Thursday, 7 February 2013

Hello Tokyo!

One of the best countries I have ever visited has to Japan- everything about it captivated me, from the beautiful countryside to the bustling city. As I was there on an exchange (which I truly believe is one of the best way to see a country) I was completely immersed in the fascinating culture. I stayed with a host family for ten days, visited their daughter's school (an amazing place which went straight through from kindergarden to university!) treated to traditional Japanese cuisine and whisked away to see some of the most beautiful sights.

One thing that really struck me was just how polite everyone was- everyone queued single file to get onto trains and spoke with respect to their elders, which was frankly refreshing after the everyday rudeness encountered on the streets back home.

I'm definitely a person who's not all that good with change and so although I enjoy visiting other countries, I could never see myself living far from where I live now. Well, until I visited Japan that is. Something about the places I saw captured a piece of my heart and weirdly for me, I have a strong desire to live there at some point in my life!

These photos were taken by the coolest photo booths ever called purikura- essentially you take your photo and then decorate it. This was also the first time I'd ever seen a QC code (they had them wayyy before us). By scanning the code with your phone, the photos could be sent directly to you as well as a print out copy! The arcades which housed these were full to bursting every day with teenagers (and some older people!) getting their photos taken.   

Disney Land Tokyo! We went on valentines day- you have never seen anything cuter than fully grown men and women with Mickey Mouse ears on running hand in hand to get to the rides before all the kids!

Traditional sushi - I have to say, this experience taught me I'm not a fan of eel

A beautiful temple

Cherry blossom

Stone monks

A view from a train

Prayer flags

An egg boiled in a volcano! 

We visited an art gallery and this was one of my favourite installations- a huge stain glass tower!

We stayed a night in a traditional hotel and slept on the floor on bedding we unrolled from the cupboard. 

I was taken to a fantastic restaurant in a skyscraper. It had 360 degrees glass windows and this was the stunning view!

The entrance to Harajuku street! 

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