The amount that we travel for our job makes time at home even more valuable. This break was a good length, and I was able to get in a decent amount of time with my friends and family. That being said, I would always love to spend more time with them all. I waited as long as I could before pulling my suitcases out of the closet, trying to make the time at home feel longer, because once the bags come out, it becomes real that I am about to leave. This time I would also be leaving Taylor (my girlfriend) at home due to an injury that she is recovering from. As if leaving family and friends at home was not enough, now I would be leaving my travel buddy behind too.
I packed my bags as light as I could, while still carrying two pairs of skates, two tripods, and all of my other miscellaneous camera equipment. Usually, I would fly right out of London, (my hometown) but this trip had a few intricacies that did not allow for that to happen, so I would be forced to rent a car and drive to Toronto for a 6:00 am flight. So, I did not bother sleeping beforehand. I stayed up and talked with my parents, my girlfriend, and my friend that would be joining me on the journey to Japan. We hit the road at 12:30 am and wouldn't you know it, there was no traffic!
Everything went smoothly, all the way through the long travel day, and we picked up friends as we went along, each layover more people we knew joined our flights, which made them go by much faster.
Once at the hotel, I ran through the shower and met back up with a few friends to grab a bite to eat before heading to bed. After about 28 hours of travel and no real bed for over two days, it was pretty hard not just to lay down and pass out, but I knew that if I were to go to bed at this point, it would only make my jet lag worse. We wandered around for a bit, re-familiarizing myself with this area, as it has been about five years since I was here last and eventually found dinner at a local chain called Yoshinoya, nothing fancy or unique, but ease into Japanese food for those who had never been here before.
I went to bed knowing that I would probably wake up around 4:00 am due to jet lag, and I did. I stayed in bed for a while trying to get back to sleep, but had no luck. I made the most of being awake so early and edited some photos from projects that I am still working on from home while I waited for Starbucks to open at 7:30. Once I had my coffee, I was on my way to Zuihōden Temple to take some photos.
The 3km walk was a nice start to the day, and it is fun to wander around before everyone is awake to get a feeling for a location.
The weather help out for a nice walk, and some cloud cover allowed for nice even light as I wandered around. On the way back to the hotel I stopped and had some lunch in the train station, at a quick ramen shop, and then went and walked around one of the big multi story camera stores. They carry more than just cameras, these stores are multi level electronics stores, with a large camera department with everything from basic point and shoots, all the way up to professional DSLR and medium format cameras and lenses. It is quite an experience to walk through and see all that there is to offer and have a chance to look and actually get my hands on some of these things that I have only read about and seen online. When I arrived back at the hotel, it was around 2:00 pm and I was feeling the jet lag pretty badly now. I dropped off my camera bag and went to get a few groceries to get me through the next few days. The grocery situation here is something I find a little bit tricky. I am a big fan of fresh fruit and vegetables, but that is not something you come by in the grocery stores very often. After getting what I thought to be adequate food for at least two days snacks I went back to the hotel to lie down for a bit before dinner.
Next think I know it was 9:00 pm and I still felt groggy, so I just gave in and went to bed hoping that I could make it to at least 4:00 am again. I am writing this now at 2:45 am but I feel very rested and ready to go, which is good, since I have to go into work today for a few hours.
I will keep updating these blog posts and putting up new ones as exciting things happen and I move around Japan. There will also be the occasional vlog covering certain parts of the adventure so stay tuned!
Thank you for reading!