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Simply Stumbling - My New Life in Japan

Updated on October 31, 2017
divaknown profile image

I'm a nerdflighter and have always been a passive part of the internet. I'm trying to find my voice and share my experiences.

Murders of lone Asian women aren't uncommon

My first step into the blogging world should accurately represent the crazy person of whom you are about to read. So, starting off I'm not one to travel alone, not for a lack of will, though the thoughts of murderers do cross my mind, but more because I'm an Asian female from a country where murders aren't uncommon of lone females. Now that I have appropriately sensitised you as to the weirdo I am, and showcased my ease of flying from one topic to another, I'll continue onwards to what has brought you to this article. Japan.

View from my new room

Do you love Japan? Well you should, its awesome.

How did I get here???

Truthfully Japan was on my bucket list for places to visit since I was a kid but I never thought I would actually get here, or at least come here alone. I was doing what a lot of graduates do, listening to podcasts to get motivated and sending out portfolios to get a job. I never expected to get a reply back from Japan but because of its culture of open desk internships, here I am. And it's as surreal as showed in anime.

What is it like arriving alone in Japan?

Well this would be my first question if I was to ever start this kind of trip again.

  • First of all, it freaking amazing. I felt liberated sitting alone at the airport waiting for my flight. Felt like a grown-up.
  • Japan is super easy to navigate, even when you don't know any Japanese. You can basically plan everything you need to do before you even arrive here.
  • It's super safe, I was travelling alone for most of the day and I never felt weird or out of place. It does take a lot of rewiring for my female brain to understand that I can do anything, at any time of day and I won't have to be on high alert of predators.

What is the true Japan?

Definitely not the streets and buildings, though in Kyoto you will find many that will steal your heart, but it's the people.

Through an architect's eye

  • It's not hard to imagine why an architect would love visiting Japan, but arriving in Osaka was a true shock. I had built up Japan in my mind as this wonderland where the people and streets are filled with anime type situations.
  • I know, I know, stupid of me and truthfully I had didn't really research too much about what to expect in Japan; I wanted to come here blind. As an architect Osaka was really underwhelming.
  • The buildings and the streets though different, still had the same feel of the metropolitan city I had left behind. By as I travelled through Osaka and arrived in Kyoto, I started to get the excitement back; as the buildings changed into small houses, I started to see what Japan was really about.
  • I NOTICED the people
  • Looking at building and streets and trying to understand how they are different from your home town is the sure-fire to exhibiting what a novice architect you are.
  • It's hard to come out of that mentality of buildings and streets making they city: I spent 5 years learning how to design them. But you have to, especially when you just graduate, constantly force yourself you look at the real city- the people.
  • And as I started seeing the interactions people were having, how they were using space, the culture of community above individuals; it was amazing and overwhelming

It's not ALL as you would imagine Japan to be

How to really experience Nihong and verifying that I am indeed human

During my first hour in Japan, I had truly wondered if I am broken or just a simulation in the MATRIX (not discounting that). But as I slowly started to notice the people and not the building, I finally understood where I had gone wrong in trying to experience Japan.

Tiny humans playing in the river

So what are the people of Japan really like?

That is a big question and will definitely be my next blog. Hopefully you liked this enough to want to read that :)

© 2017 divaknown

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