It is 4:07 PM on Monday, August 13th. I’m sitting at the Hub in Ikebukuro and the end of the Japan trip draws close. I wasn’t able to write as much as I wanted in my journal this trip due to a problem with the power cord. I had forgotten that Japan only uses a two socket plug and my computer power cords were three pronged. It was an absolute saga to try and get a connector. First we went to a local computer store but it didn’t appear like they had anything. So my wife ordered one off of Amazon and we went on our trip to Karuizawa and Kusatsu. When we came back we were surprised that it still hadn’t arrived so checking Amazon she discovered that the order wasn’t placed due to an expired credit card. We fixed that and ordered it. It arrived in two days and guess what, the plug didn’t fit.
I’m at SFO airport awaiting the boarding to Japan. Getting ready to travel, especially internationally and for a long trip is always such a pain UNTIL I get to the airport. It is then I am excited.
The pain part is packing, getting the house in order, locked, making sure the plants are watered and fish are fed. Making sure everything is turned off, doors are locked and everything in order for the return. I don’t sleep very well the night before, especially when I have an early flight and then I’m anxious to get to the airport because you never know when you’ll have major delays with the traffic, lines at check-in and security. No matter how many times I travel I always leave too early. It never takes me more than an hour from when I leave my house until I’m past security but I still get anxious.
My friends and I successfully climbed Mt. Fuji from the bottom (Sengen Shrine) on July 26th, 2017. It was mentioned that we start from the bottom over a few bottles of wine and initially I was against it. However, what won me over was when my friend Brandon told me that this was the historical route the pilgrims used to take before cars were invented and since I love history that was what I needed to hear. 99% of hikers start from the 5th station which is in the middle of the mountain and where the road ends. There are a lot of shops, restaurants and tourist stuff at the 5th station but then you need to walk about half an hour to get to the actual trail.
It is 12:58 PM on August 16th, 2017. We’ve been back from Japan for over a week now and the terrible jet-lag has finally subsided. I am not yet back into full routine yet however as I’ve had a lot of work to catch up on and the jet-lag made me very tired when I wasn’t working.
I visited Sengakuji after a late night and too many bottles of Shochu in Nishiogikubo. I went drinking with a Japanese friend and it was a great experience although I do not remember much of it. He was dressed in traditional Japanese clothing and the street he took me to was lined with small, seemingly Edo-era restaurants. Each one only seated between 8 – 15 people and we started drinking early. He always added a drink called “Hoppy” to his Shochu and I was confused at first when he told me it didn’t contain any alcohol. He let me know that after World War II the capacity to produce beer was much reduced yet people still wanted that beer taste. Hoppy could be easily produced and when added to Shochu it gave a beer flavor.