Tokyo 2003: Tadaima

January 13th, 2003

I’m home, finally. Well, I have been home for a little less than a week, but due to some amazingly wacky things I have no intention of sharing with you, I’m *just* catching up enough to start serializing my trip journal. I’ll upload a few key pictures as soon as I have a moment for the interested.

I’ve decided to start at the end of my journal, so I can give you the overview first, then segue into a more detailed description of what I did and where I went, but let me just say that Japan is wonderful – I’d go back in a second and I’d live there if I could afford it. If anyone out there needs anything done there, I gladly volunteer to go for you.

The two main lessons I learned while in Japan:
1) I need a haircut
2) I need new glasses

These were really key findings.

The best things about the trip were:
1) Dinner in a teeny little alley with a toothless old guy smiling at me and waving the whole time. (This was Emi and Takami getting us back for the sausages and peppers down at the Jersey Shore, I’m sure of it…)

2) Fuji-san – just breathtaking. I’m an animist and let me tell you, I was down on my knees worshipping like probably no local has for many a year.

3) Sera Myu – I really thought I’d hate it, but I didn’t. It was wonderful.

4) The whole last day, with Fuji-san, the Shinkansen, karaoke/dinner and Shinjuku Nichome. What a day.

5) Did I mention Fuji-san?

The worst things:

1) Jet lag – god I wish someone had warned me! It was dreadful. Four days in a funk. Day two was a total nightmare

2) The subway/train lines, until we figured it out

3) Roppongi

The subway and trains were fine and made alot of sense – AFTER we worked it all out. At first it was really confusing. And Roppongi was fine, but compared to the rest of Tokyo, it was dirty and had *way* too many American food chains for us to enjoy it. Other than the jet lag, everything was great, even the trains and Roppongi, it’s just that compared to evertyhing, they were the least wonderful. Jet lag sucked, though. Big time.

And finally, I did NOT find Tokyo and the Japanese impenetrable, or incomprehensible or inscrutable or wacky or anything like that at all. I found it to be a really nice city, full of many people, most of whom were nice and polite, some of whom were *exceptionally* nice and polite, some who never even noticed we existed and many who found us curious for a fraction of a second. The entire time we met exactly one nasty person and he seemed like such a cretin after the way everyone else acted, that we really didn’t think we were doing anything wrong. And we scared children everywhere we went. LOL

So, starting next time I post, I’ll give you the day-by-day, Samuel Pepys – like. It was fun, and hopefully, you’ll find it fun to read about.

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