the 12th of July♥

shichijyuunishichi – 7, jyuuni – 12. 7月12日. The 12th of July.

 I came to Japan on the 12th of July 2012. I flew from London to Beijing, where I had to wait for about 4 hours, and from there I flew to Tokyo.  I remember that the airport in Beijing smelled like soy sauce, it was huge and empty. After another 4 hour flight I was in Tokyo. It felt kind of strange, knowing that I just arrived at the country I’d been dreaming about since I was 16.

I had  never been in Japan before, I had only imagined walking through the streets I had seen in movies or guide books. And then, after years of imagining, I was actually in the land of my dreams. I think I kind of couldn’t believe I was actually here in the flesh. At Narita Airport I thought “It’s not as humid as everybody told me it would be”. Then I went outside, and I understood what they were talking about. It felt like sauna, heavy sweet air seemed to stick to my body. So these will be my first memories, wow. The sound of cicadas, the ubiquitous monotonous female voice repeating the same announcements over and over again, very serious train station officers, and jet lag. And super clean cars. Seriously, every car here looks like it’s new (coming from a country where people wash their cars like once a year, yeah, that was surprising).

Yup, these are my first memories.

photo (13)_meitu_1

2012

Beautiful Odaiba, where watching the sun go down will leave you mesmerized (and then you will find out that Odaiba is actually built on top of a pile of rubbish and the magic will be gone forever). Japanese supermarkets, where you’ll have everything you have ever dreamt of buying. Everyday sushi? I could finally have it. Chewing gum with millions of flavours, colourful bentosenbei, sashimi, all that goodnes just 5 minutes away from the guest house I was staying in. My first summer festival wearing a yukata. Cheap geta sandals made walking as painful as it gets, but it was worth it. Izakaya and suspiciously thin beer. Don Quijote! I wish I could remember what I thought when I went to my beloved Donki for the first time and saw some stuffed bums and boob towels hanging from chains. Oh Donki, you’ll always have a special place in my heart. Awesome Japanese food! Believe it or not, the very first time I had gyudon (cheap beef bowl rice) at Matsuya, I thought “Holy crap this is DELICIOUSSSS, I’m gonna eat it everyday” (and I actually did for some time…). *team Matsuya here, Yoshinoya doesn’t hold a stick to it*

meitu2

 Akihabara! I actually went there the next day and had my first (oh so delicious) tsukemen there. So many random memories…Asakusa, that’s where I got my very first omikuji, I wish I had kept it. Tokyo Tower with Zojoji Temple, such a beautiful and peaceful place! And the sky over Japan in the summer — it has this unreal azure colour. Like a Ghibli animation.

CIMG0486_meitu_1

2013

 

Living the life of a working person. Wearing a suit everyday, not much time for fun stuff.  I experienced my first hanami in Ueno Park,where thousands of people celebrated the coming of spring. Ueno Park — full of cockroaches, homeless people and shady guys. I love it.

Rainy season again! There are two things I associate with the rainy season: frizzy hair and the cockroach paranoia which means walking with your head down most of the time, because you’re checking if there are any of those ugly black creatures on the ground, so you can either avoid stepping on them or step on them intentionally. My 23rd birthday spent in Harajuku… if anyone had told me a few years back, that all this was going to happen, I never would’ve believed them.

Finally first real vacation! Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Okinawa. It was hot as hell but heavenly beautiful. 2013 passed so fast… I moved into a proper apartment, visited Korea, got a beautiful kokeshi tattooed on my right arm… Too many things to list! And you see, that’s why I love tattoos. When I’m old and wrinkled, I’ll take a look at them and I’ll remember that time when I was living my dream in Japan.

CIMG0486_meitu_123

Cat cafes, Tokyo Sky Tree, Tokyo by night, kimono photo shoot… Sumidagawa fireworks! My friend and I spent 2 hours getting dolled up just to end up soaking wet in the pouring rain. The fireworks got cancelled and I had the longest walk in the rain, wearing a wig and a yukata, with Tokyo Sky Tree in the background. In July 2013 I started volunteering and I consider it to be one of the best things I have ever done.

Best memories.

5555

2014

And this year? Let’s see… I met some of the loveliest people on the planet, discovered more of the amazing places around Tokyo, started some new hobbies. Got some more beautiful tattoos… and I appeared in a magazine called “Tattoo Girls” — as you may have guessed, it’s about tattooed girls and it’s the only magazine of this type in Japan. Stay tuned because I’m going to post some scans here!

Such happy 7 months in 2014!

1506741_584875034921424_640157404_n_meitu_2

The largest city in the world has been so kind to me this far. I still have a lot to learn, to see, to explore and experience.

What are your first memories? First impression of Tokyo or any other place in Japan? If you haven’t been here yet, how do you imagine Japan and life here? Share your thoughts in a comment!

DSC05285_meitu_1

Thank you for reading!♥

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “the 12th of July♥

  1. LOL The boobs and butts….XD Wow…
    I was wondering what your blog name meant…(I knew it was a number but apparently it has meaning for you…awesome).
    Eww to the cockroaches….You and that kitten are too cute! Is that a yukata you’re wearing? I can never tell the difference from kimono and yukata in photos, just that yukata is cheaper and kimono costs an arm and leg…
    I’d probably spend an entire week with my eyes and heart open…and taking pictures, and eating a ton of sushi and authentic ramen and udon…spending time in Purikura booths (I have two apps on my Ipod that sorta simulate the experience without the time limit). I loved this post…it was awesome and I look forward to more always, Stasia!

    • I’m sure you’ll love Donki! So much randomness in one place.
      Yeah, cockroaches..I had never seen one before coming to Japan :O
      The black one is a yukata, I remember I paid 3990 yen for it. The blue one is a kimono – you’re right, kimonos are much more expensive, but there are lots of vintage kimono stores…hmmm should I write about one? 🙂 Haha and yeah, I ate tons of sushi and ramen during the first week. Purikura is addictive, be careful! ❤

    • thank you ❤ How about you Marco? I'm sure you already had quite a few memorable moments here in Tokyo 🙂

  2. All of these photos are great. You really are living-the-Tokyo-dream. You have a whole coffee-table book of material. Lastly, I want to put a big “Like” on that top photo with the yellow lanterns. Amazing : )

    • Thank you so much for your comment 🙂 comments like yours make me want to share my stories ^^ and actually, I already have quite a few photos I took at one vintage kimono store in Shinjuku 😉

  3. Wow It’s great to read about your experiences there. When I read the first few sentences about how you dreamt of walking through the streets, that’s what I dreamed of since I was 16 as well. This summer I will be going to Japan for the first time in my life. I studied the language for 2 years and now my school sends me on exchange until February. I’m scared but when I read this I know it’s going to be awesome! .

  4. Such a wonderful reflection on your life in Tokyo so far – such awesome photos, too! It is the most magical, surreal city I’ve ever been to, I always feel like crying when I have to leave!

  5. Such fond memories of Tokyo!!

    I remember my first time going was when I was 18. Stepping out of the airport definitely was a huge shock (coming from the dry Canadian prairies!), and I don’t think the sticky sweat left my body for more than a few minutes for my entire trip.
    My favorite things were the vending machines so conveniently placed every few blocks, as well as the sound of the trains wafting in through my window every morning.

    I have been back to Japan once since then (last year), where I spent my time in my husband’s hometown of Kakegawa, Shizuoka. Now, I adore Tokyo, but nothing beats the beautiful countryside of Shizuoka. Green tea bushes rolling across the hills, fresh unagi (what Shizuoka is popular for) and the multitudes of people staring at me because they were not used to seeing a foreigner who wasn’t Brazillian in Kakegawa.

    We are going back in October, and then next year hopefully making a more permanent move.
    I am looking forward to eating my weight in onigiri and ramen, and hopefully wearing a kimono for the first time!

    Love your blog! Makes my day to read and get that warm-fuzzy nostalgia.

    • Hello Kayla! Thank you for your comment ❤
      I visited Shizuoka last year when my parents came to visit me and I totally agree – it's a beautiful place. I remember waking up to Mt. Fuji outside the hotel window. And the food! It was amazing and I can't wait to go back to Shizuoka.
      I'm really happy to have such kind readers 🙂

  6. Ahhh such a great post! I totally understand how you feel about Japan, nothing quite compares. It’s been seven years since I first came, and my love for Japan has only grown! I can’t wait to come back permanently. I just really love to see that I’m not the only one who feels this way, haha.

  7. Hi Stasia!
    Finally i am making a comment!
    Japan should be so lucky to have you in the country 🙂 I would love to be a part of your memories here in Japan! hehe see you next time 😀

  8. Pingback: Interview with… Me? | living the tokyo dream

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s