Golden Week 2019 is a bit of an exception. This year, there are 10 consecutive days of holiday, due to the emperor’s transition.
The holidays have provided us with a chance to take time off and see some interesting things in Tokyo. It’s hard to visit other places in Japan, because EVERYONE is traveling. The hotels are booked, as are the flights and many of the trains. So, we just stay in Tokyo.
We’ve lived here three years. We are still discovering new places and sights, and also are enjoying visiting our favorite places.
Today, we started with a familiar run along the Takahama Canal. Actually, until a day or so ago, we just called it “the canal.” Then we took the time to translate one of the signs, and learned that its name is Takahama Canal.
Anyway, after our run and a delicious curry lunch at home, we decided to walk across the Rainbow Bridge to Odaiba Island to see Oktoberfest (even though it isn’t October), the start of beer garden season in Tokyo.
Rainbow Bridge is a landmark in Tokyo. Walking across offers outstanding views of Tokyo Bay, and areas of Tokyo. It’s an easy 2 kilometer walk, starting about a kilometer from our apartment.
It was a beautiful spring day in Tokyo, and many people took advantage of the day to enjoy Odaiba beach. We took a stroll along the beach, then moved on toward the Oktoberfest area. On the way, we found a Latin American festival. Surprising to see Spanish music and Mexican food booths in Tokyo.
Oktoberfest for us turned out to be a disappointment. There were a number of German beer booths, but costs were triple the normal cost of beer. Ambiance is good, but for us, not worth the extra cost.
So, it was back across the Rainbow Bridge for a brief stop at our apartment. Then on to our favorite neighborhood sushi restaurant for dinner.
For us, this was a highlight of Golden Week. We now can speak enough Japanese to actually converse with the wait staff and the sushi chef. The chef was anxious to practice his limited English, so we had an interesting, albeit simple, conversation.
There is also an older couple who we often see at this restaurant. He is Japanese, she is Western. Tonight, for the first time, we talked to these folks as we left the restaurant. A very nice older couple who have lived in Japan for many years. Nice to make the connection.
When we made the decision to come to Japan, it was for a two-year assignment. Seemed simple, and we never imagined it would be anything more than an interesting couple of years.
Now, after three years here, we’ve come to love Japan as our second home. We officially have one more year here. Often, though, we can imagine staying here permanently. That would be a huge additional change, and probably isn’t realistic. But even to consider the possibility is something we never expected would happen. Japan is certainly not a perfect place, but it is a wonderful country we have found comfortable in calling our home.