6,140 vs. 1,000:
Towards the end of our stay in Tokyo, I made a comment to Jack that I was going to finally count all the coins I had just thrown and my backpack and speculated that I could have as much as 2,000 yen collected. I was wrong. By the end of our stay in Japan I had 6,140 yen in coins and only 1.000 yen in bills, this is only slightly different from America where all my money is in bills and I hate carrying around even a single quarter. It was indeed a different experience to be in a country where most of the small denominations, from what would be our equivalent of the penny all the way up through the five dollar bill are all in coins!
16 constitutes the number of pictures I took throughout our stay here in Japan. That includes 6 on my phone, 1 on my computer and 9 on my Nikon camera. Taking Photo 1 in spring semester, I read an article on how, for tourists, taking a camera along is their compensation for not working during their trip. In other words, people are so used to always working that even while on vacation they feel the need to do something and therefore take their camera along in order to have a “job” to do, taking pictures of even the most mundane, over-photographed things. I wasn’t going to be one of those people. That and dragging a camera around was just too bulky for me to manage.
5 is the number of different place I slept in during the trip. Two separate stays in the Comfort Hotel in Naha, once in the campgrounds near the coast of Okinawa, one night in the beautiful traditional Japanese Inn outside of Tokyo, several nights in the cramped (very cramped) hostel in Tokyo, and finally, last night, returning back to the home of my host family on the southern coast of Hokkaido for a several night stay before returning to the states. Although it has positively flown by, this reminds me just how long I have gotten to spend in Japan and just how many things I have gotten the opportunity to see. Although it seems like just yesterday that we left a rainy Furman campus behind to pile into an early morning taxi bound for the airport it also seems like months ago that we road that late train for a much needed night of rest after first arriving in Japan.
3 constitutes the number of Islands I have been on during my 3 week stay in the country. From the southern, “tropical” island of Okinawa, to the heart of Japan in Tokyo and finally to the northern Hokkaido, I have managed to span the entire length of Japan, south to north in just one trip!
Finally 2 is simply the number of times we managed to get off at the right train station near our hostel and still manage to get hopelessly lost. This reminds me that though I have spent nearly 3 weeks here, I still have much to learn about this country and that 3 weeks is not nearly enough to do so. Hopefully this will not be my last trip to Japan as there are still many things I want to see and discover. But most importantly the number 2 reminds be that even if I spent weeks or even months in Tokyo, I’ll still always manage to get lost on the subway.