Today Michelle, AJ, and Ai-chan went back home. Ai-chan's parents were kind enough to take our luggage in their car so we just had to take the shuttle to the airport. We had lunch and saw everyone off and then I took the train back to Tokyo. It was shaping up to be a boring night back at the hotel in Tokyo, but it turned out I had a real scare in store.
I had reserved a ticket on the Shinkansen (Japan's high speed rail) earlier in the week, but when I looked at my ticket to double-check the time, I realized that the ticket I'd gotten was for the wrong day (earlier today!).
I grabbed my coat and started to leave for the nearest ticket office, when it occurred to me to make sure it would still be open. I hit the Japan Rail website and sure enough, it had closed a couple hours earlier and wouldn't reopen until shortly before I was supposed to be on the train.
I looked through all the ticket offices and eventually found one that was still open for another hour. With a little help from the front desk of the hotel, I figured out the fastest way to get there and took off. When I finally got to the station and found the ticket office, it was just starting to shut down but they were able to see me and gave me tickets for the right day. Whew.