Osaki – The ‘Best of Japan’ list

Currently reading: Life of Pi
Currently at: Shimoichi, Nara

I’m not good at goodbyes. With people or places or chapters in my life. I’ve only been in Japan for 5 weeks and yet I can feel a tinge of separation anxiety coming on. Maybe it’s because I’m only now starting to feel confident about the train systems or maybe because my body has happily adjusted to it’s new diet of fresh sushi, milk tea and various meals of noodles and rice. This last week I’ve spent a lot of time with my big sis, probably more time than we’ve spent together in years, and that’s been a real treat too. Whatever reason it may be, I have to admit that this feeling of sadness is a good thing. Before coming here I wasn’t sure what to expect. People’s typical reaction to hearing my plan was “What the heck are you going to do there for 5 weeks?” But life has a way of working itself out and this past month was fantastic. I got to spend some quality time with my parents and my sister which I do value even if I grumble about being woken up too early, I spontaneously backpacked with my best friend and met some cool new folks, and I got a decent view about life in Japan, a country that is very foreign to me with customs that are unique, beautiful and sometimes a little questionable.

Best food: Sushi from Tokyo fish market, Kobe beef from Kyoto, and unagi from Kagoshima

Nicest hostel: Guesthouse Caminaro in Osaka, even if it was in the outskirts of town.

Nicest hotel: Sheraton in Hiroshima

Biggest peeve: Drivers here don’t respect pedestrian crosswalks at all. Coming from NYC where pedestrians rule the roads, this was hard for me to deal with, and I almost became a Priya sandwich a few times.

Sketch law: Burning paper trash instead of recycling it.

Favorite place: I know it’s vague but I really liked Kyushu. Also enjoyed Kyoto, Hiroshima, Miyajima and Beppu. It’s too hard to narrow down the list!

New fashion accessory I tried for the first time: Fake eyelashes on Halloween. If only I had the fake large pupil contacts, then I’d really look like the Japanese girls here.

Thanks for the good times, Japan. Part III of my journey starts tomorrow when I head to India!

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