Just got back Tokyo after a little 4-day trip to Kansai for the weekend. Tuesday the 20th was a holiday (春分の日, the Spring Equinox) so i asked for the day before and the day after off of work as well. Though all of today was spent in transit from Himeji to Tokyo- 11 hours on trains, with 7 transfers! My shoulders are shot from hauling my luggage around. I think my next investment will be in a little travel suitcase with wheels. My duffel bag is old as is tearing on the side around where the strap is. I can see that being disastrous, like the time when my suitcase that i came to Japan with lost its handle when i was moving from Kansai to Tokyo..
Anyway. I suffered though an 11-hour trip back home today because i went the route of the 青春18切符 (Seishun Juuhachi Kippu), the "Youth 18 Ticket". It was only 11,500yen (about $115) and it's good for 5 full days (doesn't have to be consecutive days but has to be within the time-frame the tickets are good for) on regular JR trains. You can get them at any major station, just go to the みどりの窓口 (Green Ticket Window?) and you can buy them during the sales period from the automated machines if you're paying with cash. It pretty much paid for itself on the trip back from Himeji, and plus i used it a couple days while in Kansai so it was definitely worth it. Still have a couple of days left to use so i can use it on some trips around Tokyo this weekend or next. :)
Going back to Kansai really helped my spirits and it made me realize how much i really want to be there instead. Tokyo's a nice place and there's lots to do, but it turns out i really am a Kansai-person. Although i like my job here now and love my babies, i still wish i had been able to find a job there in the first place. After all that happened in the last month i was left just feeling a little... blah. But after arriving in Kyoto the first day, despite a pretty sleepless night on the highway bus, i felt really refreshed and uplifted being back. Would like to go back again at the end of next month during Golden Week, hopefully!
Will try to get a post up tomorrow about the trip. Will probably be quite long and full of pictures!