Kaminarimon photo credit: Dick Thomas Johnson via PhotoPin

I have wanted to visit Japan since I was a small child.  I remember sitting in my grandparents’ house, looking at their print of the Great Wave and a bunch of other things they collected and brought back from their time stationed there when my dad was a kid and wishing I could see the place these beautiful things came from.  I’ve been incredibly lucky to have traveled a bit already in my life- I have family living in Hong Kong and they invited me to spend the holidays with them one year, and a friend of mine invited me along for the ride while he bummed around Peru and Chile.  Both trips were amazing, and I saw and ate and did things that I never knew I needed to see and eat and do before I got there.  (Hong Kong just post-turnover was a totally bonkers study in contrasts, and South America was amazingly diverse.  Also I got to see penguins on the beach.  I mean penguins!)

But Japan is special for me.  I don’t even know why, really, other than my Grandparents’ stories from their time here (and then later my Aunt’s stories from her family’s time living here,) but being here is honestly the one thing I’d always hoped for and didn’t actually think would happen.  Even when my husband moved here for work.

So this weekend he managed to get Friday off, and we went to meet up with friends and do tourist things.  We got out and played video games at an arcade in Akihabara, we went to Kaminarimon and took blurry selfies in front of the temple buildings and had lunch at a tourist-oriented Japanese pub sort of place.  We went to Shinjuku and tried not to get swept away in the sea of humanity that is Shinjuku station– no mean feat with a 6 year old in tow!  We even got convenience store chicken and croquette to eat and grabbed drinks from one of the infamous Japanese Vending Machines (it just had drinks in it though,  nothing scandalous.)  We’re exhausted and I’m not sure we could walk more for a while after just three days!

Today is Monday, and my husband has gone to work.  Our son and I are home, resting up a bit and taking care of work we’ve let slide a bit.  Today is about laundry and taking out the trash, and maybe running out to the grocery for dinner supplies.  This past weekend we were tourists and will be again next weekend, but today we’re just people who happen to be in Tokyo.  I’m super excited.

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