45 weeks old and you’re in Japan! Did your Doraemon shirt give it away? I hope to buy you many cute and interesting outfits here in Japan, this shirt I found at Uniqlo, Papa’s favorite store.
Last weekend, in the night between Saturday and Sunday we got up at 2:30 to catch the bus to the airport one hour later. Obviously, we didn’t get to sleep much that night. Your dad and I were hoping to catch up on our sleep during our flights (first to Amsterdam, then to Osaka), but you weren’t in the mood to sleep on the plane. Who can blame you, really? You slept loads in your buggy, during the bus ride and the long airport waits. Being on a plane is a new adventure, no time to sleep during that!
We were very happy we booked you your own seat. It gave you loads of playing and climbing room and gave us some space to breathe and spread out during breastfeeds. The airplane to Osaka had new thinner seats, new tablet entertainment systems, a little more storage, perhaps a tad more space, and they even had usb ports to charge your phone.
The flight went much better than feared (especially after that horrible flight back to England after our Christmas break in the Netherlands), but it was very long. It’s hard to entertain you for so long when I’m going on so little sleep myself. It was also very hot during the flight, which was surprising because I’m usually super cold during flights. Your cheeks were bright red the whole flight. The flight attendant told me the high onboard temperature was on purpose for all the Japanese people who tend to get cold quickly. So, I was parboiled and exhausted when we arrived in Japan.
It was very hard to catch up on sleep because you were jetlagged. Besides you waking me during the night for feeds like normal, this past week you’d wake around 4:00 am to do some serious playing for about 2 hours. On Friday we both got very ill (complete with vomit streams from both of us), probably due to jet lag and over exhaustion. Let’s hope when we get back to England, we won’t be jet lagged, we’ll only have a week to get packed for our big move to Derby. No time to get sick again. But we’re still in Japan, so let’s worry about England later.
When we walked out of the arrivals gate, I saw Oma and Opa literally running to come hug you. They were so excited to finally see you again in real life, just look at those smiles.
After the airport, we went straight to Amagasaki for you to finally meet your uncle Hiromasa! He lives in Shizuoka and was only in town until later that day.
You’ve met loads of your Japanese family members this week, but most importantly to Papa you’ve met your great-grandmothers. One of them has already passed the age of 90 and the other is almost there. Their age is one of the reasons we decided to take you on such a far-away trip in your first year of life, we didn’t want to miss the chance for them to meet you in real life.
Well, obviously the Japanese passports we scored in London last August work! They got both you and Papa into your the country without any problems. Of course, you two still had to come to the foreigner line with Mama, but since you were with us, we were picked out of the long foreigner line and put to the front of the line at immigration. Another perk of traveling with you!
Here in Japan, it’s very normal that people bathe daily, so all houses and apartments (even the tiny shoebox ones I used to live in) have tubs. Not only did you get to bathe in a large bath for a change, we finally got to bathe with you!
I bathed with you in this beautiful private bath room at the ryokan we stayed at during our second night in Japan. It was very convenient, especially when you got hungry, I could just breastfeed you there and then.
Daddy bathes with you any chance he gets. At the ryokan, but also at your Oma and Opa’s house. They even got you some bath toys.
After your bath at the ryokan, Daddy put a yukata on you! It wasn’t easy, because you just wanted to go around the large tatami room and explore any and everything.
But he managed it in the end and you have never looked more Japanese than when you were wearing that yukata! You were so adorable, especially when you started crawling around in it. We need to buy you one before we go home!
When one is in Japan, one can’t leave without riding a train. Life in crowded Japan, especially in a big city like Osaka, just doesn’t happen without trains. So you got to ride your first train ever in Japan, and you’ve ridden numerous since.
I think you like riding trains. You definitely like standing on the seats and looking out the window. So many things to see, so many things zooming past!
We pointed out Umeda Sky Building to you. We don’t live there, never have (people can’t live there) but it is the officially registered address of our family of three. It is a bit strange, but when we got married we could give them any address in Osaka to serve as a basis of our family registry. We were leaving the country soon, and would have no living address in Japan anymore, so we choose Umeda Sky Building because that’s where our marriage heart lock will forever remain locked to the rooftop gate. We hope to take you there during this trip to show you.
I’ve seen quite a few baby rooms or nursing rooms since we arrived here. I don’t have a problem feeding you anywhere in public, I have already done so on the street, on a crowded train, and in a buzzing izakaya. Yet, sometimes it’s nice to escape the crowded streets and retreat in a calm and clean environment and relax in a comfortable chair while I feed you.
There’s lots of fun to be had in Japan. Perhaps you’re too little to enjoy them now, but we can enjoy them for you, for example by dressing you up as Japanese food.
Or by taking purikura photos! Don’t you just love our big eyes? And we only used the smallest setting. I used to taking purikura with friends and family, wish they had these machines all over the world, they create great souvenirs for memorable trips.