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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Japan - Prelude

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It would be my third time visiting Japan.  

My first visit was the summer when I turned 16.  I went with a study broad program to California for a month.  On the way back, we stayed in Tokyo for a few days before we returned to Taiwan.  The only vivid memory that I had of that trip was watching porn in the hotel room for the first time with a bunch of girls; which would be a story for another time. 

The second trip was maybe 10 years ago, meeting my high school best friend in Tokyo before going back to Taiwan.  I remembered lots of shopping, running around and getting lost, early morning fish market and sushi brunch, and almost missed the return flight. 

Many of my Taiwanese friends LOVE Japan, and return to visit year after year.  I did not understand their enthusiasm.  If it was not for the debate that H and I have been had for a long time, I honestly did not know if and when I would return to Japan again.  

A few years ago, H met his colleague friend for two hours when we had to transfer flights at Tokyo International Airport.  H did not leave the airport but he did go through customs and had a stamp on his passport. 

"I met my friend in Japan, I went through the custom and had the stamp to prove it!" H said with a mischievous smile. 

"No way! That did not count. You didn't see anything in Japan except the airport." I insisted, rolling my eyes at him. 

Last year, when the airline that we usually take to visit Taiwan changed their flying route from New York-Alaska-Taipei to New York-Osaka-Taipei,  I figured that we can finally legitimize H claim after all these years and stop by Japan for a short trip after visiting my family in Taiwan.  Deep down, I knew H would LOVE Japan, and I was excited to take him there.