Wanderlust: Japan

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You may be able to tell from my social media lately that I'm wanderlusting hard over Japan. Every two years or so I get "itchy feet" as I call it - the overwhelming desire to just get out, get on a plane, be somewhere else. It might have been triggered by watching the Girls episode where Shoshanna goes about her life in Japan, but it's been on my mind in one way or another since I was about 12 years old.

I've had a couple of fears regarding traveling to Japan: being alone and the food. I've traveled alone a little bit, but only to places where English was the primary language, and I think when you're physically alone in a place where you can't communicate well with the people around you, you can feel alone on a much deeper psychological level. So that's a little troubling for me, and I'm not sure what would be the best way to proceed. There are tours and groups of people who I could join, but they're awfully expensive and being with a group of strangers is intimidating. The other fear, food, is perhaps more easy to deal with and something I might talk about further in another blog post because I have some very specific thoughts around being a picky eater. But to sum it up quickly, I'm a lifelong vegetarian (no fish either) and don't particularly like strong flavors.

I'm getting closer to taking this trip seriously, but in the meantime, I've been indulging in imagery, films, and YouTube videos. So if you're also interested in Japan, here are a few inspirational things I'm loving lately.

On YouTube: Life Where I'm From


I recently discovered this channel and have fallen in love with this family. The videos are explorations of different aspects of Japanese life as seen through a Canadian man who is living in Japan with his Japanese wife and their two children. Following their activities is such a pleasure and they explore so many different things from what a Japanese family restaurant is like, to traveling to a hot springs town.



Read My Mind


The Killer's music video for Read My Mind has always been one of my favorites. It feels very joyful.


Mimei


I've been watching Mimei's channel on YouTube for a couple of years, but lately, her video quality has just been getting better and better. She and her husband Duncan live in Tokyo and her vlogs are a great way to explore the city and she also finds great vegetarian/vegan restaurants.




Film & Television Recommendations






Lost in Translation - I love Sofia Coppola's look at feeling isolated and lonely when dealing with another country and culture. The film is gorgeously atmospheric, very touching, and makes me want to stay at the Park Hyatt SO BADLY (why is it $400+ a night???).





Whisper of the Heart - Many Studio Ghibli films are interesting perspectives on Japanese life and mythology, but I love Whisper of the Heart for its meditations on life in Tokyo. We follow the main character Shizuku as she goes to school, studies for exams, eats with her family in their small apartment and walks through the roads of Tokyo.


Midnight Diner - I've talked about this Netflix show before on the blog but I keep coming back to it because it's just that good. I really appreciate shows where each episode can stand on its own yet still feels cohesive.

Imagery

And to sum it up here are a few pics.
Where are you dreaming of traveling?
















 


source: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 1011 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17



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