Journeys in Japan
-All Journeys Must Have an End-
It’s been a month since I got back from my trip, and I’ve had plenty of time to digest the entire experience, and what can I say about it? Frankly the entire thing feels like a dream, like the part in the end of some romantic drama where the main character is thinking about the times he shared with his ex-girlfriend, and there’s a series of flashbacks to previous scenes in the movie with dramatic music set over it. Japan has always had a special place in my heart, like most people who have been affected by Japanese culture in one way or another it is sort of a mecca, a holy ground where the things you’ve been learning so much about take place. The last time I was in the country was with one of my closest friends; we had just graduated high school and it was our first time leaving the country without our parents - really a trip that I am incredibly thankful for. I can easily say this last trip was equally life-changing. It’s amazing what a lot of walking and thinking will do for you!
Anyway, so after getting back to Tokyo I spent some more time with my friend who lives in the city, as well as met up with Simmo for some drinks as we separated on our journey. It’s really amazing how 10 years ago, we never would have had any contact again past those few days we, two travelers from opposite ends of the globe, managed to just so happen to meet in a foreign land. Now there’s Facebook, and to reconnect is just a few clicks away.
Julia and I visited Ikebukuro, which as she described it is the Akihabara for girls. We saw Namco Namja town, a small and very Japanese theme park on the top of the Sunshine City mall; an incredibly enduring place just because of how campy it was. If you’re in Ikebukuro, stop by this place, it’s only a few dollars to get in. We went to Nakano Broadway, which was a really old mall filled with otaku related goods, similar to Akihabara. Being in such an old building and surrounded by vintage toys and collectibles gave the illusion that you were back in the late 70s.
I had to catch the train to the airport to make my flight that night, so we headed back to Julia’s apartment to get my stuff and I departed, a little later than I thought, but with the efficiency of Japanese trains I figured that the 40 minute train ride would give me at least an hour of room. I WAS WRONG! Oh how much more wrong could I be? I missed check in by 10 minutes and was stuck in Japan another few days!! Oh the horror! While the thought of being able to stick around for a bit longer was kind of nice, I was mentally ready to go home and possibly hit up a day at Anime Expo, and I was at the limit of my budget for the trip. Julia and Amanda, thank God for them, offered to host me for remainder of my stay. I grabbed the last train back and after 40 minutes was in Tokyo again. Laughs were had, and we were soon eating dinner in a Dennys at Midnight, and let me tell you if you’re Japan you’ll need to go to a Japanese Dennys. That shit is AMAZING.
Julia and I went and visited Odaiba the next day, and we got to see the life sized Gundam, just as it did it’s daily routine. It was pretty inspiring to see and I really expected it to start walking and explode off into the atmosphere at any moment. I spent the next few days generally being lazy for the first time since leaving Perth. Taking naps in cafes in cafes and whatnot. And with that I was on my way home, fully satisfied that I was able to get a few extra days to make sure I had taken my fill of the place - さらば日本, farewell Japan until the next time. The flight passed by quick, I happened to sit next to a girl travelling back to San Diego from South East Asia on a route that just so happened to take her through Narita. So many amazing coincidences.
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