Tokyo adventures

We’ve managed to see many different parts of the city so far, which is quite an accomplishment since Tokyo is HUGE. My cousin and her husband live just five minutes from the Shinagawa station, so we have easy access to trains and subways. Rippongi, Harajuku, Ginza, Akihabara…all have very different feels to them. So far, my favorite experience has been the Meiji Jingu shrine: very tranquil, despite its location in a bustling shopping district.


At this time next week…

Tim and I will be in Japan.


And nervous.

I have never travelled overseas before. We’re going to visit my cousin Becky and her husband, Andrew, who have lived in Japan for the last six or seven years. Becky and I are both only children, born just six months apart. We spent loads of time together when we were really little, and she’s the family member I have the closest relationship with aside from my parents. We were raised like sisters up until she moved to Ohio when I was in fifth grade. After that she lived in Florida. And travelled. She’s been all over the place–it’s one of the things I admire about her. If she wanted to go somewhere, she went–no waiting until she had a boyfriend/husband/tons of money/whatever. She just went. So I completely trust her to guide me through my first international adventure.

Tim has also travelled a decent amount. Aside from time in Okinawa when he was little (his dad was stationed there), he’s been to Germany, France, Spain, and Ireland. Between Becky and Tim, I know I’m in good hands.

Why am I nervous? Mostly because I don’t speak or read Japanese. I’m a writer–the ability to use language effectively is part of my core identity. And now I’m going to be illiterate for more than a week. Intimidating. Also–because Becky is petite and classy and has amazing style and I always feel awkward and geeky and unsophisticated next to her. Which is entirely on me, but still. I need to get over it.

But mostly, I’m excited. I can’t wait to see Tokyo and Kyoto. Thousand year old palaces and shrines. Kabuki. The bullet train. Funky things like the ramen museum.  It’s going to be completely different than anything I’ve ever experienced before.