How You Know You’re in Japan

You are in Japan When:

Kind strangers help you on the street

Passengers sit on the left

Cars drive on the left

The sushi is amazing and moves towards you on a conveyor belt

Travels to Japan!

The time to begin my Japan adventures finally came! At 11pm I rolled my packed bags out the door and tiredly (but also excitedly), made my way to the airport. Airport check-in and security went smoothly and I was happily asleep the second I found my seat on the plane.

12 hours later…I arrived in Taiwan! My goal was to sleep the entire flight to avoid getting jet lagged, but I was still surprised I had slept for so long. With 3 hours to kill at the airport, my first and only goal was to find the food court.

beef brisket noodle soup
Beef brisket noodle soup

After a bit of wandering, food was found, and I was first in line when the shops opened at 6 am. I ordered beef brisket noodle soup and scarfed it down. The noodles were done super well, but the beef was meh. With a little room left in my stomach, and since I was in Taiwan, I had to order a round of xiaolongbao (soup dumplings). The dumplings were nice and soupy but the inside meat wasn’t amazing. I’ll be traveling back to Taiwan in a couple of weeks, so hopefully, I’ll be able to taste more than just airport food.

soup dumplings
Soup dumplings

One more plane ride later and I arrived in Japan! It was nostalgic walking the same airport route that I had walked just a year ago- except this time I wasn’t as lost. I picked up a JR Kansai Wide pass and began the journey to my host family.

Along the way, I purchased a SIM card for 3GB worth of data (Google maps is a savior when it comes to getting around), a nice lady helped me with my luggage when she saw I was struggling to make it down the stairs, and I found a cool pair of earrings that happened to be on sale.

I finally made it to Ibaraki after 26 hours of travel. Needless to say, I was pooped. But it was time for a reunion! It was so exciting to see my host mom again, along with the kids! I almost got in the wrong side of the car going home, and was a little shocked the first couple seconds of driving on the left hand side.

After sharing stories from the past year, it was dinner time, i.e. conveyor belt sushi! I couldn’t have been happier. Sushi came and I was able to satisfy my hungry stomach with delicious sake, saba, and maguro. 🙂  M. joined us at dinner and it felt like old times. What a welcome back to 日本! (Japan).

Shrimp and basil mayo
Rui wants sushi too!
Dessert also comes on the conveyor belt!

Wondering what it’s like living in Japan? Check out these posts!

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