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The Perks of Travelling

In December 2016 I travelled to Japan, to spend Christmas and New Year’s there. The trip would not have been as good as it became had it not been for my visit to Fuji Rock Festival in July 2015. Because of that trip, my visit to Japan became amazing.

I just made my flight back to Tokyo, the bus to New Chitose Airport in Sapporo had been delayed, as I arrived at the airport I only had minutes before check-in closed. I ran through the airport, made it just in time.

Niseko Village

Niseko Village

The flight back to Tokyo was weird. I felt like I was flying home after a holiday. The holiday was over, now it was back to everyday life. Going back to Tokyo, for ten more days of vacation, felt like going home, ending the holiday.

Niseko had been such a great time, an awesome holiday. I had only been three days in Niseko, not long at all, but the three days had been amazing. So great that returning to Tokyo felt like returning from holiday. I shook my head, Tokyo would be great, I knew that, why did I feel this way.

Skiing in Niseko because of Fuji Rock Festival

Skiing in Niseko

And I would never have gone on this trip, never visited Niseko, if it hadn’t been for a chance encounter at Fuji Rock Festival. A girl came up to me during the Muse concert, it was close to the end, Muse were playing Knights of Arcadia. The girl smiled at me.

‘Hi, can I sit on your shoulders?’

Muse concert at Fuji Rock Festival

Watching Muse play at Fuji Rock Festival

I said yes, regretting it a few minutes later. Even a petite Japanese girl is heavy after a few minutes of dancing with her on your shoulders. I kept on, the concert was almost over. I’d make it.

My plane landed in Tokyo, it was a little after 8pm. Still another hour or two before I would be back in the apartment. At least I wasn’t staying in a hotel, didn’t have to find the place, check in, get familiar with the room.

Tracks are laid out at Narita Airport for Tokyo 2020

Narita Airport is ready for the 2020 Olympics

As I got off the train in Shimokitazawa I stopped at 7-eleven and picked up some food, a few beers. Some fried chicken, a few nikuman, some snacks. The food at 7-eleven in Japan is so much better than I am used to, I always stop for a snack at a convenience store.

Food for sale at 7/11

Tasty food at 7-Eleven

I walked through the narrow streets with my bag of food, found the apartment building, went inside. Took the elevator to the right floor, found the door and locked myself in. Found the sofa in the living room, opened a beer, ate some fried chicken. It was a bit cold, but the central heater quickly took care of that. Finally home.

7-Eleven in Japan have a good selection of beer

Selection of beer at 7-Eleven

I had my own place in Tokyo this time, had to share it with the owner, but he was home in England at the moment. Would not return for another three days. My own place in Tokyo, for free, I loved it, and it all started at Fuji Rock Festival when this guy approached us and said:

‘Hey guys, you look cool. You should come see this concert over here.’

It was my last night in Japan. My previous trip, I had returned to Tokyo from Fuji Rock Festival. As always I invited everyone I had met on my trip for one last beer in my regular bar. Both the girl and the guy from the Festival came.

It was getting late, a lot of people were leaving. The girl got up to leave as well, we said goodbye, she started to walk away. She turned, said to me:

View of Niseko

The slopes of Niseko

‘Hey, you should come back during Christmas. We are going skiing. Some friends and I. You should come.’

I said sure, she left.

A little later the guy was leaving as well. As he left he said I was always welcome to stay at his place if I returned to Tokyo.

‘I have an extra bedroom, you can always stay there when visiting Tokyo.’

I took them both up on their offer.

17 thoughts on “The Perks of Travelling

  1. Christie

    Some random girl asked if she could sit on your shoulders!? That’s crazy! Haha. What a random, fun experience. Funny that it was painful even though she was small. I’ll make sure to not ask to sit on anyone’s shoulders.

    Reply
    1. Traveltorgeir Post author

      Yeah, dancing for a long time with a girl on your shoulder gets painful in the end. But it all worked out great, I got to go skiing with her and her friends. Don’t be afraid to ask, the worst you will get is a no :-)

      Reply
  2. Juliette | Snorkels To Snow

    Awesome – we just did a ski trip to Niseko in January and we nearly missed our flight from Tokyo to New Chitose and had to be escorted through the gates – what is it with us travellers and nearly missing flights?! Great that you can make some friends and get some accommodation out of it!

    Reply
    1. Traveltorgeir Post author

      I know, I guess we want to stay as long as we can and never go home :-)

      I absolutely loved Niseko and really want to return for some more skiing!

      Reply
  3. Bhushavali

    Had a stranger gal on your shoulders?? Lolz… But its beautiful! That strangers became friends and you got to stay in one of the costliest countries in the world, free of cost!

    Reply
    1. Traveltorgeir Post author

      Yeah, and even better, I come from Norway which is even costlier, so Japan is quite cheap for me :-)

      Reply
  4. Ali May

    I love how easy it is to connect and make (possible) life-long friends when travelling. That’s amazing you have some locals to hang out with in Tokyo

    Reply
  5. Jean

    I have to admit I too love buying food from a 7-11 in Japan! In Australia it’s absolutely awful food but other there it’s great. Travel has so many amazing perks the ones you’ve listed above are truly wonderful.

    Reply
  6. Riely

    This is a great travel story. You never know where your travels will take you. I bet you are happy the girl had asked to be propped up on your shoulders! Travel is all about meeting new people and opening up to true experiences. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  7. Kathy - Walkabout Wanderer

    It is so lovely to have experiences like this. Making new friends which results in a skiing trip and a place to stay. I love meeting strangers who never stay strangers for long.
    I have heard Fuji Rock Festival is amazing. Plus I love Muse.

    Reply
    1. Traveltorgeir Post author

      Yeah, makikg friends with strangers is one of the best things about travelling I think. And Fuji Rock Festival is amazing. Well worth a visit :-)

      Reply
  8. Archana Singh

    I am so happy to read this post because Japan is love for me. I was there in Oct-Nov and totally loved it. I love your snow pictures. Wish I could go back to Japan for skiing soon.

    Reply
    1. Traveltorgeir Post author

      I know exactly how you feel. After visiting Japan for the first time five years ago I have returned four more times :-)

      Reply

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