IWSG: Japan Vacation in Poetry

Hi, it’s Sher today with the Insecure Writers Support Group., thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh. One of my insecurities is storytelling, so this year I decided to write more short stories. Given IWSG’s limited word count, I wrote a poem about our vacation in Japan. It’s not great, but practice makes perfect –eventually. So here goes with some background: our son Mike’s Japanese girlfriend, Nobuko, acted as guide.


Suitcase, airplane, sit down quick.

Run to restroom, throw up sick.

Land in Tokyo. Where to go?

Mike and Nobuko must know.


Bag drag, fall down moving stairs.

Hubby saves me, more gray hairs!

Find the subway. Squeeze in tight.

Miles to go before the night.

Hotel on the second floor,

Has a Todo! Time to snore?

No, we eat with Ninjas next!

I can’t eat like they expect.

Bedtime. Pillow filled with rice.

Never mind. Sleep is SO nice.

Breakfast seems like lunch to me.

I don’t mind; it’s good and free.

Off to visit foreign shores;

palace guards keep us outdoors.

DIET building — time well spent,

learning ways of government.


Tours of Tokyo take 3 days:

Sumos, temples, ancient ways,

Modern towers, crowds polite,

Tsukiji market, sushi night.



Off to Nikko on a train,

Bullet fast without a strain.

Matts on floor are where we sleep.

Morning: hike a trail too steep.


Summer brings a festival.

Warriors shoot the targets full.

We take pics and stand in line.

Higher up, we tour a shrine.


Watch parade and walk the town

Eat good food and most stays down.

That’s not all, but time to close

Off to bed where I can dose.



I should have mentioned I still throw up almost every day because of my hiatal hernia surgery almost 2 months ago. My esophagus often squeezes from bottom to top; it’s called dysphagia and should go away within 90 days. But I was actually sick on the plane, and nausea bothered me throughout the trip. It didn’t ruin my enjoyment because I loved seeing the sights, meeting the people, and learning their ways. I couldn’t help but imagine stories in those settings, so I’m glad I took a bazillion pictures to help me remember. I’ll add a few more after I get some sleep.

Bottom line, don’t give up on your dreams no matter what obstacles you face. So what’s your insecurity or success?
























Now what’s your insecurity?  Or how have you solved one?

Share A Heart

Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.


  1. I hope the sickness goes away soon. Sounds like a fun, very active, vacation. It’s always fun when there’s someone to show you around.

  2. Being sick on a plane has got to be one of the worst things. I’m not a good flyer anyway, so that would probably just push me over the edge. I’m happy to be able to enjoy Japan through your experiences. I doubt I’d ever be able to drum up the courage to fly that far.

    • If we go overseas again, I’m going to insist on one stop between Atlanta and our destination. I was wrong about it being 19 hour flight, but 14 hours was way too much. And maybe I’ll write the rest of the poem another time.

  3. Hey Sher, sounds like a fab vacay! I’ve actually been to Tokyo (and Kyoto) in 1993, when my sister lived there, and loved it. I’m 5’9″ and blond so I felt very conspicuous but I loved learning more about Eastern culture. Bummer about the vomiting–hope that ends soon. Great poem!

    • Thanks, Jennifer. I saw some very tall blonde women and blond men over there, and they did stick out, but not as much as you might think. The Japanese youth are taller than in the past. One sumo wrestler was huge! Some were European too.

  4. Sorry you’re throwing up!
    That was really funny. Your humor shined.
    And bonus points for including a Ninja.

    • Thanks! The Ninja restaurant was very cool, in through a maze of up and down tunnels, every course brought by Ninja servers, and mostly great food–for those who could eat. Not so cool? the bill. Almost $250USD for 3 people who ate a meal and one who only managed a small cup of soup. If you went there, you’d probably get to write your name on the wall like other famous people.

  5. Sounds like your trip was fabulous despite the nausea. I’d love to visit Japan one day.

    • It was fabulous. If you go, be sure to get a Japan Rail Pass for the whole time. We were one day short and ended up paying $240USD for 2 bullet train tickets back to Tokyo. That much would have covered a whole extra week of train passes if bought in advance. Live and learn.

  6. Looks like you had a fabulous trip. Loved the poem.

    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna’s Scriptorium

  7. I enjoyed your poem. It definitely sounds like you enjoyed your trip. I hope the nausea goes away soon. Thank you for your kind words on my blog.

  8. Wow! It sounds and looks like you had an adventurous trip from flight to hotel, to breakfast, to train, to warriors and government.
    Great poem!

    And my insecurity? I think my writing count goals for the month might be too much, and I think my writing might actually not be as good as I want it to be, and . . . well, there’s too many, so I just generally stomp on them and keep going.

  9. My husband and I visited Japan years ago and enjoyed our trip immensely.

    I’m sorry to hear about your medical condition, and I hope you get some relief soon.

  10. Michael Pierce

    I enjoyed the poem. That sucks about the nausea, but sounds like you had a blast anyway. I’d love to be able to visit Japan one day. I haven’t had the opportunity to visit anywhere in Asia. One day!

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