center where I used my first full featured Japanese toilet. I did the whole meal deal: heated seat, two kinds of washing sprays. It was pretty cool. I was in there so long, Angela came shouting at the door wondering if everything was okay. We then walked around the mail and even toured the Sushi museum which was a bit disappointing as there was absolutely nothing in English. Our last stop was at the 108 yen store (100 yen or $1 plus 8 cents for tax). We found a few cute items to purchase.

We were back on board the ship around 6pm and went up to the LIDO for a very light last dinner and finished up our last bottle of wine. The movie in the Wajang theatre was "The Ramen Girl" and it was a pretty good representation of Japanese culture. There was "Battle of the Sexes playing on the Main Stage screen, but that didn't interest us. After the movie, I made one last purchase of a travel shirt to use up our remaining shipboard credit. We returned to our room, finished packing, and then went up to the LIDO around 11:30pm to have a last cup of tea. We also said our goodbyes up there to Bill & Jeannette who we met on the ship. And our last day of 56 days on the Volendam ended.  

Disembarkation is tomorrow in Yokohama and we are staying a couple of days to do some more sightseeing with another couple before catching a flight to LAX and another up to Seattle. Stay tuned for those adventures.

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