On our last day, we took the $20 shuttle from the base to the airport. We got to the airport around noon, but our flight didn’t leave until 11 that night, so we still had a whole day left. We paid 1 thousand Yen to store our bags at the airport since it was way too early to check in for our flight.

 

After dropping the bags, we took the elevator to the third floor to get some Ramen. At this point we were obsessed. Most of the Ramen restaurants have these vending machines where you pay for your food before entering the restaurant. The machine gives you a ticket that you hand to the waitress, so she already knows that you paid and what you want. We put our coins in the machine and enjoyed the best bowls of Ramen yet.

 

 

Another cool thing about Japan is how they view tipping. While in the US, most service professionals are solely working for trips, it’s almost offensive to tip in Japan. While it’s ok to give gifts, leaving extra money is a no-no. Ironically, we received some of the best service in Japan.

 

For the rest of the day we wandered around the three airport terminals, which was an adventure in itself. There is a mall attached to Domestic Terminal 2. More importantly, there is a Krispy Kreme, with unique doughnut flavors. There’s no Krispy Kreme on Oahu, so I was essentially obligated to get doughnuts.

Around 7pm, when we were able to check in and go through security, we found yet another mall on the inside that was full of all of the post- holiday deals. At this point, I was all shopped out.

 

Between moving into our first house and moving across the world, this year has been full of changes. I think I can now consider myself a recovering perfectionist and over-planner. I won’t permanently claim those traits anymore.

 

I’ve learned this year that the less I plan, the more I pray, and the less pressure I have to put on myself. Japan was a great experience. I usually leave places satisfied that I have seen all I want to see. I don’t feel this way about Japan. For the first time, I can say that I would love to go back.

 

 

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