Where did all the time go? Suddenly the summer is almost over and my second year at university is closing in. Therefore I decided to reflect on my summer and see if I could write something interesting about it.

My summer vacation started in June, which actually is quite long ago. Shortly after my last exam I found myself on a plane, heading to Japan. Before I knew it, I was stepping out of the airplane with my four friends onto the land of the rising sun.

I spent around two weeks in Japan. We started of in Kyoto (with a day trip to Osaka), then we headed to Hirayu Onsen and after that we stayed in Tokyo. I’m not going to get into detail about the different stops and everything we did since that would take forever to write.

Instead I will write about what I reacted on. First of all I was surprised about how different it is. Even though I’ve been to Japan one time before I couldn’t help myself from getting surprised by all the tiny differences. Not only the language differs, but also the culture and the way of everyday life. Although so many things are very different, a lot of things reminds me of Sweden but in a different way.

I was in Japan with the scouts in 2015 when visiting the world scout Jamboree. After that I started watching anime and became interested in Japanese popular culture. So when visiting the country once again, four years later I think I saw it from a different perspective. Going to Akihabara and visiting a maidcafe are things I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed as much if I wouldn’t have had this interest. Walking around in the alleys of Akihabara wouldn’t have been as interesting and I would probably have been the one asking if we could move on from the figurine shops. But because of this interest I was captured by the atmosphere of these places and I just couldn’t stop looking for things that I might recognize.

Another thing that I really enjoyed was the food. After my trip four years ago I’ve been getting interested in Japanese cooking and I’ve tried to replicate it at home. After experimenting at home and reading about it, I was very excited about trying the authentic food in the country itself. It was absolutely fantastic and I’m particularly happy for my mother’s Japanese friend and husband who showed us to the best restaurants in town (according to them). It was really something extraordinary and you could feel the craftsmanship in the dishes. Some of my favorite places must have been the ramen museum, a local sushi restaurant and the traditional food we got at Hirayu Onsen.

Now I think that’s enough for today. Stay tuned for more! ^-^

//AlexA <3

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