I love the pic above. It’s light and cheerful and perfectly describes the happy days I spent in Japan. I couldn’t wait to be back in Japan, the February gigs were announced unexpectedly soon after my previous trip in May. Japan is my favorite kind of destination: calm, clean, polite, well organized… I love people’s sense of humor and the simple style that fits well together with my own Nordic taste.

I knew in advance our trip in Korea will be busy and hectic so I planned from beginning to have some rest after arriving in Japan. My introvert mind needs regular time alone so my first day in Japan was scheduled for that as well. I arrived at my Osaka hotel – everything was tidy and quiet – lay down on the bed and fell asleep. For 13 hours. It was wonderful! I often feel sorry for Mika because he works so hard he probably never has time to sleep as much as he likes or needs. Sleeping is such a luxury, definitely high on my top 10 favorite things to do list.

I had looked forward to meeting our “Japan group”. This was only our second time together but I had and still have a feeling we know each other and already have some routines and I absolutely love that. Everything is calm and easy. Eriko has lived in busy Tokyo for many years so she always knows where to go and what to do. Zhenya is actually from Siberia but has visited Japan several times and has generally a good sense of direction (as an opposite to me) so I could just follow her while waiting for Eriko to arrive. She had even printed maps to find coffee around our hotel in advance! So practical.

From Osaka we took a Shinkansen to Tokyo. We watched the train to arrive (they look human and cute with their faces), sat on suitable seats to spot the mount Fuji (Eriko had booked our seats in advance) and enjoyed the trip. Dear Eriko is emotional just like me. In Tokyo we spent a moment at the dog statue before admiring the famous crossroads and both cried a bit. It’s such a sad story, I can’t handle it. We met Toshiko and later also Mikage and had lunch together and after the show met more fans I already knew from my previous Japan trip.

Such a pleasure to meet everyone! I can meet Japan fans only in Japan and that makes these concert trips even more special. Below some pics of us from Osaka and Tokyo. The photo of Zhenya and me under the dog figure is taken by Eriko, thank you so much for letting me use the pic!

Watching Mika on stage is naturally also high on my top 10 list. The venues in Japan were seated and very sophisticated. In Japan your spot is always a random result from a lottery (unless you buy expensive black market tickets) so a seated venue is usually a better option than a standing venue and guarantees a better view also from further away. I loved the atmosphere at gigs. The audience in Japan is more spontaneous than in Korea and maybe not as crazy as in China but still generous and very welcoming and I’m sure Mika loved the vibe too.

A few more photos below. I like the picture with the funny face (he is joking so he looks like that on purpose) because it’s cute almost in an ugly way. Unusual, pop stars look always so pretty! I miss Japan and everyone I met and wish I had another visit to Asia planned already. xxx