I got back from Japan last week. And for the most part of this week, after spending 8 nights in a hotel room about the size of the bed at home, I am glad to be back. It was my fourth time in Japan, and I thought Japan finally stopped being magical for me.
This time, when I went back to Japan for the fourth time:
I had a bad bowl of ramen in a well-known restaurant in Ginza, wasn't happy with my sushi platter, and didn't eat my favorite Japanese snack in Japan, onigiri.
I also encountered a semi-rude waiter, really cold weather, and way too many tourists.
In Harajuku, I queued in the Harry the Hedgehog cafe line for a half hour before realizing it wasn't the famous ramen shop queue.
And the bookstore, Tatsuya, in Shinjuku didn't sell books nor stationeries. It just had Starbucks coffee.
I took a wrong train route and ended up in a rural area outside of Tokyo, took another wrong train and had to run to a tour meeting place before 7 AM, and took yet another wrong train before deciding to just simply throw the ticket away and find my own way back to the hotel.
Disney Sea was a letdown
I left by lunchtime after only spending a couple hours, and a couple hundred dollars, there.
Gasp! I know! How could I not enjoy Tokyo Disney after wanting to go there for years and years? But yeah, I didn't.
I got into an accident. I fell on the train station stairs, which of course seems inevitable as I have yet to acquire the skill of running on stairs while wearing a puffy jacket and juggling a heavy backpack and various paper bags.
To top it all I, together with 20 more people, was held hostage by American tourists for three hours in Nikko's Toshogu Shrine car park, in the cold and in the dark.
On my last day there, I couldn't wait to board the 11-hour plane ride back to Melbourne.
With all these issues, you might think I would be done with Japan. Hey, even I thought so. For a few days. But now, only a week after leaving Japan, I start making plans for the next trip.
I have yet to try natto and buy Nikka whiskey and corn soup from the vending machines. I want to visit Takasaki (to burn my Japanese Daruma Doll believed to grant wishes), Naoshima, Shirakawago, Nagoya, Okinawa, Manabeshima, Fukuoka, and Shikoku, to name same. I want to immerse myself in Japanese culture once again.
The good news is there is a discount flight from Melbourne to Japan, but the bad news is I don't have annual leave anymore.
This problem would easily be solved if I lived in Japan. I even picked a neighborhood in Tokyo, where I would live, Nakameguro.