I am back in Germany. Just from the beginning it was crap. At the airport I lost all my holiday mood because of these idiots who stand left and right on the escalator and not move aside if you want to pass. And these idiot at baggage claim. You cannot go forth nor back. Germany sucks.
The only good thing was the taxi driver. He was kind. Helped me to load and unload my luggage. The doors do not open automatically here in Germany but the rest of the service really was on a japanese level. He tells me that he is new on the jib. Oh boy. I bet if I wait a few month he will be as stroppy as the rest of this crowd. Sad, somehow.
I unpack my stuff. Looks like I picked up some nice souvenirs. At the top of the list are the bokken and the shinai from 2010, that I “stored temporarily” at Hotel Edoya.
And it looks like I have a lot of sake and chochu brought thru customs clearance. No panic. It was legal, I used the red door. The amount was below the limit. I surely do not risc trouble for a bottle of boze. I also packed a lot of dried ika and atarime. This stuff you do not get in Germany. Different kinds of Japanese rice cake; soba noodles from Ainokura. There are also tenugi, these small towels. You can get them everywhere. And then there is my second stamp towel from Shibu onsen.
2010 I bought some T-shirts in Rishiri, Soya Misaki. This time I forgot this during my journey. But I got some fun shirts in Tokyo.
Then there are some special items. I wouldn’t call them souvenirs because they have a different meaning for me and are rather expensive. I talk about my buddhism equipment from Koyasan. I mean also the Ema from the Tokyo Jissha. And the curtain for my kamidana.
What happened to yesterday?
Nothing.I just didn’t wrote a blog entry. I got up at 8am and after the check-out walked to the train station. Because I packed my luggage yesterday I could afford a 40 minute long breakfast, a mixture of japanese and western cuisine. Then with the Keisei Liner to the airport.
I got stopped at the security check in front of the airport. Shinai and bokken are always suspicious. After I explained my hobbies everything was ok. To be honest, before I could explain the stuff the look on their faces was not very welcomming.
The registration of the luggage caused also some trouble, because they wanted to check the stuff I wrapped completely with tape. I took me 20 minutes to put all togethere after this check. Lucky for me that I always plan one hour backup time. And there is still plenty of time for a visit at the airport lounge. The 10 hour flight to Amsterdam was without any problems. The movie program was average. Bourne 4 and Ted. I also watched R.E.D. and Ice Age 3 again.
The stop in Amsterdam was only long enough for a beer. But was ok. The fligt to Hamburg only takes one hour. Last obstacle: customs clearance. But it was easy. 3,5 liter of sake are within the limits, and the Kendo equipment too. Shuttle bus and taxi. Then I am back home. At 1:30am local time.
First I started the heating. I reduced the temperature in the house to 50°F. It is a little bit chilly. Specially if you are overtired. It is cold in Germany. 32°F But it feels much colder than the 18°F from Kusatsu.
A first sum up: Looks like I have visited all important parts of Japan. It was difficult to find some new places. Shirakawago and Kusatsu were these places. Tokyo is complete. Looks like I need to plan something special for my next trip. An even more exotic place (Okinawa) or a big matsuri (like 2010).