I could write a list, detail where I visited day by day and my reflections upon each place. However, this would reduce my encounters into a ‘First we went here – it was really pretty – then we went there – it was really noisy’ blog… Which can be really tedious and I would run out of words to describe beauty. I want to try and capture the whole experience and not a diary of events.
Japan in my own words:
Japan is vast! There is this overwhelming sense of size, in structure, population and history. There is also a significant element of pride, respect and consideration. Everywhere is clean, the bins are even clean, the rubbish appears clean and there is a distinct lack of litter, graffiti or vandalism. I’ve already mentioned the trees, even in the most densely populated cities, there are trees and green, this balance and harmony between the urban landscape and nature is similar to the comfortable juxtaposition between history, spirituality and technology. Whereupon you will stumble across perfectly maintained shrines alongside vending machines.
There is an amazing sense of individuality, it’s no secret that there is a wide variety of fashion genre throughout Japan and this is celebrated by the fact that anyone may wear whatever they like, as outrageous and wild as they want without any fear of ridicule or being the victim of any jest.
Allow me to explain through example: In my home town (Leicester) upon a Friday afternoon, I noticed a beautiful young woman with her friends, she stood out among the crowd, clad in the most perfectly adorable ‘Lolita’ outfit. I noticed the looks she gained from ‘normal’ folk (by normal, I mean this odd tradition we appear to have in England to all look alike in their Superdry jackets and Diesel jeans) sarcastic comments were passed between gaggles of guys and bitchy daggers were thrown from from under fake eyelashes. I felt compelled to approach and congratulate her upon her delightful outfit, which lead to a really friendly conversation and she expressed her distress at such hostile remarks. Because someone dared to looked different, they were the target for mockery from the hordes of fashion clones.
I experienced no such attitude upon my adventure throughout Japan, I was delighted and inspired by a whole range of beautiful and unique individuals, wild colours or muted pastels, heavy black make up or a doll faced delicate touch. Women wore traditional kimonos next to business man in suits upon the train and nearly everyone of any age or gender always appeared to have some amusing cartoon character dangling off bags or phones.
I hope this is beginning to express my delightful experiences, of cause I’ve plenty of notes in which to expand this blog and naturally, I’ve left these at home. But that’s OK, because it will give me more to write about on another day. For now I shall add some photos…
Anne Harrison 13.04.16