You are in Japan When:
Kind strangers help you on the street
Passengers sit on the left
Cars drive on the left
The sushi is amazing and moves towards you on a conveyor belt
Travels to Japan!
The time to begin my Japan adventures finally came! At 11pm I rolled my packed bags out the door and tiredly (but also excitedly), made my way to the airport. Airport check-in and security went smoothly and I was happily asleep the second I found my seat on the plane.
12 hours later…I arrived in Taiwan! My goal was to sleep the entire flight to avoid getting jet lagged, but I was still surprised I had slept for so long. With 3 hours to kill at the airport, my first and only goal was to find the food court. After a bit of wandering, food was found, and I was first in line when the shops opened at 6 am. I ordered beef brisket noodle soup and scarfed it down. The noodles were done super well, but the beef was meh. With a little room left in my stomach, and since I was in Taiwan, I had to order a round of xiaolongbao (soup dumplings). The dumplings were nice and soupy but the inside meat wasn’t amazing. I’ll be travelling back to Taiwan in a couple weeks though so hopefully I’ll be able to taste more than just airport food.
One more plane ride later and I arrived in Japan! It was nostalgic walking the same airport route that I had walked just a year ago- except this time I wasn’t as lost. I picked up a JR Kansai Wide pass and began the journey to my host family. Along the way, I purchased a SIM card for 3GB worth of data (Google maps is a savior when it comes to getting around), a nice lady helped me with my luggage when she saw I was struggling to make it down the stairs, and I found a cool pair of earrings that happened to be on sale.
I finally made it to Ibaraki after 26 hours of travel. Needless to say, I was pooped. But it was time for a reunion! It was so exciting to see my host mom again, along with the kids! I almost got in the wrong side of the car going home, and was a little shocked the first couple seconds of driving on the left hand side.
After sharing stories from the past year, it was dinner time, i.e. conveyor belt sushi! I couldn’t have been happier. Sushi came and I was able to satisfy my hungry stomach with delicious sake, saba, and maguro. 🙂 M. joined us at dinner and it felt like old times. What a welcome back to にほん! (Japan).