p1020153There are times (most often in the quiet of the evening) that the pang of longing for Japan hits hard — really, ridiculously, heart-achingly hard — during which I usually end up scrambling to find “that one picture” that might be worthy of the sentiment and take me back there for even just a short moment, and to punctuate such a post as this.

But this is one of those many nights when I start thinking not just about the last trip but the next one as well, and even beyond that — living in Japan. And I have to wonder what really binds me to that place anyhow. What has so entranced, smitten me to the point where part of what I feel is very akin, strangely enough, to homesickness? Then, I realize that even though many cities are alike on the surface (and Tokyo and Sendai are no exceptions), it’s everything else behind the facade that really matters, much more so than the food, shrines, temples, tourist traps, fireworks, parades, festivals, and even Mt. Fuji. Take all those things away, and every little minute detail that’s left — be they mundane, annoying, ludicrous, or spectacular — still accounts for a big chunk of the memories. (Too much to go through in one sitting even if I wanted to turn this into an essay, but quite evident in every article I’ve ever shared about Japan.)

Few things ever keep me up at night and make my mind swirl (not the nutty kind, but with heavy contemplation and much deliberation), and this has been going on for years. So, I have to consider the possibility that isn’t all just a tourist’s wistfulness. Will I ever get tired of Japan or frustrated by its many quirks and idiosyncrasies, pack things up and look elsewhere for worldly escapades? Or will I fall even deeper in love with that country and one day decide once and for all to stay there indefinitely? There’s only one way to find out: I have to go back! 🙂