With all of the travels I have done around the world, this is only my second trip to Japan, my mother country, home of my grandparents. They arrived in California as early in the late 1800s, to a new country, one that would turn its back on them after Pearl Harbor. Yet, they never voiced a single word of criticism or negativity to a country and government that incarcerated them for the better part of three years.
I am forever grateful they made the journey here, to start a family, to farm this great land of ours. I cannot ever imagine the courage it required to land here, with nothing more than optimism, and a willingness to work. I doubt I could do the same, despite my eagerness to see the world.
I have almost two full days here before embarking on my long-awaited trip across Siberian Russia. Or is it Russian Siberia? Perhaps I will visit friends. Or maybe I will just chase down some restaurants I have seen on the Travel Channel, and visit some sites I missed on my previous trip. One thing for sure, I am staying in the heart of the action, Shinjuku. While not the Ginza, nor Harajuku, it is nonetheless, a center of activity and massive entertainment.
My two days here are really meant to acclimate to the time change, and rest up for my trip across Siberia on the Trans Siberian Railway (TSR). From here, I fly early Wednesday to Seoul, Korea, then on to the Pacific port of Vladivostok, on the Sea of Japan. The following morning, I will board the TSR (I will use this abbreviation for the remainder of the trip) there, and head west. Most people start in Moscow, and head east. I am going the opposite way, for reasons that should prove both interesting, and cost-effective.
But I digress, Japan and Tokyo specifically, are the here and now. I plan to enjoy my two days here. I also plan to stock up on some food that I can eat on the train, as well as enjoy the usual sights and meals that Tokyo offers. And see an old and dear friend.
Now, please Barry the V! Tell me where you have hidden my geisha!!!