This I can say with complete confidence: it is a much better 14-hour flight when you are not holding a squirming toddler on your lap. It's also a lot easier to get through a crowded train station. Plus, for an entire week, no one walked in on me in the bathroom or woke me up in the middle of the night. So there's that.
Being back in Japan was weird, but probably not for the reasons you think. There's something completely visceral about Tokyo. I experience it with all of my senses and immediately feel like I've always been there. I also wonder why I ever left. So many times during my time in Tokyo, I set off without even realizing the rest of me knew exactly where it was going, even when I didn't entirely seem to remember the way. I am 100% a small-town Midwesterner, and yet, Tokyo makes total sense to me. It always has. It's weird to feel so totally familiar with a place that is so completely different than any point of reference you had growing up.
Here are some pictures from my trip. They are completely unremarkable other than the fact the things depicted seem totally unremarkable to me.
|The view from my window. In the foreground is a driving practice lot.|
|Hands down better chocolate.|
|Typhoon 26 slowed me down a bit.|
|Samurai sword umbrellas. If I could've figured out a way to get one in my suitcase...|
|Tea house roof.|