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.