It’s been 23 years since I was last in Japan as a wide eyed 17 year old and so much has changed.  And so much has stayed the same.

I no longer feel like a circus freak walking through a crowd. There seem to be some much taller Japanese people now and the locals seem to have become used to large foreigners in their midst – there’s nowhere near the amount of staring I experienced last time.  Of course, I’m a much different person than I was 23 years so maybe I just don’t care about the staring now!

But the things I loved about Japan then are still alive and well and delighting me all over again.

I love their unique fashion sense – no matter what you’re into, you’ll find a crowd to fit in with here, even if it is dressing like a bear.P1020106

I love the vending machines.  Each one is a little adventure of it’s own.IMG_4909

I love the crazy things you find on your table and you have no idea what to do with them.P1020079

I love the crazy things you see in shops and have no idea what they’re for.P1020119

I love the history, these guys have been uninterrupted for thousands of years – it’s staggering when you come from a country proud of 200 years.  Around almost every corner is another amazing piece of history that you won’t find in your guide book.IMG_5060

I love the plastic food.  Why oh why don’t we have plastic food???IMG_5209

I love the trees.  There’s just something really quintessentially Japanese about these trees.IMG_4993

I love the people.  At first I thought they were a little aloof, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.  I’ve found them to be excessively welcoming, friendly if you make an effort and always willing to help and my interactions so far this time haven’t made me sway from that opinion.IMG_5077

There are many others I could list, but these first few days in Japan have really reminded me why I fell in love with travel (and Japan) so long ago.  It’s been too long Japan, I’m looking forward to see what other reminders you can throw at me!IMG_5152IMG_5223