He arrived on the 20th, but I was already at the airport by the 19th. Goof, and the first and last goof of our tour hopefully, I read his itinerary wrong; I though he’d arrive on the 19th, no he departed Chicago on the 19th.
My Uncle is 52 and hails from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he has made comfortable living designing and taking photos for industrial corporations, while investing in houses that he remodels. In his spare time he dedicates himself to his true passions: gardening, sailing, and golf. And, as our conversations with locals return us to, he is actually Japanese.
Slamming away at the hundred odd pound granite mortar with his wooden hammer, steam rises from the mochi as the monks keep saying “so strong, such a natural”. “It’s my quantum mechanics, they work here” Uncle Stew describes it as. And what we both agree, these past few days have been indescribable. The sheer quantity of concidence and fortune is immeasurable. To be simple about it, it has been fun.
But we are only halfway done! Every train ride to the next stop, we tell each other, Sapporo in hand, we’ll write it down. With each successive uttering of the words becoming lax in our standards: “I gotta write it all down”, “We’ll write it down”, “I’ve been taking notes”, “Just give me the names of the things and I’ll remember”, “When I start getting these packages back home, it’ll remind me”.
Once we get into it, however, the feelings complicate the details which inevitably bring us to the thought, “just keep dancing”, our own advice, which simply means, well, keep dancing.
The first night into town, we were brought back by the Narita Express to Shinjuku station. Since I spent the day before worrying it away, hours passing by, passengers arriving, and intercoms calling “Will Mr. Stewarto OOf, please come to Terminal 1, South Arrival Station”, only later to find out how idiotic I am, and loathe myself as my body soaked in the Shinjuku Park Hotel, I knew where to take him.
Our accommodations were next door to Times Square, one of those mega-mall 20 story buildings that populate Japan. We brought ourselves to the top floor on a whim and enjoyed the spectacular skyline. Actually, as I recount this, we sit inside the same place.
He and I have only five more days left together in Japan, so unfortunately- I don’t plan to do a massive update about our travels until he leaves and I am left with my excess of time.
Every moment has been spent, “as the lotus blossoms” as Uncle Rat returns to. Our travels have been a moveable feast (moochable feast, as we’ve joked), crossing the width of this continent again and again on the shear generosity of friends and the convenience of green car rail passes.
I do want to a wish a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to everyone. Until I see all you lovely people again, my gift can only be these words and photos. As immeasurable my experience has been here in Japan, I hope to share the joy with you all soon enough.