The key phrases I need to learn in Japanese are: “I’m sorry, I’m an idiot” and “I can’t seem to find my gigantic easily visible suitcase, because I can’t remember which baggage section I placed it in, can you help me find it? And did I mention I’m an idiot?”
Suitcase -> Tokyo, Me -> Sendai. Panic. Really bad exchange of Japanese. Realization on their part that they’re dealing with an idiot. Talk to very nice, very understanding people at tourist bureau desk with English ability. Am told that if they find the suitcase it will be in the Lost and Found in Tokyo Station. Wander through Sendai looking for hotel. Ask passerby and while talking to him, idiot brother looks up and sees hotel sign. Go check in, and leave smart brother’s suitcase until check in time. Go get lunch with brother. Brother wants to buy flowers to thank the nice girls at tourist bureau desk. Buy flowers from very nice Chinese girl at flower shop. Finally have enough Japanese to be useful. Sort of. Call up bureau desk, find out the suitcase is in Tokyo. Go to bureau and give flowers to staff, while boss is there. Nice brother tells them thank you, idiot brother tries desperately to translate, to let boss know how good the staff was. Get tickets for shinkansen to Tokyo. Get to Tokyo, wander through largest, busiest train station in world. Find two lost and found offices, proceed to nearest one. Bad Japanese discourse follows, learn that (of course) went to wrong one. Got map to find other office, proceed to wander across whole station. Get to other lost and found and get suitcase. Yosh! Sign paper, drag suitcase back across entire station, get new tickets back to Sendai. Finally check into hotel, collapse for few minutes. Get up, go wander Sendai station area, find Yoshinori beef bowl shop. Meal for two, with tea, 660 yen. At least didn’t mess up order.
Today, (hopefully) Matsushima, and then Yokohama.