I did not sleep much last night. Partly through being at a friends place up chatting half the night and partly because I was worried I was going to miss my alarm. At 3:45am it was clear I didn\'t
It felt like a long flight, possibly because it has been almost 3 years since I last made this trip, (and maybe because I managed to avoid taking the Valium my friend had packed for me), but upon descent into Osaka, the 7 uncomfortable hours from Cairns were soon forgotten as a wave of emotion washed over me... like some sort of homecoming... a bloodbuzz.
There is something about this place that I feel deeply connected to, but nothing in particular that I can put my finger on or explain in so many words. It\'s just there, and has been since my first visit to Japan in 2003.
From the moment I stepped off the plane, familiarity greeted me and my movements almost felt ritualistic as I made my way through the terminal, collected my bags and marched to the subway, heading to Namba. A journey I have made many times, both alone and with various company. That train ride alone holds many memories - covering many different emotions for me. Today\'s emotion was one of joy. I am both incredibly happy and grateful to be back here in Osaka... my second home.
Despite feeling ridiculously tired when I got to my hotel room, I couldn\'t avoid getting out and about for a bit, to witness mostly familiar sights and smells, and a handful of new ones...
The city feels the same as it did when I was last here, the people look the same, the Osaka boys still roam the Dotonbori bridge and the Glico man still lights it up.
I was quickly reminded of so many things I have missed and some that I haven\'t.
I met up with an old friend at an old favourite bar called Banco and was pleasantly surprised to see it had undergone a bit of a makeover, which tells me they are doing well.
One thing had been on my mind all day, (possibly longer): ramen! So I was very happy to see my favorite ramen house is still thriving. I had not eaten all day so my appetite was ferocious and my selection did not disappoint.
Osaka, it\'s good to be back! I retire for the evening with a contently full stomach and a city to re-explore tomorrow.