Return to Nagoya

For our return to Nagoya I had booked a room in a hotel on the other side of the train station. Some of the architecture in this area was quite amazing.

We could see Nagoya Castle from our hotel window - a most incongruous sight.

The next day we headed back to the airport. We arrived much too early so we had plenty of time to explore. Recently, I heard Nagoya Airport has been voted one of the top 10 airports in the world by travelers. Although my travels have not been extensive, I would rank it as my favorite.

On that day, it seemed that many local residents had come to the airport just to enjoy the festive atmosphere. A boisterous children's show was in progress, and there were also exhibits of flowers. As we waited in line at Starbucks, the middle aged man behind us suddenly burst into song.

After we purchased our coffee, we sat outside on the skywalk and watched the people walk by and the planes take off. There was even a Christmas illumination.

As I sat sipping my coffee, I thought back to one of my favorite moments from the trip. As we were walking to the train station in Nagasaki, we passed a boy about 10 years old who was walking to school with two older girls. When he saw us, his face lit up, and he walked over to me with his hand extended. He introduced himself in English and shook my hand. When I returned the introduction, he smiled broadly, and then turned to continue on his way.

I guess it seems a small thing, but moments like that are why I love traveling. This trip had been full of such moments from the volunteer who escorted us to our hotel on our arrival in Nagoya to the man in the line behind us who had just burst into song. In between I had been touched by the concerned woman in Okayama who pointed us in the other direction at the canal, the warm greetings of the preschoolers at Takeo Shinto Shrine, the three women at the same shrine who were having such a good time just being together, the friendly chef at the Indian restaurant, the woman with the toddler who pointed us in the right direction when we arrived in Nagasaki, and the many Japanese people we encountered who tried to help us on our way as we bumbled through their country.

We had certainly covered a lot of ground and seen many interesting things. We had especially enjoyed the time we spent with our Japanese friends. It had been another memorable adventure.