Schoolboys cycling through town in contemporary Japan
A peaceful corner in the Land of the Rising Sun
View from a train in central Honshu
Yesterday evening, I returned to Hong Kong after spending a little more than a week in what's been my favorite country to visit for some years now. Almost needless to say, I had a great time once more in Japan: a land with great food and alcoholic libations, beautiful rural scenery, well-equipped cities that are full of interesting sights, and some of the most courteous -- if not outright kindest and friendliest -- people in the world.
More than one friend has asked me now whether I have plans to move to the Land of the Rising Sun. My answer is that I tend to think of Japan primarily as a place to visit -- rather than (re-)settle in -- because I actually enjoy exploring different parts of it, as opposed to regularly return to visit the same city or town there. And on this most recent Japan trip, I actually didn't spend time in any place that I had set foot in on a previous visit to this country which had so many nooks and crannies that I want to check out!
For the first time ever, I flew into -- and subsequently out of -- Chubu Centrair International Airport, and spent time in Nagoya, nearby Inuyama, and the Hida mountain towns of Takayama (aka Hida Takayama) and Hida Furukawa. I came away from three of these places wishing I could spend more time in them -- and the only reason I didn't feel that way about the fourth is because it was so small that I felt like I got to see everything I wanted there in just half a day!
In short: like pretty much every Japan trip I've been on, it all ended up feeling too short a visit. As the proverbial "they" say: time flies when you're having fun. And in the Land of the Rising Sun, I really manage to have fun -- and in so many ways -- that time does seem to go by extra quickly when I'm there; this even while I am beholding scenes and scenery which get me thinking that time has stood still! ;b