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Finally went to pick her up today <3 I met the breeder at the local train station, and we had to go aside to an undisturbed corner so as not to flash the snake and frighten anyone XD it felt like we were doing something illegal almost ^^;; but ohmygod she's so small and adorable<3<3<3

The ride home was by bus, and it was a bit bumpy. She couldn't (understandably) relax and whenever I checked on her, her head was practically vibrating in time with the bus ;A;
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 Our plane was due to leave at 10:30 today, so we left for the airport around 8:30-9-ish, which was maybe a bit early, but I wanted the chance to take a last look at the taxfree. Lucky that XD hubby forgot that he hadn’t bought anything to bring back to work so I took care of that as well. And some last kitkat before boarding time :3 The food during this flight (Japan Airlines) was much better than the trip from Europe. I also ate some of the bread I bought at Aeon mall, so I was never hungry at least. But I couldn’t sleep. Had maybe two hours? Tops. Spent the time reading not-that-great fanfiction and taking pictures of the Ural mountains instead.

Also, having flown literally backwards in time, we arrived at around 16:00, so. Five and a half hours practically, if not actually, to get home from Japan, not that bad right? ;) But now sleeeep…

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 This morning we checked out from the ryokan, but left our luggage, and then split up for the morning. I took the bus over to Asakusa, and prowled the small shopping streets around Sensoji temple. Then we met up at 13:00 by the Hozomon gate, bought lunch together from the various food vendors around before taking the subway to Harajuku together just to have those crepes one last time (they really were delicious <3) before splitting again. I went on a mad spree to buy some last omiyage to bring back to the family. Hubby hadn’t thought to buy any so far, at all, so now, on the second to last day he started panicking over it, while I’d been buying small things here and there for the entire trip. So I said I’ll handle it, since I actually find it enjoyable to shop for things, unlike him.

By 18:00 we met up by the ryokan again to pick up our luggage and then on to Ikebukuro to meet our friends one last time in Japan. We had dinner at some place trying to emulate a 1920’s yakuza atmosphere, which would have been impossible for just us as tourist to stumble upon, and our friends had to do all of the ordering since there weren’t an English menu. And it was all very tasty :3 And they even brought a late surprise birthday cake for hubby, so we got to sing him (to the glad bemusement of all the Japanese patrons) “happy birthday”.

Finally, we took a train from Nippori out towards Narita airport, and we arrived at our last hotel for the trip around midnight (yet again. Midnight is apparently our perfect check-in time, no matter how little I enjoy finding my way through dark, unknown streets, dead tired and with heavy luggage).

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 This morning we took the Kodama again, back to Tôkyô! (I bought locally grown figs at the train station, they were huge and the most delicious ones I’ve ever had <3). Next hotel was a small ryokan near Ueno koen, where we just stopped to shower and unload our luggage before making our way to Ueno station and then Kappabashi. I… was in a very strange, anxious and unpleasant (for everyone) mood on the way. I didn’t handle a slight change in our plans to get there very well and then every possible decision of what to possible do just felt wrong and stressful.

We got to Kappabashi eventually, with the intention of finding a sake set. In the very first store we enter hubby finds one he liked and which fulfilled all of his, a bit eccentric, ideas’ of what a sake set should look like. I thought it looked plain hideous. So I said, no, don’t buy it yet, we’ve got to check the other stores as well! (This goes very much against hubby’s philosophy of getting the first somewhat adequate/fitting thing he lays his eyes on while out shopping for something specific, to reduce the shopping time). Hubby hates browsing stores. It makes him anxious. But we set out. I try to point out prettier pieces of pottery but which fulfil his preset idea. It doesn’t go well. At all. He’s getting in a more and more unmanageable mood and I’m getting annoyed that he won’t accept any of the actually nice pottery. So. Eventually we’ve gone up and down the street, both exhausted and in pissy moods but hubby returns to the first store and buys that hideous set he first clapped his eyes on. At least it was cheap… :/ 

Now we just wanted to find some food, but before managing that we have a small fight/falling out. And then talked it over when we’d finally found something to eat, and both were in a better mood. After that we split up, in good spirits at least. I went to a Muji in Shinjuku and then Takeshita dori, specifically to find a new parasol, which took longer than anticipated.

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 Today we slept in for hubby’s sake, he’s had a bit to much excitement for his taste lately. Eventually though, we checked out from the hotel and took the Hakata shinkansen to Hiroshima. When finally there (the longest trip so far I think?) we took a tram down to the Peace Memorial park. Cause come on. Why else go out of the way down to Hiroshima?

It was beautiful and also very emotional. I started crying while reading a plaque at the A-bomb Dome. We also entered the museum but hubby had to leave quite soon; he found the atmosphere of all the tourists plowing through as if it was just an ordinary museum confusing and overwhelming. I started crying again reading about the remains of various children they’d found who’d been working in the city centre at the time of the bomb, and seeing the personal items parents had been able to identify them by, because there were hardly any bodies left.

After the museum we just strolled up the street going to the main train station, collecting ourselves and trying to find somewhere to eat. We ended up having Hiroshima style okonomiyaki, which I liked and hubby didn’t. And I forgot my parasol at the restaurant ;-; but when I remembered we were already at the station to catch our train onwards. First a Sakura back to Shin-Ôsaka and then the plan was onwards to Kakegawa. At first we panicked a bit, because there were no Kodama left running to Tôkyô, it was too late in the evening, just Nozomi. But luckily there were Kodama running to Mishima still, which meant it’d stop at Kakegawa where we’d booked our hotel for the night. We arrived close to midnight and collapsed into bed more or less.

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 Today we had a sleep in, and then took the shinkansen to Kyôtô. We started off with Nijou castle. There we met first some middle schoolers out on a mission to practise English on tourists (they were adorable and gave us some origami after writing in their little books), and then a nice elderly couple (one of them dutch and the other brit) while sitting down for a drink and rest, and had a pleasant chat. And Nijou was very beautiful, both inside and the gardens surrounding it. There was a nightingale floor inside but, of course, photographing or filming was forbidden -.-And I got a sunburn D: horror!

Around lunch-time we went on to Nishiki dori, a long shopping street with tiny local shops, my favourite kind of street :D on that street I finally got the chance to taste hanami dango… I was. Underwhelmed :| Expectations of taste dashed yet again. But hubby found some nice sake as a gift for friends and family. Oh and I bought a gorgeous parasol! <3 (Hubby also found fake, decorative katana… Which I wouldn’t let him buy. Because they didn’t fit in our suitcases and also where. The. F*ck. Would we place those at home?! NO!! Sorry darling, but no).

Back in Ôsaka we had dinner at a yakitori-grill, now that was delicious, even if we didn’t try some of the, in western tastes, more adventurous stuff. Like “hormones” (testicles??) or cartilage or heart…

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 Today we checked out from MyStays and took a bus from Shinjuku. We had a map showing where the bloody bus station was, and which subway exit to take, but we still ended up going the wrong way and turning in circles before we found a small neighbourhood map that we could compare to the one we had *big sigh* But we managed to catch the bus in plenty of time, cause we actually planned for not finding the station easily. So, off to Kawaguchiko!

It’s a small town at the foot of Fuji-san. The bus there took two hours and we got to see plenty of the country side on the way. And the way that nature grows is so different compared to Scandinavia! It felt like every single green growing thing were on steroids. But it was beautiful travelling between all the small mountaintops and the little communities that covered every flat stretch of land.

When we got there we were, strangely enough for not really having done anything, tired. We’d planned to take the Kachikachi ropeway up a mountainside to watch Fuji-san, buuuuut… The weather was dismal, with clouds and mist, so no. We just got checked in at the ryokan we were staying at and rested. (Oh, right! Also sex. While trying to be quiet cause the walls were extremely thin!)

In the evening we bought a few gyoza from a food truck outside and then walked for about half an hour to get to a recommended ramen shop. This was my third time eating ramen, and gave me enough evidence to say that I don’t really… like it all that much. (This feels like betraying both myself and my love for Naruto. Fandom has glorified ramen for so many years, I’ve been longing to try the real stuff. And then it doesn’t live up to my expectations ;-;). We found a supermarket, the biggest we’d seen yet, on the way home. (And that way was scary. The sidewalk was about 20 cm broad, there was zero street lights, and the cars came zooming past at high speeds, in total darkness). It’s was slightly claustrophobic to enter that store, with all the bright colours and text, so much more than I’m used to seeing, it’s was impossible to rest your eyes anywhere!

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Poplitea

May 2016

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