I thought I was in love with Japan even before setting foot there. I discovered anime at the ripe age of 15 and fell head over heels with the series Inuyasha. The shrines, the countryside, the food, the language, the demons and the miasma (I kid) — I wanted to see it all. I even subscribed to japan-guide.com as a teenager, hoping one day to visit the land of the rising sun.

So at 28, when I booked my flight to Japan, I obsessively looked at Instagram #japanesestreetfood on a daily basis in anticipation of my trip in June. I wanted to go to an onsen, I wanted to stay at a ryokan, I wanted to see the countryside, I wanted to ride the bullet trains, I wanted to witness just how polite Japanese people were. A handful of my friends and family had visited Japan only months prior and I was SO excited for my trip after listening to their adventures.

And then I went. And I saw. And I’m thinking, What the hell is wrong with me? Everyone I knew who had visited the sock-shaped island LOVED it. But if you ask me if I’d ever go back again, I’d say without hesitation, Probably not.

I so desperately wanted to love Japan. But the love never came and even as I think back on my trip, I only slightly have fond memories and not many heart string tugs.