What have I learned from this trip? Well first off, bring lots of ibuprofen. A lot. It does help bring the pain of walking so much down to a tolerable level. I was hopped up on pain killers for the first week or so until I felt better. Although I should have bought more considering how much more standing around in line we did this year. If you can’t pop pills, soak your feet in piping hot water as often as you can. Or even better, soak yourself in the bath to loosen up all those muscles you probably didn’t know you had until visiting Japan.
Stairs suck. They really do. But they are a part of navigating the Japanese train system. My legs were so sore from going up the stairs. Down? Well I am slow as hell, I admit that. It’s only because I injured my knee going down some stairs & I almost fell down again a couple of times trying to keep up. Go at your own pace seems to make things a bit easier in the insanity that is the walking traffic of Japan. If you plan to go to Japan become a God of the stair master at your local gym. Or start running stairs at work or something. Your legs will thank you in the long run.
Also get used to being weighed down by change. Coins are still used a lot in Japan so find a decent coin wallet before you go.
LINE proved to be a great method of communication for our group. I highly suggest you use some sort of similar chat application to stay in touch should you get separated from the group or you need to send a search party out for someone. Of course you will either need a mi-fi device or a sim card & unlocked phone for this to be effective.
Other than all that it was a great time with the other members of the Japan 4, all our friends living in Japan and all the AKBros from overseas we met up with during our stay. There are so many people to list but special props go out to Anthony, Ahmed, Daryl, Frank and CK who helped us out immensely before and during this trip. Unfortunately living the dream had to come to an end. But there’s always next year since we never won a theater show & missed out on an opportunity to see a Hello! Project related concert and probably missed a bunch of other stuff while we were running around Japan.
That’s it. We’ll see what next year brings. Keep it locked on SH for the recap podcast with Hiro and the video documentary.