Kon nichi wa, Sayonara, Japan

Japan… Oooooh Japan. Did I think Japan would be like China, because I’ve been to China before and it’s also in Asia? Maybe I did, and that’s a pretty ignorant assumption I made. Lesson learned.

It’s been a day since we left Japan and I’m still overwhelmed. I’m not entirely sure how to put into words all that I saw and learned, so it will probably be a series of posts.

But know this: it was good. It was a culture-shock. It was so amazing.

It’s humbling to travel in a place where few people speak English, and limited English at that. And as someone pointed out at our post-port reflections last night, so what if there is no English? Who are we to demand that there be English? Well, I’m not even English speaking, but still, it’s a valid point.

I think that after this trip, I will start to make use of South African public transport. I’m navigating buses and trains in foreign countries with foreign languages, so the (kind of unreliable) public transport in South Africa should be a piece of cake.

Tokyo is massive. So is Yokohama. And Kobe, and Kyoto. Kyoto is a CITY. I did not know that. I guess I have been to New York, but somehow that size of these cities were so incredibly huge and scary and awe-inspiring.

I seem to be having a flight of ideas. That’s a psychiatric symptom, but in my case it probably just exhaustion and being overwhelmed. I can’t remember when last I walked this much, my feet are still aching. But a good ache, and a good exhaustion, that makes me feel kind of accomplished. My friend and I kept repeating, “We are IN JAPAN”. Because it felt that unreal.

One last thing, before I go to bed somewhere en route to Shanghai, about to turn my clock back as we gain another hour tonight: Sushi in Japan tastes so much better than any sushi I have ever had before.

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