Of course, there are the obvious answers, such as daifuku mochi, matcha ice cream, umeboshi, or nori. A stroll past Senso-ji in Asakusa. Or a decent bath in an onsen. Seeing Mt. Fuji on a clear morning, visiting a Japanese garden.
But there are many things that are different back in Europe.
I find myself often missing the absence of certain things. I miss the silence when I am woken up by a honking concert down the street at six a.m. (I’m not sure I’ve ever heard the sound of honking at all in Japan). I also miss the silence when I am sitting in loud chatter in the train or am listening to the music leaking from my neighbor’s headphones (as the posters in the Tokyo subway admonish: please do it at home!). Or when another baby screams like it’s being murdered on the tram. (more…)