After saying my last goodbyes in Torquay, I packed up my apartment and went home. It had been a year and a half since I last visited Japan, and so it was high time to finally go back, see my dog and sleep in my old room.
Even though I was only home for two weeks, wow, I did a lot. Not only did I hang out in my town, go to the beach and visit my old high school, I also traveled to Hakone and Nagano to do some sight seeing.
The last time I was in Hakone was in 2014 when I taught at a high school summer camp. It was nice to come back and visit this town as a tourist. Apart from the iconic lake and tori, we of course had to go up to the volcano (which was only recently re-opened) and eat Kuro tamago! We also went to the open-air museum, which is one of my favorites.
My second “vacation within a vacation” was in Nagano, where I visited a friend from Occidental. She is doing the JET program there (link to her super awesome blog here!). An exciting part of this trip was that I got to take a shinkansen to Nagoya!
This was so much fun. Achi is really cute, and famous for its star tour. It’s also very mountainous, which sheltered us from the typhoon that was hitting the rest of Japan (including Kamakura). Here we visited an old post town and a jam factory, took many pictures in a sunflower field, had a picnic at the river and went to many onsen. I also got to visit her schools and met some of the other Nagano JETs at a hanabi taikai. I never knew the program was that big! And of course, what kind of trip would it be without a quick stop at the local Karaoke place and a Brazilian barbecue, both courtesy of Megan’s eikaiwa students.
And that’s it! Two weeks went very quickly, and as soon as I arrived, it was time to go. Of course, that involved taking three trains and two planes before I finally got to Maastricht. Phew!