Wednesday, September 20, 2023

The Revenge of Jet Lag

I thought I was in the clear after sleeping six hours on Monday night, but no. Only two hours last night, we played golf at 7:20 this morning, and I'm dragging.

Let me give you a little trip background today. Eli 22.1 made everything as easy as possible, because he planned everything. He was basically the trip manager/tour guide, and all I had to do was follow him. He navigated the train system flawlessly, which totally blew me away, because it looks like this:

That's the rail lines of just one company, too. There are six others. He unerringly navigated all of them. 

We averaged about ten miles walking a day, with a top day of fifteen miles. Lots of those miles were up and down, either climbing to temples (one had 289 steps, and they were steeper than regular steps) or going into the train station (almost every train station is 2-3 flights down, then back up when you exit). We probably averaged 30 flights a day, if not more.

We stayed in an apartment (four nights), monasteries (one night), an Airbnb (three nights) a private home (one night), a capsule hotel (three nights), and a hotel (one night). I'm missing one night and can't remember because my brain is fogged.

We went to Tokyo, Kyoto, Minobu, Fujinomiya, and Osaka. Minobu and Fujinomiya are rural, while the rest are big cities (even Kyoto has almost two million people now). We basically went east from Tokyo, then came back to Tokyo from Osaka on the bullet train.

Every city we went had a different feel. People dressed differently in each. The noise level was different (Tokyo, surprisingly, was far quieter than Kyoto or Osaka). The vibe was very different. Of the cities, Eli preferred Osaka (which was more vibrant and diverse), while I far preferred Tokyo (it was just so quiet and peaceful in comparison). Neither one of us thought Kyoto was particularly interesting.

My brain is fried, so that's enough for today. I'll just mention that the hype around vending machines in Japan is totally justified. They're everywhere, and they're inexpensive (water is about $1 a bottle, and so is a 12 oz. Coke).

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