The intention was to write a blog post everyday, and then one thing led to another, we were immersed in the adventure and the days rolled on by, and now we're back and what an excursion, a dad and daughters trip for the ages. We had a loose agenda, a general idea, a vague notion, a plan written in pencil on a napkin centred around the Grand Sumo tournament in Osaka on day 3, where we saw 'man mountains' collide, with remarkable athleticism, and grace, and raw power. Add this to the bucket list, it was worth it. The tradition, the theatre and the ceremony, old meets new, huge humble warriors, stoic and ferocious. After the sumo we just winged it, booked accommodation as we went, threw darts at virtual maps and wondered about picking restaurants on a whim, weaving through alleyways meandering towards distant landmarks, making plans as we went. We ran with the Deer in Nara, paused at temples up distant paths, paying tributes in our own unique way. We saw monkeys in sanctuaries, strolled through bamboos forests, ate sushi and ice cream by a river filled with row boats and floating canteens. We stayed in hostels, in shoeboxes, in a farm house sleeping on futons laid out on traditional mats, shared bathrooms and communal kitchens. We saw waterfalls, left bells at riverside temples, bought marble eggs at crystal markets and ate cold noodles from a stone fountain plucked with chop sticks dipped in soy sauce much to our delight. We weaved through crowded arcades, waited at packed intersections and paraded across cross walks dodging passerby while doing our best to stick together, which we managed every time. We saw castles, we climbed ramparts, crossed moats, and joined a procession on a tour past the imperial palace, which was mysterious, and imposing, and somewhat etherial hidden in the distance by a forest of greenery and beautiful bloom-age. We unintentionally photo bombed a graduation ceremony, or two, we took a random train to a random neighbourhood having googled 'old Tokyo' and bumped into friends from home, as if the script writers in the simulator control room simply ran out of locations, or wanted some entertainment, synchronicity in among the chaos of endless possibilities, and impossible probabilities. We did Tokyo Disney, waiting in lines for hours, a worthy tradeoff for the joy of seeing your kids laugh and smile with glee. We took in TeamLab, a visual art installation which brought out the kid in everyone, immersing us in light baths and dark tunnels, in rooms filled with hanging plants rising and falling surrounded by mirrors who's endless reflections appeared to be forever expanding. We navigated by trains and subway, we walked many a mile, found yippie coffee shops and thrift stores and galleries filled with trinkets we pawed and odd-led only to leave behind having traveled with compact backpacks stuffed to the brim.
And now we're home, well the kids are, im back on the road, in Oceanside California, eyes foggy with jet lag, supporting our athletes on The Feed's high performance team, catching up with old friends, meeting new ones and staying in touch with a sport I love, while quietly day dreaming of being back in the land of the rising sun exploring paths not yet known.