Japan

One year ago: Osaka and Tokyo

Since I’m not likely to leave the country any time soon, I’ve been revisiting travels past and realised this afternoon that it’s exactly a year when I was in Tokyo.

TheFrankFlyer and I were chatting with a Tokyo-based friend this morning on FaceTime (he’s from Vietnam) and after we described our recent heatwave, he pointed out that it was 47C in Tokyo yesterday.

It reminded me of our trip to Japan last August, where running in Osaka’s morning heat nearly killed me and partying late and hard in Shinjuku Ni-Chome undid all the health benefits of the running.

Thankfully, I could recover in our hotel’s sauna and baths (oh how I miss my sauna here in the building, closed due to COVID-19 restrictions). Virtually every photo of me features copious sweat. It was so hot and so very very humid. But I’d go back in a heartbeat!

I miss the incredible food, the friendliness, the exploration. I miss our routine of walking from our hotel in Shinjuku, through Yoyogi Park, through Harajuku and getting to Shibuya with a hell of a thirst!

In one way, it feels like we were there only yesterday. In another, it feels like a lifetime ago. Of all the places I’ve ever visited, Tokyo holds a special place in my heart. I can’t put it down to any single thing, it’s more about the whole experience.

So, having to cancel two trips there due to the pandemic was heartbreaking – even if it was completely the right thing to do.

Social media makes it so easy to keep in touch with our friends in Tokyo, even if the time difference is a bit of a chore. That’s one way of keeping my love affair with Tokyo alive. It’s going to be some time before I’m back there, so I’ll enjoy my memories and feel grateful I have so many photos to look over.

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