You were wandering around those narrow alleys in downtown Kyoto. You were alone. It was early Sunday night and you just came from hiking to the summit of Fushimi Inari Taisha with Nakatsuka-san. You already polished off an early dinner, a comforting bowl of kitsune udon, and had allotted the rest of the evening to aimless strolling in Gion. A nightcap in a cafe was part of the plan, though you have yet to decide on a nice little place to settle into for a few hours as you sip a hot drink and pour your thoughts on paper.
Turning on the waterworks while wandering, however, was not part of the plan.
You were of course aware of the hovering melancholia. You were down to the last few days of your autumn trip. More than two weeks had gone by and it was about time to go home. Japan trip heartbreak was inevitable. What you weren’t aware of was how close your emotions were to spilling over even without a cue or the “right” ambience (the aforementioned cafe nightcap). In the midst of happy, unsuspecting tourists in the bustling area lined with inviting izakayas and standing bars, it was quite difficult to make anything out of the untimely tears. You just knew there would be no Japan trip next year or perhaps even the year after that as you were preparing to save up for something big.
You weren’t aware yet of the other (real) reason. It would take a little over four months before you will have known.