When my parents first told me that we were going to Japan for the summer before 8th grade, I can’t say I was terribly excited. I hated traveling. The past two trips I made to Asia–China and Thailand, respectively–were awful and had left indelibly unpleasant impressions of travel on me. Days of nonstop traveler’s diarrhea, unrelenting heat and humidity, fly-infested hotels, broken bathroom fixtures. Not to mention that the outdoors were an unsavory universe that I did anything I could to avoid. All I ever wanted to do was stay at home, watch TV, and surf the Internet.

Yet my 2004 trip to Eastern Japan became the start of an insatiable and ever-growing desire to see the world that I had desperately tried to runaway from before, before I become engulfed and forever lost in corpocracy.

As a running tally about my Japan travels:


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