Memoirs of a Gaijin: Introduction


Contents (Feel free to click any of them below):

1. Sights
* Tokyo
* Osaka
* Kyoto
* Nara/Miyajima/Kobe
* Hiroshima

2. Culture Shock
3. Food
4. Epilogue



As promised, I have compiled all of my photos and I will try my best to entertain you with our adventures to Japan.

So what did you do?

I went with my buddy Victor and it’s our first time heading there so we were both excited to check things off our to-do list but both of us had a common agenda:

– Eat.
– Take pictures of things.
– Repeat.

Sounds like a plan to me!

So what was the game plan? Japan is a huge country. 

Here is what our itinerary looked like:

– 6 days in Tokyo

– 9 days in Osaka (our southern ‘hub’)
* 4 days in Osaka
* 2 days in Kyoto
* 1 day in Hiroshima
* 1 day in Kobe
* 1 day to return to Tokyo

Uhh… A little empty there, chief. Any more specifics?

Well, not necessarily. I was planning on just hopping on random train lines, getting off at a station and see what’s there. Victor meanwhile, compiled an extensive Excel spreadsheet highlighting shopping, sights, food places, etc. Right off the bat, we immediately had different strategies on how to conquer this country but I’m pretty easy-going so I let him do it then we have ‘me’ days to balance things out.

While I let him finalize his thing at the airport, I got comfortable and waited for him to lay down the plans:


Yes, those are Five Fingers. Don’t judge me; airport goers already did. 

Eventually, we got on board our Air Canada flight and we’re off directly from Calgary to Narita International Airport!

Air Canada, eh? How was the flight?

This is my first time using Air Canada for more than 5 hours and I must say, the flight there was alright. It’s no Cathay Pacific but the convenience of going direct from Calgary was well worth the airfare.

As usual, the food wasn’t something to sing praises with and from what I saw, their Executive Class wasn’t a giant step-up. It’s definitely roomier but you can tell the plane we were on is ageing.

Overall, I’d recommend especially if you don’t want to connect flights but I’d eat beforehand. 


Almost there!


Seeing shoreline


Looking clean, Japan


Just in case you weren’t sure you were on the right flight.


Welcome to Japan, indeed!

So what was it like stepping into Japan for the first time?

When we got off the plane, the humidity kicked in the moment our feet got off the plane. This is going to be a hot summer, for sure.

For some reason, we were in no rush to get out and we were absorbing the fact that everything is going to be in kanji.  My practice session on learning basic Japanese phrases on the plane weren’t sufficient as well as I struggled to say sumimasen. 

No big deal. I’ll get better at it (and I did, by the way!).



Victor is so excited!


You suck at taking pictures so far. Does it get any better?

Yes. Now shut up and click the link below to start:


– Don


2 Replies to “Memoirs of a Gaijin: Introduction”

  1. The thing I enjoy most about this series is your incredibly self-degrading monologue that makes it sound like you are schizophrenic. Or possibly suffering from multiple personality disorder. Not a shrink over here, but maybe you should get that checked.

    Love love!
    -Your cousin.

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