It was blisteringly hot in Nagasaki. So hot that I'd preferred to do nothing than do something in Japan, one of my favorite places in the world. Kinda sad.
My plane from Nagasaki was scheduled to leave at 7pm, but I took the bus to the airport at 11am (my hotel checkout time). The bus trip kills some time, which is nice. And you get to see some real Japan. Once at the airport there is air conditioning.
Anyhoo, I shopped at the airport. Looked at every possible knicknack and food thing. I came home with a Kewpie floating in a bathtub of Champon.
I did not purchase the "make rain go away" characters. But this ghost dude emerging from a bowl of Champon was the best. When I made these into earrings, weeks later, mrguy was both impressed and entertained.
Then I ate a set lunch and melon soda, while reading a book -- a former employee's fictionalized account of his time at the forklift factory. What's interesting is that he transports it to more present day times, when we all have phones. It would be too hard to explain the reality of his time, struggling with Palm Pilots that are supposed to recognize your handwriting and running around with heavy binders, then back to our desks where our computers lived. I read this book voraciously, and annotated with a pencil.
Around 4pm I realized that the sound I was hearing was the hyoshigi (japanese blocks, clapped together to announce the beginning of the day's sumo matches). The sumo broadcast was starting! Right on. Nobody was in the seating area in front of the TV except me, a mother and her little boy, who was an avid fan. I watched all two hours pretty much by myself, except for a nun who joined me at the end and watched the proceedings while slowly munching a rice ball.
There were amazing foodstuffs on sale at the airport. Nice to know that you can get some whale bacon for the road. Ugh.
Hours later, at Haneda, I had another long wait. At one point I heard my name called. Never a good sign when traveling internationally. The gate agents invited me behind the ticket counter for an apologetic frisk. After that it was smooth sailing.
Tomorrow is Labor Day and I'm headed back to do this Japan thing all over again. Preferably with less whale!