Japan and I get along famously. Japan has been the source of my childhood as I am sure it has been for so many of you - Sailormoon, Pokemon, Dragonball Z, Card Captor Sakura, Yugi-oh even. It was a great device helping me brave primary school days. Some days I would be reluctant to drag myself out of bed but I always did as Sailormoon was on Cheeze TV at 6am right after the pilates program and sometimes if I was lucky it would be a double episode. I would leave the house feeling courageous and ready to tackle the day with my girl power, channeling a different Sailor Scout for different situations and I wanted to visit the place where my favourite show was created and to see if the streets and arcades drawn in Serena's home town really did reflect Tokyo, and if it did - I had to see it for myself.
Apart from this, Japanese culture, art, food and beauty has always made me yearn to visit. School projects on Japan furthered this desire to visit a country I was so willing to call my favourite place in the world although I had never stepped foot on Japanese soil. The sakura blossoms that only bloomed for a short and fleeting time enhanced the desire to visit Japan. To taste authentic Japanese food, slurp ramen in a restaurant hidden between closely built apartment buildings, the restaurant of which the entry was only signified by a single red lantern out front - these were the drives that fueled my passion for Japan. To be honest I had always wanted to learn Japanese and did so in year nine when I had the chance in high school until I changed my language choice to Mandarin because my mother had said it would be good to chat to my grandmother and so I had discarded my want for learning the language but the need to visit Japan has stuck with me.
A semi joking, mostly hopeful comment to my boyfriend about our next holiday destination was what spurred the trip and the dream. A few weeks later we were planning our trip to Japan, plotting places to see, where we would go and what to do. Japan travel guides were bought, university research skills were put to the test and plenty of stalking was done (that of people who had visited recently to see if the cherry blossoms were still blooming). My desktop backgrounds were changed to temples and cherry blossoms as a reminder to push through work and get to the Easter break and my lovely trip to a country so alive. I got super organised and did a whole master list of things to see and do in Japan and I'll share it here soon.
We had started planning at the end of December. My best friend was picking me up and driving me to my other best friend's house for a New Year's Eve chill sesh and I eagerly blurted to him "We're thinking of going to Japan, do you want to come with us?" He laughed and said yes but didn't actually think it would happen. We had mentioned in high school how one day the both of us would visit Japan but never in our wildest dreams would we have thought we would do it together, so many years down the track. But it did and I am so grateful and glad.
I'll be documenting and recording everything to do with my Japan trip here on my blog so keep your eyes peeled!