Introduction entry…

Introduction to my future entries on this blog and information about me:

My name is Isabella, I’m 20 years old and born and raised in Denmark – a small country in northern Europe. My native language is therefore Danish, so please forgive my for any language mistakes I might make in English. I’ve always loved foreign cultures and in the age of 15 I fell in love with Japan. Not because of manga, anime or any of those popular reasons, but because I heard a Japanese pop song. Later on I started watching Japanese dramas on the internet and started picking up Japanese words and phrases. Now, about 2 years later I have a very good understanding of the Japanese language.

I can have normal conversations without any major problems. I can read and write hiragana and katakana and read around 250-300 kanjis. When I travel around in Japan, I use only Japanese. Considering everything is self-taught so far, I think I have done well, to be honest. Guess I’ve always been good at memorizing words – even foreign ones.

Like explained in the previous post… I’ve decided to publish an English version of my Danish travel journal I made while I was in Japan for 9 weeks. Of course some things has been changed a bit. In the English version I’ve added more descriptions regarding myself and such – since it wasn’t needed in my personal journal for apparent reasons. But besides that It’s very much like the Danish version. The language style, will be novel-like I think – but that’s just my way of writing – even in a journal. Simple language such as: “Today I went to meet with my friend and we had an ice cream – great day.” Is not really my style.

So if you’re looking for a good blog, with factual descriptions of places to see, what to do and what to eat in Japan, this is probably not the blog you’re looking for. This will be a lot more personal, it’ll be a look into my life while I was in Japan. Not so much tourist things, but more about the people you can meet, how some events can change a lot of things in your life and the general feeling of being on your own in a foreign country – where everything can happen.

Of course I also hope to give ideas of a lot of things regarding travel in Japan. Like how to get around (both big and small distances), meeting new people, what to see in certain areas and especially give a good insight to the “homestay” phenomenon. Meaning staying with regular Japanese families and be part of their everyday life. And of course if there is any questions about Japan, feel free to ask.

Will be back soon…

Okay… so I didn’t get to blog about my trip around Japan, because a lot of things came up and never really found the time, but…

I did write a journal during this trip, because a lot of things happened, which I wanted to remember, so I started to write it all down. I thought about just deleting this blog, because I’m now back in Denmark and my 9 weeks trip in Japan is over. But then I thought that i would still share my experiences with the internet, with the help from my journal/diary and photos.

My journal is in Danish, so I will write a “new” one for the sake of this blog. Of course what I write on this blog will also be a little less-personal, than the content of my diary, but only a little. Since first I thought I would only focus on the things I saw and experienced as a foreigner in Japan and post a few pictures, but the net is filled with those kinds of blogs, right? Therefore I feel like sharing a lot more than that, because my trip turned out to give more more than just travel experience, it also gave my life experience.

So this blog, will be a personal journal, not just about seeing famous places in various areas in Japan. It will also be about, getting to know new people, friendship, getting a crush, falling in love, paying for your mistakes, loneliness, finding yourself, patience, desperate solutions, regret and other everyday life things – in Japan and after.

I’ll start writing the first chapter soon and hope people will follow my story.

Are people really that great at rushing…

… I’m probably just lazy.

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So recently I’ve been looking through the threads/topics/questions in the forum on Japan-guide and I realized something: I’m lazy. I kinda always knew that, but apparently even when it comes to traveling.

I basicly read through a bunch of travel plans for Japan, by people who wanted to know if their specific plan is do-able in terms of time and what-so-ever. And most of these plans ad one thing in common for me… rush.

Most of these planned travels were between 7 to 19 days. (Most normally 10-14 days) And I was genuinely surprised to see how ambitious people actually are. I mean, they have so few days and basically plan to see most of Japan in that time span. Just reading their plans made me exhausted. Most of them only plan to stay one day in each city, even big cities such as Tokyo and Osaka. One person even asked if spending two days in Tokyo would be too much. Like seriously?

When I go to Japan I often stay 2 weeks in one area. Like staying 2 weeks in Osaka and then also go on day trips to: Kyoto, Nara & Kobe. The Kansai area easily entertained me that amount of days. Imagining only spending one single day in Osaka… No, impossible, I love that city too much. It’s more like spending one day in Namba area and then there are still the other areas in Osaka city to be covered. Not to mention all the areas in Tokyo which are on the “must-see” list.

How do people do it? Are people really that great at rushing? I mean… spend one day in Kyoto, spend a half day in Osaka and then rush to Hiroshima where you spend a few hours before going to Fukuoka to spend the night and then off to Nagasaki… and then of course making ones way back to Tokyo. (even though leaving from KIX – Kansai international airport would be better)

I’m no good with time schedules and I know for sure I would be behind my travel plan after just a few hours. Like losing track of time in a department store (you gotta love shopping in Japan) or just spending a bit too much time taking pictures near a temple or shrine. I thought it was enough the day I had to go from Saitama and cover Asakusa, Shibuya and Akihabara before 6 o’clock. (Had a concert in Akihabara) I of course understand that not all people has the opportunity to travel to Japan the way I have done.

– July 2008: 2 weeks in Tokyo/Kanto.  – February 2009: 2 weeks in Osaka/Kansai.  – July 2009: 2 weeks in Tokyo/Kanto.  – October 2009: 2 weeks in Osaka/Kansai.  And then my upcoming 9 weeks trip.

Note: no, I’m not rich. In Denmark we get paid to go to school after we turn 18 years old. (and schools are free) so I had the extra money – since I’m not a big spender.

But I must say, … people really has some impressive plans. I find that admirable, because I’m just way too lazy to be able to do it. Of course, if I had to do it – I would. I just prefer not to. Since I don’t think I would be able to enjoy myself, if I couldn’t just relax and watch things slow paced.

I miss Japanese food…

I really do.

Guess that’s one of the things I really look forward to when going back to Japan next month. On my last trip to Japan I bought a bunch of “cup-noodle-like” Yakisoba packages, because well… I really love yakisoba- And these packages are actually not that bad. It’s not the real thing, but close enough.

I added the egg, because… well I felt it was missing something. XD

I hope to have a more “meaningful” post soon.

Hope to update soon.

I hope to make this blog active soon. Since my trip is coming closer.

Recently I’ve just focused on my Youtube channel – which I’ll also use during my trip to post videos of my experiences around Japan. Link to my youtube channel has been added to the sitebar. For now it’s a random Japan-related channel, but once I go to Japan it’ll be a travel vlog – so if you’re interested in Japan – check it out.

First entry.

Well on WordPress at least, since I’ve been blogging on other sites such as LJ & blogger.com, but I think I’ll try wordpress for now.

I am going to Japan in March for about 2 months. This will be my 5th visit, but also my longest. I am visiting the following areas: Miyazaki, Fukuoka, Hiroshima and Nagoya. I will travel with high way bus around and stay with Japanese host families. My plan so far is to use this blog to write about my experiences in Japan.