As mentioned in a previous post I’ve been wanting to travel to Japan for a long time. I guess it started as a teen with exposure to Anime and then the stylistic view of Japan in Kill Bill. Then I read James Clavell’s Epic – Shogun, a book I highly recommend. Since then Ive been dreaming of Japan.
And finally we’re here. And It doesn’t disappoint, at all. It’s better than I imagined.
We arrived in the wee hours of the night and had some time to kill before our bus to the city arrived. I was ravenous so grabbed a bowl of Udon noodles at a small place at the airport. The first mouthful reminded me of one of the big reasons I was excited about the trip.
Sushi For Days
Intestines and Vegetable Soup – A new but tasty experience
Ramen with all the toppings
So at first I was a little apprehensive to head to what I considered a super “touristy” thing to do but I’m so glad that we went.
The premise is a simple, albeit weird one. You book a time slot, turn up, drink tea and hang out with Owls. The host was a energetic local guy that just wanted to share his love of his “babies” with the world. We got to hold and pet many different types of owl with “Luigi” the screech owl probably being my personal favourite. If you like animals and want to try something different check it out.
Reuniting with old friends and making some new ones
The next rainy morning we met up with Click and Cheesebeard (two of my hiking partners from the Appalachian Trail in 2015). They’ve just finished their thru-hike of the PCT this summer and met a Japanese guy a long the way (Cupcake). They decided to visit Tokyo before we all head to Nepal and brought along Memento who’s just completed his Triple Crown.
It was so good to see the guys and it didn’t feel like over a year since we’d seen each other. I think when you go through something as intense as a thru hike with people you have a bond that will last forever. You may not see each other for a while but it’s like nothing changed when you do.
Cupcake has been one hell of a host, taking us to some great local spots and being our translator and guide. We have the Lonely Planet and have read the “Top 10 things to do in Tokyo” posts but nothing compares to having a local cat to show you around and take you to those back street ramen spots.
Now we’re leaving Tokyo to go explore the countryside and hopefully to see some more of the traditional Japanese culture.
Stay tuned for Part 2