After spending some time in an internet cafe, Miranda and I headed to Osaka where we will meet Miranda’s Mom and sister. If I did this again, I’d definitely stay in Osaka and travel to Kyoto for day trips. Changing Air BnBs and hostels like this was not ideal. For the most part we hang out in the large train station Umeda. It might sound boring, but the stations here are more like ten story malls and this one even has a large Ferris Wheel on top. I am excited for Miranda to have her family in one place, but it means our time together is coming to an end. Although we’ve seen each other every year for the past 11 years, saying goodbye still makes me cry. Last year we both went through some rough times and sometimes a phone call just isn’t enough. Our time together is always a highlight of my year, but sometimes I catch myself letting the time slip through my fingers, forgetting about the 51 other weeks of the year when all I have is her voice.

Ferris Wheel on top of Train Station Whale Inside of Train Station Miranda's Family and I

After I left her and her family I wandered the bar lined streets of Osaka, soaking up my last hours in Japan. In a karoake bar I met two waitresses from China and a Japanese business man with impressive English and they taught me how to say thank in Chinese for my layover the following day. In another I find a band playing live jazz. The pianist recently moved from Los Angeles, just 20 minutes from where I live now. It’s such a strange, small world we live in.

My Hotel Room Karaoke Bar in Osaka Live Music in Karaoke Street Art in Osaka