Firstly, let me just take a moment to announce that I NOW LIVE IN JAPAN (for the next year)! The first thing I noticed when I arrived at Narita airport was the smell of Japan. Japan definitely has a smell and I have smelt it. I love smells and Japan's smell is a good one.

It has been five days since I arrived here and already I have so many pictures and stories to share. These are two rolls of film I had developed yesterday from my weekend in Yagi, Yamaguchi. The day after I arrived in Japan was pretty nuts. I began traveling at 830 in the morning and didn't stop until I arrived in Hagi that evening.

It was a disgustingly hot day (those who said Japan would be cold were massive liars) and I had to take all of my luggage to Chiba where I'll be living and then head back to the airport to catch a plane to Fukuoka. I don't know how Japanese people do it, but they look good ALL THE TIME. Even when it's hot and humid and I'm sweaty and looking seriously haggard. Also, all the clothes they wear look like they are being worn for the first time.
I felt so disgusting that I paid about 30AUD to take a shower at Fukuoka's airport. Also my bag was so heavy I was beginning to feel nauseous.

This hot and sweaty gross day I caught a total of 2 buses, 1 taxi, 6 trains, 1 bullet train, a plane as well as one car ride from a friendly Japanese couple who didn't want me to have to walk to my hostel in the dark.

Despite all of the sweat and grossness and 30 dollars spent on a regular shower, the next morning the sun came out in the little coastal town of Hagi and it was all worth it.

My first Japanese cat sighting!

In the morning I rented a bike and rode around the little town. There were lots of elderly people riding their bikes in the morning and nodding their heads and saying 'Ohayoo!' to me. Adorable, Japan.

Hagi Beach!! I went swimming here and it was awesome. Surprisingly, I was the only one in the water. There were people fishing at the beach and there were people walking around with garbage bags picking up rubbish (???) but no one else was swimming. I've been thinking about it and I think it comes down to this impulsive feeling I get when I see a body of water. I need to be in it. I feel like this is a part of the swimming culture of Australia? Or it might be a Cairns thing? But it's definitely not a Japanese thing. I wonder if it's relevant to the fact that Japan has a long history of using the ocean as a source of employment rather than leisure? Also noteworthy here is the serious lack of sunscreen around the place. It exists, sure. But I can't get a large bottle of anything strong from anywhere and as a result I got majorly sunburnt on this fine and sunny day.

Two new friends! On the weekend all but one person was extremely kind to me and helped me when I was lost or struggling with all four of my suitcases (don't ask). People aren't afraid of each other here: yesterday three young boys got on the train and a fisherman sitting opposite them struck up a friendly conversation. Soon the boys were laughing and it was innocent and nice. They got off at their stop and said goodbye to the man. It's as though people trust each other not to wrong them here. Watching their interaction, there was no sense of 'stranger danger'. I am, of course, just speculating but I have definitely been enjoying not being afraid that someone will steal from me. Do you know how good it is to leave your luggage in the middle of a train station so you can go to the bathroom and know it will be there when you return? It's amazing!! Come to Japan, seriously.

Obaachans are everywhere.

Sharing the Australian things.

It begins. 


This is a photograph I found at my mum's house of myself and my Japanese neighbour, Mizuki.
I remember Mizuki's mum used to make us Nutella sandwiches and cut them into perfect love heart shapes. I think this was probably the beginning of my love affair with Japan.

I kind of feel like over the last few years I've been in a long distance relationship with Japan: visiting when I could, keeping updated online etc. Now, I've decided to really commit to our relationship and I have moved here!



Finally!! I have some photos to show the Internet of my life over the last few weeks. The negatives on this roll were unfortunately handled very poorly so there are a few scratches/finger prints/anomalies.

After all that road tripping last month I got on another plane and flew back to Melbourne! I visited old friends, walked rabbits in a park, ate too many dumplings and met up with my very own potential Catfish!!

This is one of Tanja and Michael's two rabbits. His name is Red. (FINGERPRINT, UH)

Tanja is one of my oldest friends and it made my heart feel so full to see her new life in Melbourne with Michael. I also liked seeing her rabbits.

I went and visited Naomi in her new home and helped her unpack her IKEA things. 

This is her new, adorable apartment building.

I also spent a hilarious evening with this lovely lady, Vivien. 
When I met her, she greeted me in her home with my very own hot water bottle!  I don't know how I have gone so long without these things in my life! Though, I guess cats are kind of like living hot water bottles. We spent a really fun night together eating Chinese food, talking about The Swan Princess and laughing and laughing and laughing.

In the best kind of way, the weather was kind of terrible while I was in Melbourne. Tanja's apartment is on the corner of a building in the city and it felt really cosy. Also, she had a heater which was nice. I realise this entry reveals just how deprived my regular life is of heating devices...

This day, however, the weather was actually wonderful.  Pictured is my friend, Andy.  We first started talking on Myspace in 2006 and have been friends ever since! This day was the first time we met in person and I am happy to report he is exactly who he said he was and looked just like his pictures. I wished Neve could have accompanied me to the great reveal in Melbourne CBD. It was such an exciting experience for me! At the end of our lunch I was sad to say goodbye to my old friend irl.

After I got back from Melbourne, I had only a few days to move out of my room and head up to Queensland to visit my family for one last time before Japan.

From the Sunshine Coast I took a train to Brisbane and visited another one of my oldest and most wonderful friends, Meg. 
This is a photograph of all of the receipts she keeps. At the time, I thought it was just one of her fastidious quirks but now I realise that it is probably a really good idea to keep receipts. I keep nothing.

Returning back to the Sunshine Coast, I couldn't help but notice what a strange place it is. All the hotels are named things like, 'Ocean Break', 'High Tide' or 'Blue Wave'... and there are old people everywhere and everyone paints their houses blue.

Such ocean paraphernalia. 

Besides the weird buildings and beautiful weather, the real reason I was there was to visit my family one last time before I leave. My mum and I spent the entire time eating food and watching back to back episodes of United States of Tara.