I landed in Tokyo after paying homage to the troll in the sky by surviving the turbulence upon approach there. Customs was painless and quick, and both my pieces made it (find out why I had an unplanned second piece of luggage in the next post). I successfully found a data SIM card for my phone, had a snack at Starbucks near the JR train station, and got Narita Express train tickets to Shinagawa followed by a Nozomi shinkansen ticket to Nagoya. The journey took a while but was thankfully smooth, with no greater challenge than handling my heavy suitcase.
It was lovely being back in Japan (July 3 – 11, 2015), so different from my first arrival when I felt like an alien. Maybe Japanese officials knew of this feeling, and that’s why they issued me an “alien registration card”. By year four of my residency, however, the card name had changed to the “residence card”. I’m not sure what prompted the name change but found it a welcome one. On my recent trip, neither of those two names applied to me. I was simply a tourist.