I just got back to Los Angeles, so I’m still pretty jet lagged and crazy. My biologic clock is all out of sync with LA, so it’s going to take a few days to get used to my usual 11A.M — 3A.M. schedule.

My recent trip to Tokyo reminded me of what I was glowing about in my 2012 diary entry. This city comes alive with magic!

When you walk through the streets, your senses are overloaded with color and noise as life fluctuates through the city. There is never a dull moment; one turn and a flight of stairs is the only move between yourself and an immersive adventure or a super mall. There is often music surrounding you, or groups of people with really fascinating outfits. The whole city and underground is labeled and illustrated in maps so you won’t get lost. There are floor guides and restaurant menus in the street or subway with photos of what each restaurant has to offer to you. The variety is amazing, and it’s all there for you to explore as you like.

The hotel we were staying at was the Hotel Gracery Shinjuku, famous for the Godzilla head coming out of it. Every two hours, lightning sounds off in Kabukicho and Godzilla goes on rampage. He breaks buildings and sets the hotel on fire. I’ve found a Youtube video of the show in case you want to see. The hotel was celebrating its anniversary when we arrived, so they also had a display at the lobby. We took selfies with it every day until they put it away.

The trip itself was so much fun! We took the Shinjuku and JR Yamanote lines to Asakusa, Akihabara, Shibuya, Harajuku, and of course Shinjuku. We visited some old towns as well, including their cemeteries and shrines. I made offerings to spirit and felt soothed at the temples. While I was engaged in prayer, I felt warmth around my hands.

We were eating all over the place like Pac Man. I’ve got a special entry coming up with photos of some of our favorite treats. If you're a foodie, you're really going to enjoy!

Shopping was really good, I ended up getting two more Alice and the Pirates shirts in Laforet. I also got an Innocent World skirt and petticoat. Squeal! My favorite purchases were from the Studio Ghibli store, though. Swoon! I'll post and shot you my loot later, just in case you're curious.

It’s really hard to write about what it is that makes the experience of being in this city so magical for me. For now, the closest I can come to help you understand is by sharing my favorite photos with you. I hope you will enjoy!

Honestly, it feels like it's time to stop the cyclical 2-3 year visits. I've already been there three times. There is more to see out there. It would be nice to visit all of the other places I've always wanted to see: Prague, New Orleans, London & France as an adult... What is worrisome is the state that world affairs is in. I wonder what it would be like to see new places. There is always something about the Kanto region and Tokyo that feels like home. Every time I go, I feel this sense of peace. All the colors seem brighter and life feels absolutely conquered.

Perhaps there will be a 4th trip after all...

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