I’m writing to you with a belly full of traditional Japanese New Year’s foods and a sake induced headache. The past few days have been full of meeting new people, trying new foods and learning about a culture that is fascinating and very different from our own.
When Chris and I boarded China Airlines I still don’t think it had really set in that we were headed to Japan. The days before departure were crazy. We were shipping enormous packages back to Indiana with all the things we didn’t want to replace, taking loads of stuff to Goodwill and friends’ houses. We had numerous calls to insurance companies, banks, cell phone providers, etc. Even at 5am on the day of our departure we were doing last minute cleaning before loading up our rental car. (Oh and somewhere in there we sold our car and most big items.) Somehow we were able to both get everything we need for 2 months into two suitcases. It helps that Apryl and Edgar have everything we need day to day so we were able to save room by leaving out my hairdryer, etc. I am sure someone at Goodwill will be happy with my pink hairdryer 🙂
Our 9 hour flight went really fast. Both Chris and I read the entire time. I read the first book of the Hunger Games and got half way through the second. Chris, being the intelligent one read books on Japanese culture. I am glad he did because a lot of it came in handy. One thing we want to do is go to an onsen (hot spring) which are very popular in Japan. However, we found out that most of them don’t allow you to enter if you have a tattoo. I told Chris that I will just wear a bathing suit that covers mine. Buuuuut most onsens you get in naked. So we either have to go to one that allows me to put a bandage over it or go to one that allows bathing suits. I really want to go to the authentic onsen so hopefully I can bandage it. We had two really good meals on the plane and before we knew it… we landed in Tokyo! We were nervous about immigrations and customs because we haven’t bought return tickets yet and I was carrying all my medicine. But we got through faster than any other country I have visited. We even had a piece of paper that each place time stamped so they could evaluate how quickly and efficiently they were in getting us through. Next thing we knew…
Apryl and Edgar have a beautiful home in Yokohama. And we are close enough to everything that we can walk everywhere. On our first night we went to get sushi. This was not like the American sushi or even the Hawaiian sushi that I was used to. They really threw us off the deep end. 🙂 The next day Apryl showed us the city. We had a great time checking out all the shops, restaurants etc.
After we left Common we went to a smaller bar. They gave out free sake in square wooden bowls. Chris was a social butterfly and talked to many of the local guys. They loved trying out their English. Chris even walked away with an email address so we could meet up for dinner. Everyone was so friendly and we had an amazing time!
Since I live in the future for most of you, I can tell you that 2012 is great so far! We had so many amazing things happen in 2011… I am so excited to see what 2012 holds for us!