onsen

I arrived in Japan just after dark, having chased the sun for hours.

I was one of the first off the plane, though not in business class, and possibly the first passenger from my flight to make it to customs since I was travelling with carry-on only. I’d mentally prepared myself for a scrum at that time of day but was greeted by almost echoing emptiness. And an English-speaking woman to help me with the “self-serve” passport reader.

I was a little drunk with fatigue – the length of the flight was getting silly, but stopped short of the ridiculous – and had to navigate to the train station and buy a ticket and all. And try not not fall asleep in the train while it waited in the station. And once I arrived in the town, I had to orient myself in the dark, checking my phone frequently to ensure I made no time-consuming missteps.

I was relieved to arrive at the inn (properly a ryokan) earlier than I though; I’d expected passport control and customs to take much longer. I had time to get comfortable in my room and then go down to my meal where I was confronted with countless little plates – a little swarm of a bit of this and a bit of that.

And then, time to relax. Still roly-poly, I made my way to the onsen, the public bath/hot spring, to wash and soak. And relax.

[Looking back at my most recent Sinful Sunday contributions, I see that the last time I posted something timely (rather than the “from the vault” images in September) was almost a year ago! I hadn’t realised! I do have some images that I’m looking forward to sharing with you.]

Sinful Sunday: It’s all about the image.

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