Japan Trip and Experience
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been travelling. It’s pretty safe for me to say that I’ve been around the world more than 25 times now. Well, maybe more like 20, but you get the point. Being born in America, flying back to China at the age of 3 months. Then constantly back and forth until age 9, when I moved back to America to study. Even then, every summer and occasionally winter I still fly back. This isn’t even counting the other places like Europe and Malaysia. So to me, traveling was pretty meh. I didn’t grow up with the feeling of wanting to travel/explore new places, cause I already knew so many different cultures. Last year, summer of 2016, I went on a small week trip to Japan, with my sister. Now in my mind, I would’ve rather just stayed at home and just do whatever I wanted to do: playing games, watching youtube, and eating. But my sister wanted to go with me and she was about to move back to China so I wanted to spend time with her. It was on that trip I realized how much there really was for me to explore in the world.
And thus my journey in Tokyo began. Of course, there were things I wanted to do, places I wanted to go, and things I wanted to eat. In my mind, I thought the trip was going to be a bit boring.
“Once I do all the things I’ve wanted to do, I’ll just stay in the hotel room and do whatever.”
Or so Vincent thought…
First day, we arrive at noon. After dropping off the luggage at the hotel, we decided to familiarize ourselves with the neighborhood. My sister wanted to immediately try sushi, what an amateur. But so was I, so we went to eat sushi. I’ve had no cultural knowledge of Japan back then, all I knew was some sayings/words from anime and some foods that they sell around the world. We entered the sushi bar and were greeted by a woman wearing a yukata. She brings us into the restaurant and we sit down. The chefs introduce themselves, or I think they did, like I said I just knew a couple of words. The way you order was very different. They gave us a menu, and we told the chefs what we would want, the chefs would make the sushi right in front of us and place it on a banana leaf in front of us. We ate a lot of sushi that day, and it was also the same day I swore to never eat sushi out of Japan again. The sushi was next level. I’m not going to bother explaining how good it was because it would only torment you guys.
Now it was about 4 pm and we continue to explore the neighborhood.
“Whoa look at that building!” “There’s a 7/11 here?” “Whats a kappa festival?” “Look, a ramen place!”
Everything was new to me. I didn’t know anything about this place. The only thing I knew was the vending machines and what drinks are in them. I barely spoke Japanese and couldn’t read it at all. My instincts told me this was unknown territory, but instead of being nervous, I was very interested. My plans of just staying in the hotel went down the drain. I went out every day, except the last day cause my feet hurt. I explored many temples, many cities, many restaurants, and even more restaurants. Japanese food is amazing. Every night, my sister and I would walk to the nearby familymart and buy different snacks to try. We brought a lot of snacks back to China. One of my sister’s friends actually brought us around and we ate okonomiyaki, which was kind of like a Japanese pizza, but way better. Sorry, just my Asian tastebuds, more advanced.
That week was a completely new experience to me. Ever since then I’ve been wanting to go back to Japan because of what how it made me felt.
The second trip for me is going to be one of my most memorable. Going around in Japan by myself, a passport, a backpack, a phone, and some cash. I was a complete stranger, but that was what made it so memorable. Everyday I went to a different city to explore their streets, buildings, culture, and of course food. It’s so amusing how different cities that are literally right next to each other can be so different. One minute you’re walking on a street with temples and shrines, the next you’re in front of the Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest tower.
Also playing many many many arcade and cranes games that are only in Japan AND not rigged.
I am really grateful for the first trip to Japan last summer, because it really opened my eyes and made me realize that there are millions of different things I don’t know about, and even more that I want to dive into. I feel more mature in a way such that I’m not constantly playing video games because I’m bored, I’m gaining more hobbies and going to different places with friends. Maybe I’ll go to Korea or Taiwan next time, they also have really good food there..
Well, perhaps I still need to mature more…
Jokes aside, Japan’s been a great trip, next time I probably will come with some friends because there were alot of different activities that would’ve been more fun with people.
“Vincent, how do you say delicious in Japanese?” “OISHIIIIII!!!” ~Evann
I’ve always wanted to write some small blogs like this and share my experience with people, but I am also a extremely lazy person. It’s thanks with a buddy of mine that I met at NYU Shang Hai, Joshua Mao, that I actually began to start writing these. His own blogs make me smile and I wanted to do the same, bring a smile to others. Of course my writing isn’t the best, ask my english teachers Mrs. Powell and Dr. H about it, but I enjoy it nonetheless. Feel free to criticize me!
Read writing from Maoshmellow on Medium. UC Berkeley '21 | Avid Writer | Artist | The Creative Cafe | - - - - . I write…medium.com
Check him out, and make sure to read his story about foosball, I was part of his team ✌️