In a year that was planned to be an adventure around the world, and exploring new places. I have found myself being drawn back to the wild, wonderful, wacky and neon clad country that is Japan. Something about this place catches my attention and peaks my interest. The various art installations and galleries on Naoshima, to the bright glow of Akihabara, and the stunning show that is the Arashiyama bamboo forest. Japan has something new to offer, new experiences like karaoke at 3 in the morning or a 55 minute wait for a plate of 30 Gyoza that was completely worth it.
There is a quality in the Japanese culture that is humbling to your core, the hospitality and pure interest in where you’re from what you’re doing where you’re going to a point where it starts to become creepy. Some of the things the locals wear, the various TV shows and advertisements that involve some sort of anime character eating at giant bowl of spaghetti on a sail boat all for a car ad. But all that ‘creepiness’ vanishes the moment you start to enjoy yourself, and it never comes back. Creepy becomes cute, weird becomes awesome and the wacky becomes the best thing you’ve ever seen in the world. You become immersed in the culture after only a few days and you feel like you were meant to be there.
You change and evolve into the person you want to be. I surrounded myself in the people and experiences I wanted based on what I felt most alive in. Not what felt comfortable but what I enjoyed. I learnt things about food, fashion and culture that you could not learn from reading or watching a documentary from your couch or bed. Things that need to be held, touched and felt in person. This was my first stop on a journey that would go on to shape who I am and everything that I would use to define myself in the future.