To recap our Japan trip:
Day 1: arrive to Chiyoda and attempt to explore the Imperial Palace East Gardens in drizzling rain;
Day 2: shopping and dining in Ginza;
Day 3: the highs and lows of Shinjuku;
Day 4: views of Tokyo Skytree in Sumida and exploring the adorable neighborhood of Asakusa;
Day 5: wandering around Shibuya;
Day 6: checking out the scene in Harajuku and then catching a train to Kyoto;
Day 7: walk all day throughout Kyoto;
Day 8: walk some more in Kyoto;
Day 9: exhausted from walking all over Kyoto so catch a train back to Tokyo;
Day 10: continue exploring Shibuya, Harajuku, as well as Omotesando (and a quick misguided detour back to Asakusa), and the Meiji Shrine on our last full day in Tokyo;
Day 11: depressed to be boarding a plane back to Vietnam 😦
I can hardly convey how much I loved being in Japan. It’s beautiful, clean, modern, efficient, its citizens are renowned for their politeness, and we didn’t have a single bad meal. In many ways it was the opposite of my experiences over the last six months in Vietnam. I’m ready to leave. The reason we had to squeeze 5 countries into a month and a half of back-to-back travel is that our return flights to the U.S. had been booked for October 16th. Originally we planned to postpone our return flights by six months in order to stay a full year, but after consulting the inner depths of my heart, mind, and soul, I realized that there was no way in hell I wanted to stay another six months in Vietnam.
Which means we only have a few days to pack up all of our crap, say our goodbyes, and get the hell out of Asia.