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.
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.
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?’
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.
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.
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.
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:
‘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.