1. All of the cute store merchants who speak a few words of English to me as they ring up my purchase. I always speak the VERY limited Japanese I know (i.e., “kudasai” [please] and “arigato” [thank you]), and most people say “arigato” in return. But a few young women have said “thank you” back to me (in quiet voices), and one even said, “Have a nice day” (in a more confident tone). Aw, what a sweetheart. Hearing even four words of English spoken directly to me is quite lovely.
2. Spending the day walking around Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden…
3. …and spending the night taking in the bright lights of the big city.