I’ve always been fascinated with the country ever since I was a little kid. I grew up watching Japanese animation, from Voltes V and Daimos to Ranma ni buno ichi (Ranma 1/2). My mom also went to Japan for post-graduate short courses so she brought home toys, clothes and stories from the country that was so alien and yet intriguing.
Then I fell in love with Japanese anime. I binge-watched Fushigi Yuugi, Rurouni Kenshin (all episodes and arcs, including the OAVs), Ghost In the Shell, and a lot more. I am still in love with Studio Ghibli. My favorite movies are still Spirited Away (Chihiro no Sen) and Love Letter (live action) by Shunji Iawai. I picked up a few Nihongo phrases and sentences along the way.
So in 2009, I went with my bestfriend to Kyoto and Nara and stayed there for eight days. Which weren’t enough. I vowed I will come back.
Then I got hooked on Your Name (Kimi No Na Wa) by Makoto Shinkai. I was a goner.
So I came back on 3 May for some work-related stuff (during the Golden Week!!!) but this time alone in Tokyo. I was there for 11 days, which I still find were not enough. I was so bitin. I think I will never get enough of it.
I spent the first 6 days in Yokohama, working like crazy and it was only on my last day I was able to see more of the city on the edge of the Pacific before I headed back to central Tokyo.
So on my first day, after the 1.5 hrs drive from Haneda Airport, I searched for the train station that would take me to the nearest stop to the conference venue. Of course, being me, I got lost. Walked around for 2 hours. I found myself in Yokohama’s Chinatown.
The street food was yummy, by the way.
And I witnessed a Dragon dance. Which was weird. Dragon Dance during the Golden Week.
After an hour or so, I finally found the conference center. Hooray. So in the next four days the only scenery I would see is this.