After All These Years: Tokyo, Japan

When I last updated my blog I was living in Sydney, walking around everywhere, and loving it all.  Since then I moved to Melbourne for a few weeks (heatwave, great coffee, lots of cute laneway finds), flew over to Queenstown, New Zealand for two amazing hikes (and had one of the most beautiful days of my life, which deserves a separate post), went back to Sydney for a beach-side wedding (oh so fun), spent two very short days in Korea (too short), and now I find myself sitting in an apartment in Tokyo on a sunny spring day.  I lived it all and of course planned what I was going to do, but it feels a bit like a whirlwind.  The fact that I am back living in the same apartment building in Roppongi where I spent a year (1998-1999) is unbelievable to me.

It seems as if everything has changed but everything is familiar all at the same time.  I took the same airport limousine bus from Narita yesterday and I recognized the direction we were headed once we arrived in the city, but the glitz and the glamor of Roppongi Hills completely threw me off.  I spotted my old apartment building straightaway in the midst of it all but the neighboring shops no longer matched what I had in my memories.  Now almost 24 hours later I still feel like I’m having a déjà vu in a dream.

I didn’t have much time sit still and process all this though, as I needed to hop over to Kachidoki for a cocktail party.  Again, my getting there had me slightly puzzled and question my sanity; I didn’t recall having this subway line stop in Roppongi before (Oedo Line).  Hibiya Line, yes but Oedo Line?  It turns out I wasn’t crazy.  It was built after I left Japan; it snakes and loops around the city.  In fact, the subway map looks completely different from the one I remember.  It’s like a sprawling honeycomb or a tangled spiderweb, with each thread a different color.

Kachidoki is a neighborhood I’d never been to and I was thrilled to spend the evening in J & T’s lovely apartment.  We filled it up with their friends and family who came in from different parts of the globe for their wedding.  The fabulous newlyweds (they were married last week in Sydney and will have their Japanese ceremony tomorrow in Tokyo) hosted a fantastic party for us and when I left them around 10PM it was still going strong.

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I’d planned to visit Japan almost two years ago but decided against it after the tsunami.  I know now that I was meant to return for this wedding!  I’m so happy and excited to be back in Tokyo after so many years.  I’m grateful to Tomo and John for inviting me, and giving me a chance to experience this wonderful country again.  I can’t wait to soak it all in and create new memories.  I couldn’t help but put on a huge smile on my face when I walked into my apartment yesterday.  I took my shoes off and said out loud, “tadaima!

“I’m home!”

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