Honestly, I found myself burned out this year. There were just too many stresses in life that wore on me--my job, relationships...all kinds of different situations that gave me sleepless nights and took a toll on my health.

When my partner suggested a trip to Japan, I almost said no. Why? I didn't want to think about the cost and the energy it took to plan a trip. But he did all the planning, for once. I guess he saw how tired I was. And before I knew it, we were on a plane to Tokyo.

I am so glad we went! Japan has this amazingly soothing aesthetic that my soul absolutely needed. Everything was so orderly and pleasing to the eye. From the cherry blossoms (we went in the spring), totes zen gardens, to visiting Mount Fuji, to the beauty and symmetry of nearly everything, even the food, was indeed a trip well worth it.

People were so incredibly courteous and helpful. My partner and I try to at least learn some phrases in the language of the country we're visiting but this time we had only learned "arigato" which means thank you, and "oishi" which means yummy, maybe because we had been too busy to sit down and learn some useful phrases. Most of the people we met understood some English, but even those who didn't tried their best to be helpful when we asked for directions or other questions while we traveled. I'm so thankful for that.

Despite being a big city, Tokyo natives proved to be uniformly kind and friendly.

In Japan, I was able to eat sushi to my heart's content. My partner does not love raw fish, but even he learned to like the different varieties of tuna, ebi, nigiri, etc sushi and maki or rice rolls. I also loved their sashimi. We ate at tiny restaurants where the food came to us on conveyor belts and we could just pick out what we wanted! And yes, it was exactly as fun as it sounds. Plus, the Japanese seem to really love cute things, and this extends to their food. In some eateries the rice was shaped like a cat or a panda. I know it sounds strange but it made me smile.

Japan was exactly what I needed after a time of being burned out and stressed. I came home refreshed in soul and spiri


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