Japan How-To

From the sound of the title this might be a fun instruction manual on how to get around Japan once you’re here, but that is actually not the case.
This is an object lesson on how to get to Japan so we can hang out.
If you’re reading this blog, rest assured, I want you to come visit meeeeeeeee. Yes, even you who just thought to yourself, “She doesn’t even know I read her blog because I NEVER like it or comment…I’m GHOSTING her blog for pete’s sake!”
Oh, but I do.
Even you, ghosty friend.
Come. Visit. Meeeeeee.
Now, we’ve probably all been on Facebook in the last, oh I don’t know, 5 minutes, so we’ve all seen something like this:
This is Caroline.
Caroline notices that it’s raining outside.
Caroline doesn’t post on Facebook about it because Caroline knows her friends have eyes.
Caroline is smart.
Be like Caroline.
May I submit to you that there is a WAY better, truer version of this that ALL Y’ALL need to listen to? It goes like this:
This is Karen.
Karen was in Tokyo, Japan for a show she was in.
Karen knew Caroline was also in Japan so she set up a date to see her.
Karen is awesome & kind.
Be like Karen.
This is a true story that I want all of you to take very seriously.
You could be thinking, “Yeah, but I don’t have a job that takes me to Japan…”
My suggestion? Buy a plane ticket to Japan and then name that plane “job”. You now have a “job” that takes you to Japan. BOOM. Thought you had me stumped, eh?
But for real, when we first got to Japan (I’m talking, still-living-in-the-hotel) my friend Karen Estrada messaged me on Facebook letting me know that she was touring Japan with a Disney show based in Tokyo–you may have heard of it…Beauty & The Beast?
Anyway, Karen & I have known each other since I was about…nine. So about 17 years. She was a teacher of mine in the beginning & then I had the pleasure of being her right-hand-gal for the summer she was the Director of the Springer Theatre Academy. You could say, “We go waaaaaaaay back” which I’ve always wanted to say in real life so…let’s say that.
She offered us tickets to her show and we set up a time to meet for breakfast. This happened to be Christmas morning since we were both away from family for Christmas for the first time ever.  She took us to a western styled eatery & I had a waffle with a MOUNTAIN of whipped cream on it. I could’ve hiked that thing. She got to meet Oakie & we chatted about life & Japan & life in Japan & it was the loveliest way to spend my first Christmas here.
The next day we got to see her “play an anthropomorphic tea pot” (her words) a.k.a. Mrs. Potts in the coolest stage version of Beauty & the Beast I’ve ever seen. There were 7 of them decked out in gorgeous evening wear backed by the Tokyo Symphony as they sang & danced through the classic Disney tale. And then we got backstage passes & I felt like a big winner on a radio contest.  It was their final performance & the love & devotion was evident onstage & off. It was one of my favourite performances I’ve had the privilege to be in the audience for.
And this is actually the 2nd time I’ve happened to meet someone on the other side of the world. When traveling in Italy back in 2012, a friend, Christi, was planning to be in Rome for a mission trip the same weekend my study abroad group was visiting, so we met up for lunch. 
We had pizza in a piazza in Rome. 
It was literal magic. 
I think there was glitter present.
These stories have served two purposes:
1. They warmed my heart & made me happy.
2. You now have 2 perfect examples of how to happen to be on the same “other side of the world” as me.
So do that thing.
But don’t wait till you happen to be in Japan. Just wait till you happen to have enough pennies to buy that plane ticket & name that plane. We’ve got a guest room ready. And if you bring friends, we also have a pull-out couch that I’ve slept on (for testing purposes only & definitely not because we fell asleep watching Seinfeld DVDs…). While driving, I recently found myself thinking about something OTHER than not crashing my car, so I can now say that I can confidently drive you around on the left side of the road. And have you tried sushi & liked it? Good news: They have that here. Plus also, I’ve cooked, like, three amazing meals in the past week so WE DEFINITELY HAVE THE FOOD THING COVERED. And the mountains are gorgeous & the strawberries are in season this time of year & you can see Mt. Fuji in person & JUST LIKE COME ON ALREADY.
Now do me a favour & interpret that in a totally cool, invitational, non-needy kind of way. K great.
Karen & Christi are smart.

Be like Karen & Christi.
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