I arrived in Heathrow Terminal 5 at just gone 09:00 in the morning UK time, giddy at the prospect of returning to Japan, although somewhat apprehensive about the prospect of the 12 hour flight that was ahead of me. Things did not begin well. As I was waiting for the plane at the gate I thought that it would be a good idea to start running lines for ‘Picasso at the Lapine Agile’, trying out a German accent (for Einstein was nothing if not Germanic) as I went. After about three minutes the girl next to me stood up and moved three seats to her right, hopefully opening night will be markedly better than this. Onboard the plane I was somewhat disappointed to discover that BA was offering the same films that I had watched on the flight back to the UK, this meant that for the next 12 hours I only had children’s films and my overactive imagination to occupy my thoughts, great. Three hours in I attempted to get some shut-eye, and succeeded for about an hour before I was awoken by the enchanting tones of a screaming child. This wall of sound was soon to be accompanied by another delightful child in front of me repeatedly running his toy car across his table tray, with a sound reminiscent of the pipes at the gates of hell. This charming symphony ensured that my already fragile nerves remained shredded for the remainder of the flight, as we touched down in Narita airport at 10:00 Japanese time.
The three trains that I took home were pretty quiet, and easy to navigate; having traipsed a house’s worth of furniture across the greater Tokyo area, carrying a large suitcase no longer presented too much of a challenge to me. Arriving in Shindaita at just gone noon, the rest of the day was spent unpacking, tidying, and generally zoning out. I managed to stay up until just before 22:00, at which point I pulled out my futon and was instantaneously reminded about the delights of sleeping on a single thin piece of padding that was a good 20cm shorter than my body, in a room that was colder that the Marina Trench, oh it’s good to be back.