I have been to Japan once, probably when I was 6. (I can’t remember the exact year.) One of the drawbacks of travelling when you are so young is that you probably won’t remember anything. The most memorable thing for me however, was my first time in experiencing an earthquake, which woke me up in the middle of the night and scared the hell out of me.
Now I’m 21 and grown up and have a good enough memory of this event. I would love to visit Japan again for all of my forgotten memories. Two of my main reasons for wanting to go again are: the food and the rural/suburban lifestyle.
I love Japanese cuisine. I go to a Japanese restaurant at least once a week. My favorites dishes are eel rice, sushi, sashimi, tempura, ramen … and so much more! Besides their great taste, I love how they are also strongly attached to Japanese culture, which is exactly what I want to learn more about. Japanese food is so popular around the world, but there is no other place to taste the food more authentically than in its original country.
Inspired by many Japanese movies, I also want to visit the rural countryside of Japan, as well as some small cities. One of my favorite Japanese movies is “Little Forest: Summer/Autumn.” The movie is about a girl living her simple life in the rural countryside in Aomori, and spending most of her time farming and cooking. She decides to move back to the countryside because she is tired of the chaos of the city. I find myself relatable as I grew up in a big city and sometimes just want to experience a different lifestyle – a lifestyle with a slower tempo, as depicted in this movie.
Another Japanese movie I watched recently is “Our Little Sister.” It is another soothing and peaceful story, which is set in the beautiful city of Kamakura, located just outside of Tokyo. This city has become one of the places I want to visit the most in Japan.
There are definitely so many more things that I want to know about Japan. Japan has its own unique traditional culture, which I have a basic understanding of through books and movies. But there are so many more things for me to explore. One other thing I love the most about Japan is how modern it is, while also preserving its traditions perfectly. Also, I love how the lifestyles in urban and rural Japan are so different, but not completely isolated from each other. For example, it takes only a few hours on the train to get to many villages and mountains directly from the buzzing city.
As a photographer and a travel enthusiast, I love being continuously exposed to different cultures. I love meeting new people and learning about their stories. I love experiencing real things that you can’t ever do so through books or on the screen. And I love Japan. That’s why I want to go back and visit.