The thought of leaving Tokyo was very big. All the good memories I had regarding my first few days in Japan were fading away confused with the last few words that Mari and I were telling between each other on the train on the way to Tokyo station.
I could feel that I would be back to that marvellous city brightended up by the sun rays during the day and illuminated by a billion or more lights during the night. Tokyo is a city that is always awake. Not even the deepest of the nights can manage to make Tokyo asleep. The neons of the buildings’ signs give to the city something to cherish even during the rain. You know that you can have something to do even though it is 4 or 5 in the morning.
Time To Say GoodBye
I knew what Mari liked. She is fascinated by Italian culture (I am Italian) and I know that she likes Porcini mushrooms. What is got to do with that? When we arrived at Tokyo station, we walked from the train platform to the bus station (or coach station). Then I bought the bus tickets for the bus ride Tokyo-Kyoto.
I have heard a lot about Kyoto. I have heard that is a marvellous city where tradition is embedded into the city’s culture. I didn’t want to spoil my adventure so I decided not to pre-research anything about Kyoto. Mari suggested me to visit while there either Kobe or Nara. But she said to me to go to Kobe for its beef. I should go there. It’s a must. Anyway, I didn’t know anything about the 2 places. I was so undecided. Anyway, the most important thing at the moment is that I was heading to Kyoto and then, while there I will choose what to do. This is simple as that.
While at university in London, I had received information that a big part of the Japanese culture is to give gifts, or as Japanese call them: Omiyage (or お土産 in Japanese). However, the gifts more appreciated are food based and even better if Japanese meet people from other countries, they really love to be given traditional food from the country that person comes from.
As I said before, I am Italian and Porcini mushrooms are Italian, even though they can be found in other countries as well where Alps mountains are. I was born and grown up in a small village on the Italian Alps. Porcini mushrooms grow at a high altitude, around 1400-1600 meters above sea level. I had some mushrooms that have been sent to London by my mum. I took them to Japan with me and gave them to Mari before jumping on the bus to Kyoto. She was very happy and she couldn’t believe it. Her face showed admiration in front of the present. She couldn’t believe it..
- Is it for me? – She said.
- Yes it is! – It was my answer.
- But I don’t have anything for you.
- It’s ok. Don’t worry about that.
After exchanging few more words, the bus arrived and opened its doors. It was time to say goodbye, not only to Mari, but also to Tokyo.
Bye Bye Tokyo
I gave my suitcases to the driver so he could put them in the suitcase compartment and then I jumped into the bus. The time was around 10.30, I can’t remember exactly. I found a seat and glanced through the window with my sad eyes looking at Mari and thinking about that this beautiful adventure had now finished. I really enjoyed my time in Tokyo, I could visit and do many things, eat different kinds of food and I felt it was a refreshing experience for me.
I really wanted to visit Japan and that was only the beginning. It was only the first story of many to come. Even though I was sad to leave Tokyo, on the other way I was happy that many new experiences were going to come. I was going to stay in Japan for 11 months and this was only a tiny percentage of the time that it was going to come. A new adventure was starting. The bus was leaving the bus station. Good bye Tokyo.