A few weeks after the 3 year anniversary of my first trip to Japan I've come back!
I found an amazing deal on a ticket. Last time I payed $1200 for a one way ticket with two layovers.
This time I was able to get a similar ticket for $650. In the end it took 35 hours to get from Minneapolis to Osaka with a 12 hour layover in Taipei, Taiwan. When I arrived in Osaka I was absolutely exhausted, but I feel like in a way the grueling journey made my arrival that much more exciting. I feel like if my flight had be a normal 13 hour nonstop it wouldn't have felt so cathartic when I finally got through immigration and was released into the main terminal of Kansai International Airport, free to go anywhere I want I Japan.
My friend and soon to be roommate Natalie was waiting for me at the airport. I figured I could have made it to her apartment by myself, but I hadn't factored in how exhausted I would be. I am extremely grateful to her for coming to pick me up and allowing me to stay at her apartment until I get my situation here figured out.
After getting some much needed rest, I planned out my next day visiting many of the spots I frequented last time I was here. That day I ended up walking around 20 miles. Even though I was getting tired I felt compelled to see how everything had changed and also stayed the same. So far I've only found one person who knew me from my last time here: Levy, the owner of L&L Bar in downtown Osaka. It felt good to be recognized and I got to chat with him about all that's happened in the last two years.
I also visited several chain restaurants I used to frequent with friends. The food was somewhat nostalgic, but I realize now that it was mostly the people I was with at the time that made these places fun. I still love a good plate of gyoza, but it's not quite the same without my friend TJ.
Now that I have gotten a lot of the nostalgia out of the way, I look forward to making new memories as an adult living in Japan. Stay tuned!