Pandemic travel: 5

Before it was clear we were headed for a pandemic, I booked a “treat yourself” trip to Japan. After a great first year at Slack, I wanted a nice non-work trip to really relax and refresh before going back into 2020 with a renewed sense of vigor. Previously, I wrote about my time in Asakusa.

Last day in Asakusa

What was supposed to be my last day in Asakusa started late. The combination of tiredness and a very comfortable bed meant I slept in until 1pm. I played Animal Crossing for a while, then went to get ramen.

Later, I headed to Kamakura to meet up with Craig Mod who showed me around his neighborhood, and chatted with me about the world, design, and reading. It really changes the nature of trips abroad when you have friends in various cities, I’ve found. I’m lucky to have a few friends scattered around Japan, so I’ve got a few mini-trips I can take each time I visit. Hopefully I’ll get to see Craig again in November for his writing retreat in Yoshino. I’m pretty excited to do a lot of hiking with him and the other participants.

That night, I said bye to Craig, then got ramen at a Michelin-starred spot in Kamakura, then headed back to Tokyo for some fried chicken and conbini chuhai. I caught up on tv, then got to bed on the early side.

Real last day in Asakusa

I woke up, packed, and got coffee downstairs. I took my time because I had to kill 6 or so hours until my flight home. A coworker (hi Ricky) met up with me at Fuglen in Asakusa to get coffee and chat about the state of the world for a while, and then I introduced him to the joy of Lemon Chuhais before we parted at the subway.

After a brief misadventure at the wrong airline terminal, and some confusion about whether or not my flight was cancelled, I made it into the airline terminal, and found a window seat at the airline lounge. Shockingly, they had Georgian orange wine on tap, so I definitely enjoyed my last few hours before my flight.

The flight was bumpy as hell, but I managed to sleep for a bit.

And now, I’m home… quarantined like the rest of California.