Saturday, January 29, 2011


Yesterday, Aki and I arrived in Tokyo (or what seemed like Tokyo; it could have been anywhere we were so jet-lagged), and it now feels like we have moved up a gear in our giddying experience of moving to Japan for a long term stint. I know it will work out, but making the jump is unsettling and jet lag simply exacerbates that feeling. The streets of Minami Senju are even more surreal when you walk around in a half-awake dream.

The photo above is from summer 2009, when we came here for a few weeks to visit Aki's family. I was going to walk around the city taking shots today, while Aki travels north to Aomori, but she took the camera with her and thus I was forced to recycle some old stuff.

One thing I can say with confidence is that Emirates offer the best flights I have ever been on. The planes were really plush and comfortable, and the food was good too. On the second leg from Dubai there were very few people on board, so we had room to spread our legs and lots of folks were even able to take up 3 or 4 seats to themselves so they could lie down and get a good bit of shut-eye. We were knackered by the time we got there, nonetheless.

It's a lot colder in Tokyo this time, although the blue sky is still here. I was up at 3.10AM this morning ready for some action, and all I got was a look from one of the local area's homeless guys through the hotel lobby window. To be fair to them, they are what give this area it's charm, and what brings me back here again and again each time we come through the city.

Aomori is under some heavy, snowy weather by all accounts and, as I said, Aki is currently heading into it. She took the Shinkansen ahead of me, while I venture off into the unfamiliar territories of Tochigi ken to sign my new contract and meet some of the new kids I'm going to teach in the coming academic year. I was lucky to have been given the offer of a job just before we left, as I imagine it would be oh so daunting to be wasting time and money in Tokyo without the guarantee of anything come April.

And now I'm starting to feel the lag working it's way back in. I'm determined to stay up until at least eight o'clock tonight though, so that I don't spring back into action at stupid o'clock tomorrow morning. I've got a big day on Monday and I really want to get back into a regular sleeping pattern before then. I mean, it wouldn't look very good if they had to wake me up while I was supposed to be observing a lesson, would it. No, I shall be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed even if I have to drink myself back to sleep at 3AM tomorrow morning!