One year away ends

So here I sit in a bar in Tokyo on my last night. It has been an interesting time since I left the hills of Nozawa. I spent one night in Tokyo before heading out to Hakone got to spend some time staring at the beauty of Mt. Fuji. I took a rather long route there which should not surprise you if you have been following my antics so far. It would of been easier by train, lets face it almost everywhere in Japan is easier to get to by train. I also managed to put myself in a pension with no internet at all, this is very abnormal for Japan as far as I am aware. I’m sure if I had got myself a 3G thingy then there would be no problem but I can live without the internet for a few days.

So Hakone is a little strange place that people come to see some slightly toxic hot springs that cannot be bathed in and get a good view (weather permitting) of Mt. Fuji. I stayed there only two nights, using the local convienience store as a source of food, it was really nice to not quite see Fuji and then to catch it in full view as I left the area, yes I will have to come back just to see what it is like to climb. I headed for the seaside town of Kamukura. It’s a busy little town with a lot of tourists visiting maybe just for the day it being really easy to get to from Tokyo. Being the slow traveller I took three nights there, which gave me plenty of time to take in the walking areas as well as the temples, shrines and big Bhudda in the area.

While I was there I checked out a small little bar that I had read about called Bar Ram. It’s a standing bar that somehow manages to cram live music into the tiny space it occupies. Drinks are reasonably priced at ¥500 yen each wih no fee for the music. A collection pot is passed roumd and it’s left up to you. The band there that night was a lady in her mid 40’s perhaps who played guitar and sang, she was accompanied by another guitarist and a guy who strapped a snare drum to himself. I was impressed at how good she was, it did not matter that I could not understand the lyrics, the way she sang to the tight crowd was good. I was the only foreigner there too which was a bonus, I love to find places without other tourists. At the end of her set I got chatting to a lady caled Masae, of course we went through the motions of why I’m there and how I got there. She got to practice her English and I got to show just how bad my Japanese is. I can totally imagine someone like Miles Hunt playing an acoustic gig there, I think he would dig all the vinyl scattered around the bar.

A day or so later I was off to Tokyo for real, spending my last 5 days on this trip and in Japan here. By the time I got into the hostel day 1 was pretty much over and I grabbed food and settled in spent the night scouring the internet for cheap things to do that would not invole battling too many other tourists. Oddly enough I slipped into doing what I do in London, I find interesting ways to get from place to place avoiding the main flow of people. I actually have not done much in Tokyo, again trying to avoid taking more money out, a similar situation to when I left South Korea. I did take advantage of the Passmo system, Tokyo’s version of the Oyster card a very convenient way to travel for a few days. I managed to see quite a lot of the green space, I did go shopping for a camera lens but bought nothing, saw an art gallery and quickly cruised the heart of Otaku tourism in Akihabara.

I’m not sure if its related but Akihabara tends to shorten itself to AKB. Now this might only be happening since Japanese Pop sensation AKB48 arrived on the scene. I think the 48 is the number of people in the band because there seems to be an awful lot of them. If you have no idea who they are I advise you to keep it that way, imagine a lot of pretty girls on the stage singing about something unimportant to a manufactured sound that you probably have heard a million times before. If any of them are actually talented I have no idea but they seem to be very popular in Japan.

So thats it… I come back to the U.K, one year older, with less hair on my head and more knowledge about the things I don’t want to do more than ever which might make finding something I actually want to do easier. I know I am not done with travelling, not by a long shot, however to fund the next one I need to find work. I know that since this one took me possibly over a decade to convince myself to do it I expect the next one to take approximately half the time. This blog does not end here, no.. I have really enjoyed using it to explain few things to the world. I said at the very beginning that it’s not going to be writng content for others, it’s writing content for me. If you have been readjng as part of my travels and wish to stop then the unsubscribe link is at the bottom of every e-mail you have, I will not take offence no matter how I know you. Thats not to say that from time to time there will be thought prrovoking content on here so unsubscribe at the risk of missing something fun or inciteful.

One thought on “One year away ends

  1. I’ve really enjoyed reading about your journeys and reflections. It definitely seems to have been a cathartic adventure. I look forward to your future writings, journey or no. Good luck on the home-front.

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