Holidays – Part One

Well, I’m three days into my first real holiday in a long, long time. I’ve got around 2.5 months of near-work free vacationing to look forward to (with the brief exception of a stopover in Los Angeles for E3).

Right now, I’m in Japan – again. After a long, painful flight from Brisbane via Cairns, I arrived in Tokyo to start two weeks here for b2’s wedding.

So far I have learned to more carefully check the weather in target destinations. Waiting until you land to find out that its 9 degrees Celcius outside ain’t a great idea.

I managed to find blahnana without incident thanks to him waiting around Narita airport for hours for me to arrive. We battled our backpacks and – thankfully – got a smoke-free train to Tokyo. The next battle was finding out hotel. Armed with nothing more than a low quality printed map though we managed to find it without any drams.

By the time we’d checked in, dumped our bags and recovered enough to get dinner it was 11pm – and we’d missed most of the food places within walking distance of the hotel. We found a chain-style noodle place and took a gamble on the menu, relying on pointing to order.

I of course had horrors that I had just ordered something with tentacles that was recently farmed out of the ocean. However, to our mutual delight and my relief, we ended up with this awesome barbequed beef-and-rice thing that totally hit the spot.

That drama over, we hit the sack, got up, and got the train up to Shirakawa, all without any problems. We did duck into Tokyo briefly and went near the Imperial Palace, finding a great park which had our first real in-season cherry blossom – which looked fantastic. Photos will be available soon.

Shirakawa is cold and the cherry blossoms are lagging behind slightly, but they should be in full bloom in time for the wedding on Saturday. We had a good day today just driving around and hanging out.

Tonight we seek our fortune in the karaoke bars of Shirakawa. Much fun will be had.

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