Snapshot | 8 months in Japan

 

A glimpse of the sights, bites, and lights captured so far. These past 8 months passed quickly, yet slowly: appropriate for this metropolis filled with bustling intersections alongside tiny residential streets.

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A summary of my disorientation.


PHASE 1: Tourist Mode

Arrived this past October and began my daily exploration of Japan. A complete n00b, I was pretty reluctant to chat with anyone and subsequently took a ton of photos everywhere I went. In this phase, I explored Tokyo (Daiykanyama, Shinjuku, Yoyogi-koen, Harajuku, Shibuya) and Kanzawa. 

Photography became my core medium to make sense of life on this side of the Looking Glass. Most of my photos are from this phase. I, of course, took photos of almost everything I ate. It's hard not to become enamored with a culture that puts so much attention to cultivation and preparation of food. 

 

PHASE 2: Language student Mode

Still took a bunch of pictures.  But gained the ability to vaguely chat with other people about it. Having the semblance of a daily routine (commuting on the Yamanote line, shopping at the local grocery store) helped me feel more settled in life here. I'm no longer just an observer, but also part of the happenings.

In this phase, I experienced New Years (お正月), Girls Day (雛祭), Cherry Blossom season (花見), as well as Children's Day (こどもの日) and the rest of Golden Week (ゴールデンウィーク).

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Scroll thru & experience a bit of the disorientation for yourself. 

 

Not in chronological order.
Simply ordered [somewhat] chromatically.

 

 

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So I just wrapped up my time as a language student (Phase 2) last week. Now I'm on to Phase 3. 

 

PHASE 3: Vacationing Vagabond mode

Next week, I'm taking my first solo trip in Japan to Naoshima. It's been on my list for awhile—being an architecture and art history geek and all. Finally booked tickets to go before it becomes absolutely sweltering.

A few weeks after, Gracie—my recent writing partner-turned-life partner, will be making her way over from Bali to Japan. I get to be tour guide-turned-tourist as we start off in Tokyo, then explore Hokkaido together. 

 

PHASE 4: Graduate student mode

The longest phase shall commence in September. There's still the logistics of paperwork, tuition, visa stuff to get sorted before then. I feel like I've been talking about it for a long time, so I'm ready to just do it already. 

That being said, I'm grateful for the chance to explore Japan before taking on this 3-year journey learning something completely new. Mostly excited to see where this phase takes me. 

I mean, look how much has happened in just 8 months. 

 
Lessa Chung