Three weeks ago I had the pleasure of packing my bags again and flying from Heathrow airport to Tokyo! The main purpose of my trip was to visit my old housemate Harrie. She moved to the other side of the world for her Masters instead of staying in the UK, like I begrudgingly (at times) decided to do for work.
It has been 9 months since we were hobbling around campus in our heels on Graduation Day last July, but it felt like no time at all when we found each other in the Arrivals hall. For this trip she was my rock/translator/interpreter/tour guide/life-saver. Having a Japanese-speaker, someone who knows the customs and culture was so beneficial as I was truly lost at times and overwhelmed by everything around me.
I know just how useful being able to speak the local language is, and I love it when I go to countries where I can communicate without problems (South America, I cannot wait!), and it is so frustrating when I cannot do that! Being able to say the basics though was really helpful and went a long way. Not many people actually spoke any English but there were signs, maps, menus etc. in English in most places we visited.
All I am going to say, is now that I have experienced Tokyo, and more precisely, Shinjuku train station at morning rush hour, London is so tame – and I thought London was insane! I knew nothing.
We spent the first two days of my stay in Tokyo, a day-trip to nearby Kamakura, two days in Kyoto and two more in Tokyo, three days were travel days.
I am looking forward to sharing all the amazing-ness of Japan with you…!