Return to Japan
It's taken seven months, a new job, new house and a 14-hour flight but I've finally made it back to Japan.
Right this moment I am sitting on the balcony of a small apartment in a building for international researchers, writing my blog in the sunshine. I'm waiting for my own international researcher to finish work so that we can cycle to the local Aeon store and buy some milk for our English tea and fish for our Japanese dinner.
I have only been here for 2 days and yet I feel very much at home. We went to our favourite soba place for lunch and then cycled around Tokai trying to spot the birds we could hear and any trees that have sprung into blossom early. And now I am eating cat shaped chocolates in the afternoon sun.
As for the weekend, well we packed quite a lot in. I landed in Tokyo Haneda on Saturday evening, which was my birthday and therefore merited a stay in a rather nice hotel in Daiba, and a delicious meal on the 30th floor overlooking the sea front of that artificial island. Although I miraculously managed a full 6 hours of sleep on the plane, travelling is nevertheless very tiring, and we had a nice early night on Saturday.
Sunday morning was cloudy but not too cold, and we had a little bit of time to explore Daiba before setting off toward our true holiday destination of Hakone.
I highly recommend staying in Daiba when you first arrive in Tokyo, not because of the place itself, but because of the groovy space age train that takes you to the rest of Tokyo. It's a fun way to enter the city for the first time. Even the locals seem to get excited about it!
But no time to hang around in Tokyo this time, it's off to Hakone...