As I’m writing this, it has been nearly a month since I’ve left the Netherlands and have been living in Tokyo, Japan. This past month has been wild. While I’ve lived in Japan before, Tokyo is a whole different story when compared to living in the beautiful but slow-paced country side.
I spent the first week or so mostly unpacking, getting used to the dormitory, decorating my room to be a little bit less impersonal and getting to know the other international students in my dorm. Next to exploring the area around my dormitory, I re-visited my favorite spots in Tokyo which mainly consisted of endlessly strolling around/shopping in Shibuya, stuffing myself with Korean BBQ in Shin-Okubo (Tokyo’s Korea-town) and Sakura viewing at Harajuku’s Yoyogi Park since I arrived just in time for the Sakura to be in full bloom! I stuffed myself with sushi, strolled around Shinjuku at night admiring the view of the entire city from the top of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and ate Okonomiyaki to die for. Needless to say my first couple of weeks were busy and chaotic but definitely in a good way.
I feel like when it comes to Tokyo, there’s too much to see and do to ever get tired of it, and I am discovering new places every single day. The biggest difference between the country side and Tokyo is just the sheer amount of people. In Tokyo it doesn’t really matter what area you’re in or at what time you’re there, there are always people around. Life is fast-paced, fun and upbeat but also rushed and chaotic which is something I did not experience as much in the country side. I have to say, there’s nothing you can experience that comes close to being in a packed train in central Tokyo, commuting to campus during rush hour with people squeezed into every possible corner of the train imaginable. I can tell you that’s not the most relaxing way to arrive at your 9AM lecture
For me, classes have started and I am enjoying every minute of it! The main reason for me to put everything on hold back home academically and go to Japan again was to improve my Japanese and obtain the N2 certificate of the JLPT in July and I am absolutely ready to crush it! Now that I have a concrete goal in mind, I feel motivated and energized to improve my Japanese even more and to get the most out of my classes possible. With regards to traveling, my next big trip will be to Seoul for a couple of days at the end of May, which I could not be more excited about! In a nutshell, that was it for the end of March and beginning of April. If you have any suggestions of places I should visit in either Tokyo or Seoul, definitely let me know in the comments down below!
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustav Flaubert