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.
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.