Pictures that Speak Louder than Words

Anne’s Adventure

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



Why Japan?

… 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


I Want to Write about Japan

… But where to start? …

I’ve been back in the UK over a week now and not approached my blog or my thoughts recently. Normality has proved to be quite surreal when it comes to returning to the mundane, like, being removed from usual every day situations and plunged into a different world for 10 days can leave you mentally reeling as your mind takes time to process all it has experienced and seen and done within that time.

My first night back home I awoke in a panic, unaware of where I was initially, with this bizarre dread of how I was going to get back home, when I was already back home. A few more nights of broken sleep followed with vivid dreams about Japan. Everyone has asked me how my holiday was and I delight in exclaiming how wonderful it was, but skip over details. I feel those details are mine, personal to me, my precious… I also have this humble notion that I don’t want to rub it in… I’ve spent too many long years watching others explore the world and  expose their adventures, I’ve spent too long without a passport or even spare cash to get a passport, that I have simply sat by and listened and dreamed… So I have been resisting the urge to collate my thoughts into words and share my experiences.

Japan has been a dream, an unreachable goal, always out of reach… until recently… A change in circumstances gave me the chance to grasp hold of this dream and make it a reality. I requested a brochure, a harmless enough act, then I received a phone call and I believe it was this phone call, that personal touch which spurred my decision to follow this dream, part with cash (I have never had such an amount ‘spare’ before – This terrified me) and of cause… Get a passport!

I’m not sure I’m going to get all my thoughts down before the end of my lunch break, so I’m going to leave my tale there for the time being, which feels like a good place to pause. Besides, how do I put all these cascading emotions into words when I’m still awestruck? This might take a few entries to cover and I feel I should include some photos too, so I apologise in advance Dear Reader, if I bore you. Please bare with me as this whole experience is something I need to get into words and this platform gives me the ability to focus my memories into words…


Anne Harrison 06.04.16