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My love affair with Japan, almost 6 years on.

Nov 5, 2017 | places + travel

I was browsing through my catalog of photographs and stumbled upon my old photos from Japan. I’d taken two trips there in total. Once in December 2011 and another in March 2012, only a few months later.

Visiting (and perhaps even living!) in Japan had been one of my dreams since I tumbled head first into the world of anime and technological advancement (ありがとね Liz). I was in awe of the Japanese culture and its language. Needless to say, thanks to the ridiculous amount of anime and dramas I watched in the mid-2000s, I started to learn the language in earnest and continued harbouring the dream that I would be able to step foot on Japanese tsuchi [soil].

Fast forward to 2011 when the tsunami hit the coast of my other beloved country. I remember watching the news back then, tearing at the sight of cars and buildings being washed away, imagining the death toll of both fellow human beings and livestock alike. To this day, my heart still breaks for Japan and its people.

It was really a divine appointment that I was able to help rebuild homes in Japan shortly after the tsunami hit. Our church worked with Samaritan’s Purse in Japan and we sent a total of 10 teams into the vicinity to help with the disaster. I was on the last team and of course, it was freezing cold in the thick of winter, but I had a fantastic time learning about the culture and its people and of course, making a difference in a practical way.

In March the following year, I decided to take another trip to Tokyo and nearby Yokohama just simply to be a tourist as I had not explored the metropolitan city much. I had a blast by myself, taking in the culture and the places. Akihabara, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Asakusa, Ueno… I took it all in.

Looking at those photos from back then, I am itching to go back once more. This time, definitely for a longer visit.

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