Life has a way of always keeping us on our toes. Just like the ever capricious weather, and if you’re not prepared, let me quote Game of Throne: a storm is coming. What initially started out as two girls venturing out to Japan has now turned to 1 girl’s solo trip to Japan. I would be lying if I said I’m not worried, but I’m more excited about it now than I was about the trip earlier. My friend backing out last minute means I get travel alone. I was looking for an adventure, but I guess it found me first. Well played, Adventure, well played.
These few nights my thoughts have been mutinously terrorised by vivid images taken right out of a Japanese thriller; Japanese police finding my cold, lifeless body on the freakishly clean road, turning into a Japbo (like hobo) because of frivolous stationery shopping, or losing my way in their massive labyrinth of a subway that is actually the Arena of the Hunger Games, and because I’m handicapped (keyword: suck at map-reading) with maps, I’ll never be able to find the Cornucopia, and finally my emaciated body will be collected by a Hovercraft. Every night brings new and exciting scenarios, my heart rate fires up and I can only hope that I’m at least burning some calories while I hyperventilate.
Apart from all the dramatic endings of my abridged existence, I’m really excited about my trip now than I was before. My friend backing out last minute means I get travel alone, and may I just say this “OMG I’M GOING TO JAPAN AND I’M FLYING SOLO THIS TIME!!!!!” Ok, now that I’ve gotten that off my pulsating (that sounds wrong) chest, I shall try to maintain some composure.
Initially, the plan was to travel further up north to Kamikawa from Sapporo, but because I’ll be traveling alone now I decided to drop that plan. I mean if someone had to find my body, I rather not have it decomposed beyond recognition and Kamikawa gives the impression that lost things will remain…lost. Honestly, I was looking towards a bit of trekking, but I’ve never been to Sapporo before this, and 4 days will allow me to explore the biggest city in Hokkaido. After that it’s back to Tokyo and Osaka, cities created for peregrination.
Any country that you’ve visited before in the company of people becomes an unchartered territory full of mysteries when you brave it alone. When you travel alone, you’re free from distractions presented by your company. You pay scant attention to the country’s personality when you’re with a group. The quirks of its people and its stray animals, the graffiti on the walls, the roads and the cars and everything else that is imbued within the country is lost when you’re busy discoursing on a cultural hype you walked by. I was going to say Gangnam Style. I stopped to berate myself. Something as shitty as that in Japan? The Japanese will sooner choke on kimchi! Wait… hmm. This is something I’m definitely looking forward to. I cannot wait to stumble upon hidden cafes, old curio shops and meandering alleyways.
As one of the leaders and pioneers in Innovation and Technology, Japan is undoubtedly a powerhouse of R&D. It is the only country in the world that relies heavily on industrial robot workers. But I’ll be remiss if I did not mention that what drives them to this prestigious rank is steeped in tradition. The Shinto followers believe that any object, animate or inanimate possesses a living soul or spirit. Tradition, culture, heritage, religion permeate everything we see in Japan. I love how philosophical this is as well. One cannot co-exist without another. I’ll stop this drivel before I digress into my love of science and belief in God!
So 7 more days into the land of the rising sun, the heart of Ghibli (which I’m desperately trying to get tickets now), yummy ramen and calorie-laden desserts.