It has been a whirlwind of emotions the last three days. I always knew the day would come where I could say “tomorrow, I’m leaving on my OE”, but when that day actually arrives there are no words, no thoughts, just contentment in waiting. From excitement to anxiety, I can finally rest to enjoy the present.
This is now my third visit to Japan, having been during intermediate and high school, and things are a lot different to how I remember. People are unbelievably helpful. In asking for directions, you can expect a personal escort to your specified location. We have now ranked up a total of three of these, including to our hostel (a 15 minute walk from the station) on our first night.
See also First Time Japan Essential Experiences.
Walking inner city streets is quite an enjoyable experience, both day and night. Many more city folk get around by bicycle than I had expected and footpaths are wide enough to feel like a neighbourhood, rather than just a walkway edging a busy road. Trees comfort people from the traffic and numerous neighbourhood food houses add to the ambience near Ueno, where we are staying.
Today we visited Meiji Shrine and had a few drinks with the people in our hostel. Here is a picture Meg (a hostel staff member) drew of a man she saw walking his dog at Meiji shrine, dressed as a cloud.