I am sorry that I have been quiet on here but been busy but I have a few events that I need to write about but here is something for you today.
Japan. The Land of the Rising Sun has been my dream for many years and I am delighted to be here on a Working Holiday Visa which allows me to spend a year in this beautiful country. Also, I will be celebrating my 30th this July so what an exciting place to celebrate it.
Introduction to Japan
As a child, I watched quite a lot of cartoons growing up and the first anime that I watched (yes I am an anime fan) was CardCaptors (American Dub). It was a programme that was on after school on CITV and it was one of my favourite shows. I learnt the opening theme which I still know and I would dance along as well.
Over the years, I watched various different anime like Gundam Wing, Dragonball Z and Naruto just to name a few however my biggest inspiration was in 2005 when the film Memoirs of a Geisha was released.
Before watching the film, I being a book worm read the book Memoirs of a Geisha and was written by Arthur Golden. I loved the book and found it eye-opening not only about Japan but also about its culture, history and daily life.
The story, which details how Maiko (apprentice Geisha) Geisha are trained to have trained how their world changed in World War Two. I am a history geek and this shows how the war affected the civilians and how they had to adapt to help with the war effort as well as how they had to rebuild after the war.
I found the story unique as the young girl, who struggled through training and the war got a happy ending in the end.
The movie itself was a good adaptation (in my opinion) and showed me a beautiful country that I wanted to see for myself. With its various different regions, Onsen and culture. I was hooked.
Now, I have been to Japan over a month and I am enjoying my time here. I have been to a few places, mainly Tokyo, and I went to an onsen a few days ago and found it very relaxing and I am going back.
I went to the Saya-No-Yudokoro Onsen which is on the Tozai Mita line and offers indoor and outdoor bathing, massages, Sauna, Japanese garden, restaurant and a relaxing area where you can chill out and even take a nap. Please note they also have massage chairs which are super. I was falling asleep.
As a child, I loved dressing up in costumes and playing so this is right up my street.
Yukata are made up of cotton and worn during summer and at festivals. They are also worn at Ryokan’s (Japanese inns) to get to and from the onsen and around the Ryokan. They are more casual and affordable. There are various different designs and colours.
I have chosen a dark purple Yukata with light pink Sakura blossoms. The obi is also light pink and my Kanzashi (hairpin) is a mix of purple and white in the shape of a Sakura blossom.
Obi is the belt worn around to fasten the Yukata/Kimono. Kanzashi is worn by women and like the Yukata/Kimono have various different colours and designs.
Kimono are more elaborate and made of silk. They can cost thousands and are often worn for special occasions such as the coming of age celebrating those that turn 20.
I am also going to Tokyo Disney Sea for my birthday on the 24th July to mark my 30th. I am going the day after my birthday in case I am working. I am a huge Disney fan with my favourites being The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. Disney Sea has been on my to-do list as it is unique to Japan as well as I will never grow out of Disney. I have already bought a ticket. It is also only about half an hour away from where I currently live, Koto-Ku so I thought why not.
My plans do not just include Tokyo through. I would like to visit Sapporo especially the Snow Festival in February on Hokkaido. Kyoto, the former capital of Japan. Mt Fuji or Fuji San. I would like to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
I am hoping to make the most of my time in Japan and I hope that my journey will help inspire others to do the same. Japan has so much to offer and I am extremely grateful to have this opportunity.