A Travel Adventure from Tokyo to Manila

For the most part my luck has been pretty terrific so far on my trip. Unfortunately, my luck started to run out a bit the day I left Tokyo for Manila.


With a 6 pm flight from Narita Airport, I was able to take to take my time my last day in Tokyo. I woke up, had some breakfast, watched some football with Stephen and even got in a workout.

Since Stephen has a washer/dryer in his apartment, I waited until after my workout to do my laundry, figuring it could be the last chance I had to get in a good load of laundry for a while. Somewhat ignoring Stephen’s warnings about the quality of his dryer, I set the timer for 80 minutes after finishing my wash thinking that would be plenty of time to dry my small batch of clothes.

I then went out to lunch with Stephen and his girlfriend Nobue as a last meal before heading to the airport.

We got back from lunch at 2:30 pm, which was enough time for me to comfortably fold my clothes, finish packing up and walk to the metro station before catching a train to Tokyo station, where I could catch the express train to the airport at 3:30 pm. I needed to arrive at Tokyo station as early as possible to get a reservation for the express train so I was eager to move quickly. Read more of this post



I was ambivalent about visiting Hiroshima. Besides being the site where the atomic bomb was dropped, I didn’t know anything about the city and was afraid it would be a real downer. But Tiffani, Nathan and Stephen kept assuring me that it would be a worthwhile place to visit and I decided to go straight from Kyoto using my rail pass.

It turned out to be a huge highlight of my time in Japan, wildly exceeding my expectations.

along the water in Hiroshima

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Another Japan Post

I’m still struggling to find a coherent theme or set of anecdotes to share from my time so far in Japan so I will stick to some transportation-related stories, general observations and a brief summary of what I have been up to.

The culture here is quite unique but I can’t help feeling that I’m only getting a skin deep sense of what it’s like here. There has to be more beneath the unfailing politeness, orderliness and efficiency than what I’m seeing. You get a glimpse of people’s wild side when you go out at night, but I just don’t understand what makes Japanese people tick.

Stephen and Nathan have tried to explain it to me, as well as what facets about the society appeal to them so much that they want to live here, but I’m just not absorbing it I guess. Not that it has in any way taken away from an incredible experience here. After all, who can complain about cleanliness, efficiency and really helpful people?

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Familiar Faces In Tokyo

My few days in Tokyo have felt completely different from the previous six and a half weeks of my trip.

For the first time on my trip I have visited with old friends. Not that I haven’t enjoyed meeting new people on the road but there is a greater sense of comfort when you are with people you know.

And Japan is a stark change from the Middle East. It’s much cleaner, safer, the infrastructure is significantly better and it’s way more expensive.

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