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The Travel Post

Hello readers old, new and in between: welcome to the beginning of the third installment of this blog. I'm writing to you from Tokyo, where I'll be staying at an Air bnb apartment for two nights with one of my friends, Zoey, who is also in Kanazawa for the summer.

I set off bright and early today (well, it feels like today for me--date-wise it was yesterday) on my direct flight from Chicago to Tokyo. No problem. I then successfully navigated the rest of customs, Narita, and the train that would take me from the airport to Shinjuku station where I would meet up with Zoey. Again, no problem. Normally I don't write about my travel you've probably guessed the reason I am today is because, yes, I DID run into some problems.

Let me begin with Shinjuku station. It is large, crowded, multi-storied and multi-basemented and has what appears to be ten different train lines that intersect there. Attempting to meet up with a friend while navigating said station to find a somewhat cloistered train line called the Tokyu Den-en Toshi while lugging a large suitcase was somewhat impossible. I think it took me a good half hour to find the train I was supposed to get on. Finally at Sangenjaya station I met Zoey who patiently and intelligently waited for me to get my butt there (she had left her suitcase in a locker at the station for the day and is currently on a mission to get it back while I write this). Chattering happily away we set out from the station on a described eight-minute walk to the Air bnb apartment we would be sharing. We make it to the end of the map and then stand, perplexed, on the side of a street because the host of the apartment, who was supposed to come get us and show us where we'd be staying, was nowhere to be found. Actually, we weren't entirely sure of which building it was either--eventually a passing Domino's pizza employee noticed our confused looks and showed us where the building was. I was half mortified and half relieved.

So this is the apartment (Zoey is tastefully modeling for scale):

That is the room. It is a small square. Is this what a New York apartment is like? But for two days (one day, really, because I leave Saturday morning on a bullet train to Kanazawa) it will suit us just fine. The view from the balcony is stunning, though.

Now I'm waiting for Zoey to get back and then we'll pow-wow with food (I'm feeling takoyaki, ramen, curry...I'm not being picky right now) and then most likely I'll collapse and sleep until the jet-lag forces me awake tomorrow. It still feels surreal to be back in Japan--at once familiar and completely new. I wonder if it will ever lose that shock-feeling that I get every time the plane touches down...let's hope not.

Til tomorrow my friends!


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