It’s been a long time since I spent any time on this blog, and while I have good reasons for that, seven months isn’t exactly what I’d call a short absence.
Phrases I never thought I’d say:
“I’m going to work in Japan.”
“I’m going to a week long seminar in Tokyo.”
“I’m going to be living in Kanto.”
Over the last few months, those phrases had become commonplace, gradually becoming part of my new reality. I’m still slowly adjusting to that reality and even as I look at my plane ticket, my visa, or even my offer of employment, it doesn’t feel a hundred percent true.
But it is definitely happening.
In my first week in Japan, I’d decided to make a note of a few things I realised while I was staying in a foreign country with a different culture. Over the next three weeks, that note evolved into a full list, so I wanted to share it on my blog as an insight into how Japan works. I’m not pretending like these observations are true across the entire country, and I’m definitely not pretending to be an expert after only a month, but these are just some things that I noticed during my time in Fukuoka…
While I was staying in Fukuoka, the largest city on the southern island of Kyushu, I tried to fit as much ‘Japan’ into my trip as possible. Even if travel to places outside of the city wasn’t exactly possible with how busy I was, the area still has a lot to offer. Here’s a list of the stereotypical things I did during my month in Japan…
I may have been going home, but my final week in Japan started off with a bang.
After buying my ticket for the Sailor Moon musical the week before, the day of the show arrived, altogether too slowly and too quickly at the same time. I donned my Sailor Moon shirt and hat and left for Canal City, all too ready for the excitement to begin. As I said in my last post, this was a combination of two of my favourite things so why wouldn’t I be?
One thing I’ve noticed about Fukuoka is its affinity for South Korea. Maybe it’s because there’s a higher Korean population here or maybe because it’s geographically closer to Seoul than Tokyo, but at less than an hour’s plane journey away from the city of Busan, it certainly has a better connection with the country than most of Japan.
It’s hard to believe that I’d been in Fukuoka for over a week before I’d set foot in Tenjin properly. One of the busiest areas of the city, alongside Hakata, Tenjin is home to several department stores. We have them in the UK, but Japan takes it to the next level.
The start of this week was spent researching how to put futon sheets on properly and scouring the internet for Fukuoka’s waste disposal rules. Thrilling, I know, but if I’m going to be staying here for the next few weeks, I need to start with the basics.
Before this month, the furthest I’d travelled alone was a five-hour train journey from my university down to London. So for my next solo trip to be flying to the other side of the world, on a journey that would take me approximately 20 hours, it’s fair to say that I was taking a gigantic leap.