Well hi it has been a very long time since anything has been posted on here! Once a place to share my design portfolio, this blog will now be the place I share stories from my travels in Japan.
Although it has been in the back of my mind for a while, I have kind of been putting off doing a blog, because 1) does anyone actually read blogs these days??? (time will tell I suppose) and 2) I want to keep my travels as authentic and pressure-free as possible, without thinking about any form of “work”. However I have been writing almost everyday for a couple of years now for nothing more than personal enjoyment, including while on this trip trying to capture and express my feelings while on this journey as much as I can. After posting one of my stories on facebook, people were showing interest, resulting in this blog being rekindled (so you only have yourselves to blame for this!)
Ok so a very quick summary of my time in Japan so far…
- I arrived in Japan in September last year (pre-corona days) with absolutely no plan, a working holiday visa valid for one year and a hunger to learn about the Japanese way of life.
- I spent one week in crazy Tokyo taking in the sights and eating my way round with my good friend Cory.
- I then took the ferry to Hokkaido, Japan’s most northern island, cause I heard they get pretty good snow in winter for some snowboarding
- I worked for around a month in a guesthouse in Niseko through WorkAway (if you want to travel long term and are unfamiliar with WorkAway I absolutely recommend checking it out)
- I then met the wonderful Ioanna Morelli who gave me a job in the most incredible whisky and cocktail bar, Bar Gyu+ (my job interview consisted of dinner in a sushi restaurant, so I knew right away I was in for a cool job). I spent around 6 months working there with the best team, getting to snowboard just about everyday. I lived with the other seasonal staff who were just the most amazing housemates ever.
- After winter, I moved on to Lake Toya were I spent around 2 months in the most insane Lakehouse with my friend Dan and owners Jonny and Ayuko and their beautiful baby Jemma. They welcomed me like family and we worked on jobs around the house and garden, and had private access to the Lake with all the toys we could ever want. SUP’s, canoes, go-karts, pocket bikes, tractors, you name it.
- Then 3 weeks ago, after Japan lifting their coronavirus state of emergency allowing domestic travel once again, I set off on my bike, again without much of a plan and not much of a clue about bike touring. I’ve had an unforgettable few weeks exploring the country and meeting locals and having a crash course in bike touring, all while trying to adhere to local coronavirus protocols.
- Currently I am in Nagoya, in Aichi prefecture. I have cycled around 1,120km (about the same as cycling from the north to the south of Scotland 2 and a half times!) from Lake Toya in Hokkaido, to Sendai. From Sendai I took the ferry to Nagoya and tomorrow I plan to head west to Lake Biwa in Shiga prefecture.
This blog is very much going to be a work in progress and I will be learning as I go (much the same as my bike trip), but the reasons behind it are simple. I have met so many incredible people and started to collect some stories along the way. I want a platform to record and share these, all with the hope of spreading some positivity and goodwill. I love to meet and connect with people and hope that this blog will help to promote that further.
My only rule is that I don’t want this blog to take over my time and energy so that I can continue focusing on enjoying this once in a lifetime trip. That means there won’t be much of a plan for it (do you see a bit of a theme to my life here…?) and let’s just see what happens. But you can expect tales of adventures, people, food, cycling and Japanese culture.
If you made it this far, thank you and I hope you will enjoy reading some more in the future. I would love to hear feedback from you too.
Until my next post,
Allana ! 🙂