So soon we arrived to the last day in Japan. I must admit, I was purposefully procrastinating to write this post.
On our last day, we ran around Ginza and bought souvenirs at Tsukiji fish market — ceramics there are incredibly cheap, and it’s shame we couldn’t bring more due to weight limitations. K also bought a full on rice cooker. We made it all fit inside our bags.
I sat for a long time, from the window of our hotel admiring Tokyo.
This trip did not feel like the others — not because baby L was with us, or we were all sick for the first three/four days (but maybe that helped), but because it just felt…different. It was Japan, and it was beautiful and amazing, but it wasn’t our Japan. Our Japan is hot, muggy, sticky, filled with cicadas’ sound, and surprise showers and thunder storms; it smells of fireworks and street food, and you long for the iced rooibos tea, after a hot ramen, and the frozen Kirin beer, as you walk aimlessly around, covered in mosquito repellent; it’s where you see old and young playing baseball happily; it’s the place where people offer you umbrellas while you are lost in awe with the matsuri…
It’s above all, an emptier Japan, without swarming noisy tourists.
When we came back home, I wasn’t burning with the sensation of going back, of the need of going back, like I was last time — we actually thought it was a good thing (we’ve now visited Japan thrice, it’s ridiculous wanting to go back to same place over and over again…right?…). It took me some time, some free time, to figure out what was missing: I was missing my Japan, our Japan.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved this trip. Travelling to such a beloved place with our baby girl was priceless, seeing Fuji-san and the cherry blossoms, and driving through the mountains was a dream come true for us and we wouldn’t trade it for the world. But now we are longing for what we know feels better for us over there.
And again I say, mata ne, not sayonara.