The Tokyo – Doha leg of the journey is an overnight flight. How fun? I don’t know anyone who likes long haul overnight flights. And although I love love love travelling; flying is the bane of my existence. I bloody hate it. Thankfully – I’m the kind of person that can sleep anywhere. And although I manage to get some sleep on the plane, it wasn’t the restful kind. I was tossing and turning and shifting about the whole time. I felt a little sorry for the guy sitting next to me.
When I found out that I was coming back to the Kansai area for a business trip, I crinkled and raised my eyebrows at the same time. It wasn’t on my plans. But when life is ready to bring you full circle, it will do it with a big smile on its face.
I got a seat at the counter and boy was I tickled by the sight of all those okonomiyaki neatly assembled. One chef was cutting the cabbage. Another was preparing the okonomiyaki. Another was making the negiyaki: made with scallions instead of cabbage. And another was expertly tossing noodles to make yakisoba. If you love cooking like I do – open kitchens like this one are a HUGE treat.
I spent the past three days in Nagano on a business trip. A popular destination for school trips, camping and skiing – Nagano was exactly what I needed for a couple of days. I slept well, ate well and overdosed on nature. Although I was working, I finally managed to get a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of daily life in Tokyo.
Like the Fool in the tarot deck, I came to Japan with a certain naivety, innocence and sense of adventure. My eyes were filled with wanderlust. I had left most of my possessions behind and only brought the bare necessities with me. It was scary – letting go of everything that I knew. I was afraid of the unknown. What if it was far worse than what I had?
I’ve heard people rave and rave about Shin-Okubo: Japan’s largest Korea Town. Easily accessible on Tokyo’s Yamanote line, I went there today not quite knowing what to expect. The moment I stepped out of the station, I felt like I was transported to a different country.
I used to be an expert at eating kebabs, but I’m losing my touch… I made a mess – dropping ingredients, getting sauce all over my face and catching meat as it tried to escape from my pita. I was a bit confused by all the cabbage that was in the pita, but overall it was good and satisfied that craving. The noisy train would go by now and then forcing me to stop my conversation whilst the Tokyu line did what it did.