The last of my time out in Asia… its so sad that its coming to an end but thankfully I have so many memories from the last month. Now, before my short stay in Japan, I had 2.5 days in Manila – those 2.5 days were very…..interesting. I arrived late at night, around 2:00am and went right to sleep, but the next morning I spent my time on the toilet. I had food poisoning. It was awful. 4 hours of being on the toilet constantly. I needed things that I didn’t have and was alone in my hostel room for the most part, so I reached out to anyone in Manila who would be willing to help a sick girl out in the Girls Love Travel group on facebook. Shout out to my new biffie out in the Philippines, Shiv came to my rescue! Not only was she a total life saver – the girl brought me ALL of the good things – but she is also the coolest person ever. I was so thankful for her so I offered to take her out to dinner the following night. We got together at the Mall of Asia for some Italian deliciousness and some drinks and chatted about life things. Still so thankful for her. But my stay in Manila left a sour taste in my mouth from the sickness. So I was a-ok with leaving Manila for my next portion of my journey back home. A 19hour layover in Japan!
My round trip ticket to Manila was with ANA airlines, so that left me with a layover at Narita International on my way to and from Manila. On the way back home, that layover was 19 hours long! I’ve had longer layovers so I knew I was going to take advantage of my layover while I could. I found the luggage storage at the airport and then hopped on a train to the town of Narita city and made my way to the closest temple I could find- Naritasan Shinshō-ji! First, I loved the little city of Narita. It was so adorable and SO clean! I don’t have a single memory of liter during my 20 minute walk to the temple. I walked back the cutest restaurants and shops that were closing for the day. I could have easily spent an entire time wandering around this city. Now I know most are like, why didn’t you go to Tokyo but trust me, I wanted too! Tokyo, or Japan as a whole, deserves its own trip so I didn’t want to jump the gun when I was going to be in the country from 3:30pm-10:25 the next morning.
I only had 1.5 hours to spend wandering the temple and due to the brisk temperatures, I had it mainly to myself. Everything fascinated me. The artwork, the colors, the craftsman ship, the worshipping. Everything was perfectly manicured and had its own purpose. After the temple, I was extra hungry. I ducked into an adorable restaurant that had an english menu – a win for me because Japanese is pretty unreadable to an outsider. My waitress was the sweetest and gave me the nicest free little dessert welcoming me to Japan! We all had a good laugh trying to teach me how to use chopsticks…. My fingers are not coordinated enough to each noodles with chopsticks. Still not sure how they do? I fell in love with Japan and the little city of Narita. I cannot wait to come back and really dive into the Japanese culture. I spent the next 15 hours of my life sleeping on a couch in the Narita airport. It actually worked out in my favor. A decent nights sleep, early rise and then back on the plane bound for DC. I slept most of my flight which made the flight home THAT much better! Its the little things in life. But enjoy my last little blip of Asia.