Ｗｏｗ． Ｗｈｅｒｅ ｄｏ Ｉ even start. This has been the longest and most exhausting haul of my life. In a nutshell, Ｉ ｌｅｆｔ Ｋａｎｓａｓ Ｃｉｔｙ ａｔ ８ ｏｒ ｓｏ ｏｎ ｔｈｅ ２２ｎｄ． Ａｃｃｏｕｎｔｉｎｇ ｆｏｒ ｔｈｅ ｔｉｍｅ ｔｒａｖｅｌ ｆｕｃｋｅｒｙ ｏｆ ｗｅｓｔｂｏｕｎｄ ｆｌｉｇｈｔｓ， I am just now settling in on the eve of the 23rd. I transferred at Dallas to go to Narita (Tokyo), which was one beefy 12+ hour flight. But that was the easy part. I ｗｅｎｔ ｔｈｒｏｕｇｈ ｃｕｓｔｏｍｓ ｔｈｅｒｅ ａｎｄ ｉｔ ｗａｓ ｈｏｔ ａｎｄ ｅｈｈ ｂｕｔ Ｉ got through it by some stroke of a miracle. And from there I flew to Nagoya. And that’s where I found myself indisputably fucked having never traveled a big city or lived in one by myself EVER, not to mention one so Kanji riddled as a Japanese city. The 4th largest. Like New York’s asian bro. That said, I’ve never done things that it turns out a lot of people are quite good at such as buying train tickets and feeding them through the ticket booths.
I bought my first ticket by speaking with a man who knew English well enough to tell me which station I ｎｅｅｄｅｄ ｔｏ ｔｒａｖｅｌ ｔｏ． Ｓｏ ｔｈａｔ ｗａｓ ｃｏｏｌ ｅｘｃｅｐｔ Ｉ am just completely braindead retarded when it comes to finding the right boarding platform and knowing when and where to get off. It didn’t help that there were about 3 times as many stops as Google Maps predicted there would be. Anyway, Ｉ ｍａｄｅ ｉｔ ｔｏ ｔｈｅ Ｓｈｉｎｋａｎｓｅｎ ｓｔａｔｉｏｎ ａｎｄ ｈａｄ ｔｏ ｂｕｙ ＡＮＯＴＨＥＲ ｔｒａｉｎ ｔｉｃｋｅｔ ｔｏ ｇｅｔ ｔｏ Ｋｙｏｔｏ． Ｔｈｉｓ ｉｓ ｗｈｅｒｅ ｉｔ ｇｏｔ ｄｉｃｅｙ ｂｅｃａｕｓｅ Ｓｈｉｎｋａｎｓｅｎ ａｎｄ Ｌｉｍｉｔｅｄ Ｅｘｐｒｅｓｓ ｕｓｅ－－ｔｏ ｍｅ－－ ｑｕｉｔｅ ａ ｄｉｆｆｅｒｅｎｔ ｓｙｓｔｅｍ ｏｆ ｔｉｃｋｅｔ ｐｕｒｃｈａｓｉｎｇ． Ｉ ｏｎｌｙ ｂｏｕｇｈｔ ｔｈｅ ｆａｒｅ， ｎｏｔ ｔｈｅ ｔｉｃｋｅｔ ｉｔｓｅｌｆ， ｂｅｃａｕｓｅ ｔｈｅ Ｅｎｇｌｉｓｈ ｍｅｎｕｓ ｏｆ ｔｈｅ ｔｉｃｋｅｔ ｍａｃｈｉｎｅｓ ｗｅｒｅ ｖａｇｕｅ ａｎｄ Ｉ was trying to be a badass about it. Got my FARE ticket and fed it through the booth a couple times without success in front of hundreds of people screaming “bakagaijin” in their heads. Frustrated, I talked to an officer who knew about as much English as I ｋｎｏｗ Ｊａｐａｎｅｓｅ． Ｉｔ ｗａｓ ａ ｄｉｆｆｉｃｕｌｔ ｃｏｎｖｅｒｓａｔｉｏｎ， ｂｕｔ ｉｔ ｇｏｔ ｍｅ ｏｖｅｒ ｔｏ ａ ｑｕｅｕｅ ｗｈｅｒｅ Ｉ was able to buy the other half of my ticket and board. Then as fate would have it I ｈｅａｖｅｄ ａｌｌ ｍｙ ｌｕｇｇａｇｅ ｕｐ ｔｈｅ ｗｒｏｎｇ ｆｌｉｇｈｔ ｏｆ ｓｔａｉｒｓ ｏｎｔｏ ｔｈｅ ｗｒｏｎｇ ｐｌａｔｆｏｒｍ， ｓｏ Ｉ had to hurry to the other one before the train left. I ｔｈｉｎｋ ｔｈｉｓ ｉｓ ａ ｇｏｏｄ ｔｉｍｅ ｔｏ ｍｅｎｔｉｏｎ ｔｈａｔ Ｉ ｗｏｕｌｄｎｔ ｂｅ ａｃｔｉｎｇ ｌｉｋｅ ｓｕｃｈ ａ ｇｒａｎｄ ｐｕｓｓｙ ａｂｏｕｔ ａｎｙ ｏｆ ｔｈｉｓ ｉｆ ｉｔ ｗｅｒｅｎｔ ｆｏｒ ｔｈｅ ｆａｃｔ ｔｈａｔ Ｉ had an extra 40 lbs on my person while pulling around a 50 lb suitcase. All day. ANyWAY. I ｇｏｔ ｏｎ ｔｈｅ Ｓｈｉｎｋａｎｓｅｎ ｔｏｗａｒｄ Ｋｙｏｔｏ ｗｉｔｈｏｕｔ ｍｕｃｈ ｉｓｓｕｅ． Ｂｕｔ Ｋｙｏｔｏ ｈａｄ ｔｏ ｂｅ ｔｈｅ ｆｉｎａｌ ｂｏｓｓ ａｎｄ ｂｅ ｔｈｅ ｔｒｉｃｋｉｅｓｔ ｐａｒｔ ｏｆ ｉｔ ａｌｌ． According to my Google Maps, the best way to get to my Hostel from the JRＲａｉｌ ｓｔａｔｉｏｎ ｗａｓ ｖｉａ ｓｕｂｗａｙ． Ｇｏｏｇｌｅ Ｍａｐｓ ｗａｓ ａｌｓｏ ｕｎａｗａｒｅ ｏｆ ａｌｌ ９０ ｌｂｓ ｏｆ ｍｙ ｌｕｇｇａｇｅ ａｎｄ ｔｈｕｓ ｔｈｅ ｉｎｆｉｎｉｔｅ ｓｔａｉｒｃａｓｅｓ ａ ｌａ Ｓｕｐｅｒ Ｍａｒｉｏ ６４ ａｌｌ ｂｕｔ ｋｉｃｋｅｄ ｍｙ ａｓｓ ｉｎｔｏ ａ ｍｉｌｌｉｏｎ ｐｉｅｃｅｓ． Ｉ got off on the right stop somefuckinghow and from there it was an 8 block stumble to ｍｙ ｒｏｏｍ. It was the most dreadful 8 blocks of my life because it was pouring rain, I ｗａｓ ｃａｒｒｙｉｎｇ ｍｙ ｌｉｆｅ ｉｎ ３ ｂａｍｇｓ ａｎｄ ｍｙ ｓｏｃｋｓ ｗｅｒｅ ｓｏａｋｅｄ． Ｉ found the street, but started freaking out because its a sketchy narrow side street and I ｃｏｕｌｄｎｔ ｆｉｎｄ ｔｈｅ ｂｕｉｌｄｉｎｇ Ｉ had StreetViewed two days earlier. I didn’t go down a block far enough. It would have been simple had I ｎｏｔ ｗａｌｋｅｄ ｂａｃｋ ｔｏ ｔｈｅ ｍａｉｎ ｒｏａｄ ｏｕｔ ｏｆ ｆｅａｒ ｔｈａｔ Ｉ ａｃｃｉｄｅｎｔａｌｌｙ ｔｕｒｎｅｄ ａ ｂｌｏｃｋ ｔｏｏ ｅａｒｌｙ． Ｓｏ ｌｏｔｓ ｏｆ ｂａｃｋ ａｎｄ ｆｏｕｒｔｈ．
Ａｎｙｗａｙ， Ｉ got checked in and comfy and took a shower and now I ａｍ ｊｕｓｔ ｅｃｓｔａｔｉｃ ｔｏ ｂｅ ｉｎ Ｊａｐａｎ． Ｆａｃｉｎｇ ｔｈｅ ｐｕｂｌｉｃ ｔｒａｎｓｉｔ ｎｉｇｈｔｍａｒｅ ｉｎ ｔｈｅ ｆｕｔｕｒｅ ｗｉｌｌ ｐｒｏｂａｂｌｙ ｂｅｃｏｍｅ ａ ｍｕｃｈ ｍｏｒｅ ｐｏｓｉｔｉｖｅ ｅｘｐｅｒｉｅｎｃｅ ｄｕｅ ｔｏ ａｎ ｅｘｔｒｅｍｅ ｌａｃｋ ｏｆ ｌｕｇｇａｇｅ ｉｎ ｔｈｅ ｃｏｍｉｎｇ ｄａｙｓ ａｎｄ ａ ｂｅｔｔｅｒ ｇｒａｓｐ ｏｎ ｔｈｅ ｓｙｓｔｅｍ ｉｎ ｇｅｎｅｒａｌ． Ｉｔ ｗａｓ ａ ｌｏｎｇ， ｅｎｄｌｅｓｓ ａｎｄ ｂｒｕｔａｌ ｌｅａｒｎｉｎｇ ｅｘｐｅｒｉｅｎｃｅ， ｂｕｔ Ｉ am so content now. I’m good. Like let’s go.