After 16 months in Japan, I finally made it back to Australia for Christmas and New Year with family and friends. It's very nice to be back in my home country!
Finished work on 22 Dec, caught over night bus to Tokyo and did some sightseeing in Tokyo on the 23rd. It was the Emperor's birthday, so I went to see one of his public appearances. Plenty of Japanese flags and cheering! After that, visited the Australian Embassy, University of Tokyo, Ueno and Nihonbashi (where the "centre" of Japan is).
Then had to catch a train to Narita, but before I did, I had to get my stuff from the lockers in Tokyo station. Did you know how many shops, restaurants, lockers etc are in Tokyo station?!!! I spent more than half an hour trying to find the locker where my luggage was. Finally I asked someone and they asked me to show them the key of the locker. Dir! Then they told me where it was! I was starting to sweat because my flight was soon. Anyway, caught the Narita Express to the airport, borded the plan with no worries and heade for Australia with a nice night view of Tokyo in the distance.
Then, Australian culture hit me. The flight attendants were wearing santa claus hats! What a stark contrast to the the very professional, proper manner of most Japanese customer service people (even at McDonalds in Japan!). And, then began all the "Wow! Australia is so casual and relaxed" thoughts and expressions. And, also, "Haven't seen, heard, smelt, tasted etc. that for more than a year" thoughts came.