… I’m not a very well travelled person, my previous adventures have mainly consisted of a handful of European countries the furthest being Malta, a mere 3 hours away! I have always enjoyed travelling, exploring new places, especially submerging myself in the history and culture, the food, the people, the language and the funny little differences that we find oh so quirky…
Japan is a far step away from Malta, nearly six thousand miles away and (to my uneasy numb bum) fourteen hours away… I cant say ‘I’ve always wanted to go to Japan’ because it’s never been a real option, it’s always been a pipe dream, an unreachable goal on a bucket list going no where.
Then something changed, two things actually, which A: Inspired me to follow my dreams and B: Enabled me to follow my dreams. Basically being ill in 2013, something about nearly dying kinda transforms your bucket list a to do list, secondly clearing off all my debts (which was a tedious process) has given me the freedom to spread my wings and fly!
Therefore one lunch time, in much the same manner I decided to go to University, I sat there Googling randomness and suddenly declared, I know, I’m going to go to Japan!
… And that’s how it happened…
Anyway that’s enough verbal dribbling, I want to tell you about Tokyo…
I’m already nervous, as my In Flight Blog will testify, yet my trip through customs was painless. However when you’re picked up by a driver with your name on a card, whisked away in a car alone in a city your don’t know, still reeling from such a long flight and with a further ninety minute journey to the hotel. My fears were running wild, if I wasn’t so shattered I would have been exceptionally anxious. Yet I was informed I would be collected, even the length of the journey was accurate to five minuets, and that was in heavy Tokyo mid-morning traffic but I kept thinking to myself how badly I wanted Liam Neeson to be my Dad!
My initial observations were regarding size, the city was vast and immaculate, travel down the M1 in the UK and the place is littered with the shredded remains of a junk food diet, cascading in the breeze like forlorn ghosts. Upon my whole ninety minute journey I can not recall seeing any litter, the central reservation was shrouded in ivy and wild aloe vera grew along the roadside in thick healthy batches. Despite the reputation of a ‘concrete jungle’ it felt as though there were trees everywhere, the concrete living in harmony with nature, the trees breathing life and colour into the waves of grey. Small trees, large trees, patches of trees with great towering bamboo, exotic palm trees and lone trees. Somehow this relationship worked well together and I relaxed into my drive, watching the world pass me by, absorbing the sights and sounds of a city so vastly different from my own, excitement replaced my exhausted anxiety and I could not stop smiling!
Well, my friends, I have no lunch time left, my hour sped by and my writing was distracted by snippets of work work, I hope this has eased you into my tale a little at least and I shall try to continue some more tomorrow.
Anne Harrison 07.04.16