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It’s been a fairly hectic 24 hours.
After 14 days, we finally got the all-clear to officially leave quarantine. We enjoyed some time together in the hotel following the Closing Ceremony last night before an early rise to enjoy our final day. After a morning sorting last minute COVID tests, negative certs and flight details, we excitedly jumped on public transport. And that’s no exaggeration, after two weeks of private buses and taxis that travel the same roads and the same routes, to be able to take the metro and the overground train through the heart of the city was such a luxury.
It was already decided that we would head to some of the tourist traps, Shibuya Crossing and the Tokyo Skytree. And just as we exited the station at the first destination, it started lashing, raining so hard that our umbrellas became inconsequential. So instead of wandering the streets, we instead decided to marvel at their enormous shopping malls. But as the day cleared up we made our way over to the Skytree which was one of the best decisions we’ve made on this trip. You could take a thousand photographs and they wouldn’t do justice to the views from the top.
Even though it was a limited window to explore and take in the city, I felt like it was enough. When you’re coming from a place as small as Dublin, the sheer scale of Tokyo can be a bit overwhelming. The crowds, the skyscrapers, the constant busyness, it was a lot to take in, especially as I’ve spent the last two weeks in a bubble. But yet it was exhilarating and I can’t wait to come back again in the future.
Update: Going to Tokyo Skytree was the best decision. pic.twitter.com/0vSE3lFsa3
— Marisa Kennedy (@MarisaK96) September 6, 2021
So an early night is in order before a hectic day of travelling tomorrow. Our flight takes off at 5.40am Irish time and we land in Dublin sometime before midnight. It’s funny, when I was packing to come to Tokyo, I made meticulous lists and endless checks on my suitcases and now I’m in a situation where our flight is hours away and my belongings are scattered across the room with zero motivation to gather them up.
It will be nice to share the flight with our Team Ireland heroes even if it means much less space than our outgoing journey! We’re lucky that we get to be part of the select few that get to see the athletes reunite with their families in the airport after such a significant experience.
This is my last diary entry from Tokyo and honestly there is so much I want to say but my brain is too fried to put the words together. Come back to me in a week or so and maybe I’ll be able to sum up the madness and brilliance of the 2020 Paralympic Games.