Everything Always Works Out

My travel philosophy is: Everything always works out. It's a mantra I've repeated a lot on my adventures, like when my bus broke down somewhere in northern Ghana and my friends and I had to sleep on the side of the road overnight, or when I was visiting my best friend in North Carolina and I missed 3 out of 4 flights there and back, or when I fell out with a friend and needed to find the way to the bus station by myself...in Japanese...at 6am. It's a mantra I repeated a lot, just in the preparation alone for my trip to Japan during the long weekend in May.

taking the ferry from Busan to Fukuoka

taking the ferry from Busan to Fukuoka

Last summer, I had taken the ferry from Busan, Korea to Fukuoka, Japan to meet a friend who had recently moved to a small town in Miyazaki to teach English there. But, after my "friend" informed me that he was, in fact, not my friend (his exact words) and I came home early, I knew that couldn't be the end of my experience with Japan. I knew I needed to go back and do it right---do it alone, if that's what it took to have a good time. I needed another chance; I needed things to work out.

Preparing for this second trip, though, things weren't looking good. The plane ticket, thanks to the holiday weekend I was travelling on, was twice the regular price. I had planned on using CouchSurfing to take care of accommodation, but the replies kept coming back with, "Sorry, but it's Golden Week so I'll be travelling too! Good luck finding a place!" After several of these, I finally googled it. Golden Week, I learned, is a week in Japan that happens to include four holidays: Shōwa Day (29 April), Constitution Day (3 May), Greenery Day (4 May), and Children's Day (5 May). Accommodation and costs were looking grim. I started thinking that maybe Japan just didn't like me.

"Everything always works out," I reminded myself.

A few days before I left, I managed to book hostel accommodation for my two nights in Tokyo and decided just to play the rest by ear. I read about other accommodation options that I could try, like sleeping in a bathhouse, staying in a temple overnight, or spending the night in an internet cafe. Not only did all of these sound like good last-minute options, but spending the night in an internet cafe sounded so unusual and fun I thought I might just try to do it even if I could find hostel accommodation.

And so I arrived in Tokyo with "Everything always works out" at the front of my mind, ready for adventure.

My Good Fortune at Sensoji
Finding My Way in Tokyo
(Not) Sleeping at an Internet Cafe