My wife and I just returned from our 2015 trip to Tokyo and Sapporo. I've got a few things to write specifically about, but here are a couple general thoughts about Japan right now, and this trip:
- For the first time in a while, I was actually kind of glad to be home. Part of it's that we've sort of run out of new things to do there, and maybe the novelty of Japan itself is finally wearing off a bit for me (after 15 years!). It's just a regular place to me now, and that makes its little annoyances (which I've always recognized but usually ignore) a little harder to deal with.
- Japan seems to be searching for the next big thing. Usually when we visit, there are one or two things in pop culture that have captured everybody's imagination (or at least that the media wants you to think have done so). Things that get popular there are everywhere; you can't escape them. But this time, there was no one thing that everyone was listening to, or watching, or buying. It felt like something was missing to me. It made everything on TV, on billboards or whatever feel really random, like there was nothing tying anything together.
- Japan has once again literally made me sick. I have at least a cold; we'll see if it gets worse. This happens about half the times I visit. I realized this time that it's probably the sub-tropical climate; even in October it's very humid and "moist" in Tokyo, which is probably why so many people in Japan seem to be sick all the time. Once I actually got Swine Flu there - I'm not joking.
Of course we did do some fun stuff. I'm a little spoiled by past visits, which have been some of the best memories of my life. Here are a few of the things I know I'm going to write about:
- Flying first class on ANA.
- Riding the Cassiopeia night train to Sapporo.
- SCANDAL concert.
- Yen Town Band (Chara) concert, and I'll probably talk some about "live house" shows in Japan in general in this post.
- Something something FOOD. Not sure what angle to take here, especially since we repeated a lot of restaurants I've written about already. But food is always one of the highlights so I gotta bring it up somehow.
- Odaiba. I've written about it before but this was the first time we stayed there and actually spent most of our time there.
Hopefully it doesn't take me a month to get to everything.