This post brought to you by the fact that I really need to vent about how this vacation started out. Proceed with caution!
Hello again from the Land of the Rising Sun! Which I’m pretty sure comes from how early the sun comes up in Japan, a little before 5am.* It’s so bright so early, which is crazy different from Michigan where it MAYBE gets light enough around 630 or 7am.
Ok, maybe not THAT much earlier, but having the sun up before 6am is weird, ok?!
Don’t you judge me!
*It’s not, but I wanted to talk about the sun rise here for a moment, so….
Anyway, our trip to Japan kind of started off on the wrong foot. We left for the airport a little before 5am EST on Saturday, April 30th from the great state of Michigan. I wanted to leave closer to 430am, but it took a little while longer than I had intended due to working until 4am & needing to shower before leaving. We had checked-in to our flight online beforehand in the hopes of lessening the time it takes to check your luggage & such before going through security.
Well, that didn’t happen.
I feel bad for the woman at the front desk, I really do. She was very clearly new & struggled to get people checked-in & ready for their flight. However, what should have taken MAYBE 30 minutes at most, took an hour because she was solo, with no help from any other employee until a while into helping us. There WAS another woman helping her initially while we were still in line, but she ducked away at some point, going gods-only-know where.
It backed everything up so bad. It no longer mattered that we had checked-in online beforehand. My anxiety became awful hard to manage because I was TERRIFIED we were going to miss our flight. I had a really bad panic attack while in line for the security checkpoint.
Luckily, security went smoothly & we were at our gate on time & good to go! The panic subsided. The flights were great, though long, and I even got a little reading done! Everything was fine.
Until we got to Japan.
We got to Narita airport on May 1st.
Hurray for the international date line!!
We went through all the areas where they check your passport & make sure you’re allowed to be there. We made our way down to the baggage area.
Oh look! A woman with my name on a sign! I wonder what all that is about?
What do you mean my luggage isn’t here?
That’s right. Due to our issues at the initial check-in stage, way back in the United States of America, my bag didn’t make it onto our flights. It was late. And it was going to be delivered to our hotel 2 days after we arrived. On May 3rd. And there was nothing else to do but wait.
You guys should know one thing about me. I am overweight. Have been for years. I’m a size 18 in US sizes, a little over 200lbs.
And all of my clothes were in that luggage.
Do you know how easy it is to find plus size clothes in Japan?
So here I am, with no clothes other than what I was already wearing, & I can’t just go out & buy new clothes from a store to tie me over. At least, not the clothes you really shouldn’t wear more than one day in a row. You know. Those underthings. Yea, you get it.
Being bigger in Japan can be difficult. The sizes run much smaller than they do in the states, & a lot of the time you’d have to buy clothes online instead of from a physical store. I can’t say that I know much about things here, I’m an American visiting, not a local. But it’s obvious that there is pressure to be slim in Japan.
I recently lost 17 pounds by watching what I eat & being more active, but my pride in my accomplishment depleted when I arrived after being told my clothes wouldn’t be here. Luckily, I DID find a shirt that fit me at a UNIQLO in Tokyo Station, & hubby packed an extra pair of shorts that, though a little tight at the top, fit me just enough to wear out the next day. I DID have to hand wash my underwear in the sink for 2 nights with body soap, though. That….was an event? I mean, they were clean, but there’s a type of softness you get from things like Tide that you just don’t get from body wash.
On the 3rd my luggage DID arrive, but we left the hotel early in the morning to catch a train out to Kawaguchiko to visit Aokigahara & Gotemba, so I didn’t get to pick it up at the front desk until we got back. But once we did it was a glorious reunion! I got to change into my own clean clothes & change shoes & it was beautiful.
Did I forget to mention that I spent 3 full days wearing Doc Martens? Cause I did.
And let me tell you, those boots were not made for that.
I actually think my feet are STILL swollen from those first few days. We did a TON of walking. But I did find some all-black, low-top converse (IN MY SIZE!!) in Harajuku that I got to wear that 3rd day in Japan when we visited Aokigahara. It helped a LOT, but I’m still feeling the aftermath.
Things have been going pretty smoothly since then. Hubby was feeling a little head-sick yesterday & I keep forgetting to eat before we do lots of walking around so I’ve been dealing with THAT, but over-all the vacation has been better than it seemed it would be at the beginning. We’ve seen some shrines, temples, caves, a gorgeous forest, & I even tried a couple traditional Japanese foods!
Expect a few posts, complete with photos, in a few days. I gotta go through the pictures I’ve taken, weed out the awful ones, & organise the good ones. Making them pretty, & getting them ready for their online debut!
I can’t wait to show you guys all the cool things we’ve seen this trip.
I hope you’re excited too!