Sayonara, Japan — We’ll meet again soon!

Too short! This trip, albeit was supposed to be just a quick stop over, I didn’t realize how much I loved being in Japan, but using my Japanese everywhere was such a treat. It’s such a waste that my company doesn’t use my Japanese more, I hope someday I’ll have an opportunity to use it with my job, but if not, I’ll just have to make more trips to Japan!
The whole family came to see me off to Narita, and now I’m sitting in my upstairs cabin lounging back typing away on what I did the past few days. San Francisco, I’m coming home!

All around Tokyo, then Dinner at Omotesando


Today, after breakfast I headed to Asakusa to take some pictures of the temple there. Turns out that there was a pretty big Fireworks festival that night, so everyone had donned their yukatas for the event. Got some great photos, and did some shopping, then headed for my beloved Shibuya to hang out. There I got a call on the cell from Kano and we decided to meet up in Roppongi to go to the Roppongi Hills Observation deck. Again, great photo ops, and we then headed to dinner on her favorite, Ometesando Dori. We ate a great place called Las Chicas, and had some risotto and ravioli. After a nice long dinner we walked back to Shibuya because the weather was nice, and then after some more pictures headed for the subway to go home. Yet another great day seeing Tokyo.

Nostalgia in Tokyo


Today, after breakfast I headed to see ICU. I made my way there without really thinking much? So much has changed though, there are so many new buildings, the trains on the Yamanote Line have been upgraded with new monitors that give you detailed information about where you are etc. Anyhow, I made it back to my old university, and it was so nostalgic. I had such a weird feeling of being there, when so much in my life since then has changed, that I didn’t know anyone on the campus, that so many things are new and I didn’t know about it. It was very cool to see, and I can’t wait to tell my other ICU friends about what I saw.
After ICU, I went back to my old apartment complex to find that it’s now pink. It was a shade of gray before, but now it’s a pinkish color. That and the rip-off land lady has built herself quite a nice new castle on the property. I never liked that woman. After that, I went back towards the city and walked around Shinjuku, went shopping looking at electronics and went by Muji to pick up some stationary stuff. I then made my way to Shiodome where I was to meet Kano and her friend for dinner. We decided on a nice Italian place that was on one of the lower floors?we had gone to floor 46 and 47 to look out at the city and potentially eat there, but the lines were too long, and we wanted to eat without having to wait 2hrs +. The food was great and we had a nice time chatting, then Kano and I headed back home.

Off to Japan!


Waking up when it’s still dark has never been easy, but today I fly to Tokyo! After this hellacious training, it’s going to be nice to relax and see what’s been going on in Japan since I left. Again, I made it up to business class, and enjoyed the flight, arriving in Tokyo at about 3:30pm. Kano’s mom came to the airport to pick me up, and as soon as I exited customs, I looked for her, and sure enough, there she was standing with a sign that said in Japanese ?Ben? ? she thought she might not recognize me! We saw each other, and it was just like being back in Japan again, it was so familiar. I felt 100% comfortable and felt like I really hadn’t left. My Japanese really hasn’t seen too much degradation since I left Japan, despite my lack of opportunities of speaking it in San Francisco. Thankfully, it’s at a level now that I don’t really think about it that much until I try to say something a little more complex.
Mom and I sat for a while and had a snack before we got ready to take our bus back to Ikebukuro station, where Kano would be meeting us. After the bus ride, we met up with Kano and headed to Shiki to find Dad. We all went to a great place with the freshest sushi and had a huge set of sushi..soooo good! After dinner, we went home and I got settled into the room I always stay in. First day back was nice, and looking forward to seeing ICU and Tokyo in the next couple of days.