Friday, 31 August 2012

Blog To Japan!

Inside Japan and Virgin Atlantic are holding a competition for bloggers to win a trip to Japan.

Here are my 12 reasons for wanting to visit Japan...!

1. Hyper Japan
Back in February this year I travelled down to London to go to Hyper Japan (you can read my blog post about it here!) The experience itself was fantastic. There was so much going on, so many interesting people and so many incredible things to see...
I loved that people at the event had made such an effort with their outfits especially!
It was a fun event and people were so enthusiastic and happy to pose for pictures. It gave me an even greater interest in all things Japanese!

2. Sakura/Cherry Blossom
Cherry blossom is one of my favourite flowers, it's absolutely beautiful! I would love to be able to witness it in Japan.

3. Food & Drink (& Sushi!)
I love food. There I said it. Every meal time, every snack, every drink, without fail, I whip my iphone out and snap a picture of it to share with everyone...
 Another thing that I also love, is sushi! It would be great to finally try "authentic" Japanese sushi! (And possibly visit the Tsukiji Fish Market too!)
I would like to try other Japanese food and drink. Whilst visiting Hyper Japan in February I partook in a basic sake knowledge workshop. It was really interesting and I'm keen to try more!
I've heard a lot about RockRock in Osaka from my American friends too, so maybe a trip there would be on the cards!

4. Art
Japanese art is something I have a real interest in. From Origami through to Calligraphy, I find it fascinating and beautiful...
I could have spent hours watching the various workshops which took place while I was at Hyper Japan!
The calligraphy looks so striking.
Japanese artwork has also inspired some of my own tattoos! Perhaps I could add to my collection...
5. Mount Fiji
I don't think I really need to explain this but it is one of the most stunning things I have seen!

6. Bullet Train
Another thing that doesn't really need any introduction but looks absolutely breathtaking!

7. Hello Kitty
I think it's safe to say that I am a little bit of a Hello Kitty fan!
I don't think I would be able to visit Japan without experiencing Sanrio Puroland (aka Hello Kitty Land!!)

8. Culture Shock
I think that the thing I enjoy about travelling somewhere new is how different places can be. I don't really like going on holiday to somewhere that is exactly the same as home. I like to go somewhere that is going to be a totally new experience.

From what I have gathered from people I know who have already visited Japan, is that it is a total culture shock to them and I think that is something that draws me to the country!

A few years ago I had a job looking after students who attended the summer language schools held at Sheffield Hallam University. Many of the students attending the courses were from the Meikai University in Japan.
They were some of the friendliest, brightest, most courteous and polite people I have ever met. I would love to have the chance to catch up with some of them that I have kept in contact with!
I feel that although the country could be a culture shock, the Japanese people I have met have all been so friendly that it wouldn't matter!

9. "Crazy" Things...!
I couldn't come up with a better way to describe this reason, but it covers a number of things!

I'd love to experience some of the more "crazy" things that Japan has on offer! From buying oddities from vending machines, getting photos in a fun purikura photobooth, trying the different flavours of Kit Kats available (I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to try the Wasabi variety though!) through to visiting a themed cafe or bar - I'm thinking the ninja restaurant sounds pretty awesome!! :)

10. Toyama Bay
A few months ago I saw in the news an article about the firefly squid which live in Toyama Bay illuminating the beach. I thought this looked absolutely phenomenal!

11. Shopping
I'm not entirely sure how much self control I would have if I was let loose in Japan to go shopping!
I am a lover of all things cute, tiny things, kawaii, things with little faces on, food characters, Pocky Sticks, brightly coloured sweets, stickers, gadgets and little nick knacks! At the moment I am limited to shopping on the Internet (Tofu Cute is a favourite website of mine for goodies!) but would love to have the chance to see what Japan itself has on offer!

12. Kimble Matthews & Masako Nishiguchi
Finally, I would love to take my Mum on the trip with me. I will let her explain why:

"In August 1985 I was planning to make a trip to Japan to attend the wedding of my friend Kim and Mako, his Japanese fiancĂ©e the following year.
They had a party in England just before they left to fly back to Japan and all the talk was about what we were going to do for a ‘party piece’ at the wedding, Kim explained that it was traditional for all the guests to perform in some way, we were all very excited at the prospect of this.
Two days later came the news of a plane crash on the flight from Tokyo to Osaka, they were both aboard that plane and died together on the mountainside.
I never made the trip to Japan, it is something that has always been in the back of my mind that I will do one day and visit the memorial, the opportunity has never arisen until now, maybe."

I think that if I was chosen for the trip, I would use the opportunity to do and see as much as physically possible and share my experience with everyone! :)

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