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MY FAVOURITE TRAVEL MEMORY

IKEBUKURO, TOKYO, JAPAN

22nd March 2016

This morning is one that will stick out in my memory forever, I made a full post featuring pictures of Ikebukuro in a post around a year ago, you can find that here.

In the evening of the 21st I found out I wouldn’t be able to interview for my dream graduate job. I’d been shortlisted, but the interview took place whilst I was still in Japan as at this point I still had almost 3 weeks left in the country. I was pretty much told to not bother contacting them anymore as if I wasn’t in the UK at the time of interview, I was out. This was the first of MANY rejections I received when searching for a grad job, I got used to it pretty quickly, but this one stung.

I was good enough for interview. For an amazing position. But because I was completing one dream (travelling around Japan) I couldn’t access another (working in creative media in London). That night I drank whiskey, ate Japanese candy and sat in the Airbnb in Shibuya with Fae as we watched crappy anime and laughed about life.

The next morning I decided to treat myself to a really fucking expensive figurine I’d seen the day before. Back in my anime figure collecting days I had always wanted this figure, but it was super exclusive and super hard to get. To please 16 year old me I ventured out to go drop extortionate amounts of Yen on this thing which now sits on a shelf in my bedroom in my parent’s house 250 miles away from where I now live. Fae wasn’t feeling too good, so she rested whilst I went on an early morning romp around Tokyo.

We had only been in Tokyo a couple of days, and I’m sure anyone who’s been will tell you the culture shock you feel when you arrive. I’d never experienced standing out of a crowd so much, being a ginger white man who is taller than everyone somehow made me a target for everyone’s eyes at all times. I was asked for a photo one time, but that’s a different story.

I ventured on my own across the city, it was such a liberating experience. Japan was, and still is, the furthest I have travelled from home. To be alone in the middle of a city I had dreamed of visiting for about 15 years was an incredible experience. I stood in Ikebukuro and soaked it all in. Since watching Durarara! in 2010, I had been desperate to visit Ikebukuro, and then there I stood. All alone.

It turned out the store I wanted to go to opened at 10am, not 9 like I thought. I explored the streets, the rooftops, the gardens. I went everywhere in the area. A year on and I can still remember the routes of Ikebukuro perfectly, I know them better than I know many streets of London.

For as long as I remember I have yearned to see the world. It was a passive dream for a long time, I made no active moves to make it happen. Now I try to travel as much as I can. I’m pretty harsh on myself, if I’m not doing better than 100% I feel like a failure, it’s stupid and unhealthy and I’m working on it. But in that moment I felt like I had hit my peak, stood all alone in the middle of one of the world’s biggest and most famous city, the place I wanted to visit more than any other place on Earth.

I have so many incredible travel memories, however this moment feels like one of those turning points in my life, as cheesy as it is to say, it feels like that moment made me realise that I can achieve and accomplish anything I put my mind to.

0 In travel/ Uncategorized

TRAVEL MASTERPOST

Here’s a complete list of every post on places I’ve visited around the world:

B U D A P E S T // H U N G A R Y

PART 1

PART 2

PART 3

T O K Y O // J A P A N

Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo

Yoyogi Park

Ikebukuro

Shibuya

Meiji Jingu

Tokyo Disney Sea- Part 1

Tokyo Disney Sea- Part 2

Tokyo Disney Sea- Part 3

ARTNIA Cafe

Tokyo Tower

Capcom Bar

Odaiba

Free! Cafe

The Imperial Palace

Intro to Asakusa and Conveyor Belt Sushi

Ueno Park, Harajuku’s Owl Cafe and Shibuya’s Movie Bar

Tokyo Skytree

O S A K A // J A P A N

Osaka Castle

Kaiyukan Aquarium

Dotonburi

K Y O T O // J A P A N

Cloudy Afternoon in Kyoto

Arashiyama

Kinkaku-Ji

Fushimi Inari Shrine

H I R O S H I M A // J A P A N 

Hiroshima – Peace Park, Memorials and Museums

Miyajima Part 1

Miyajima Part 2

O S L O // N O R W A Y

Oslo Part 1

Oslo Part 2:The Royal Palace and Vigeland Park

Oslo Part 3: Holmenkollen

Oslo Part 4: Bygdoy Peninsula

Oslo Part 5: Akershus Castle + Fortress

Oslo Part 6: Oslo Opera House

S T O C K H O L M // S W E D E N

KOH PHANGAN – STOCKHOLM’S GLOW IN THE DARK THAI RESTAURANT

THE ROAD TO GAMLA STAN – STOCKHOLM’S OLD TOWN

GAMLA STAN – STOCKHOLM’S OLD TOWN

MUSEUM OF MEDIEVAL STOCKHOLM // SNOW COVERED TREKS

ICE BAR + AIFUR VIKING RESTAURANT


L I V E R P O O L // U N I T E D  K I N G D O M

ExDirectory | Liverpool’s Secret Bar

Docks by night

OH ME OH MY // GOODNESS GRACIOUS

Staycation #1

Staycation #2

Staycation #3

Yard Bird

The Liverpool Guide: Views

L O N D O N // U N I T E D  K I N G D O M

Best Ramen in London

Crosstown Doughnuts

24 hours a Londoner

A Week a Londoner

A Month a Londoner

2 Months a Londoner

6 Months a Londoner

20 Fenchurch Street’s Sky Garden

Greenwich Park + the Royal Observatory

Christmas in London

London

P A R I S // F R A N C E

Paris

M I L A N // I T A L Y

DUOMO DI MILANO – PART 1

DUOMO DI MILANO – PART 2

NAVIGLI CANALS

TERAZZA APEROL

BAR LUCE

L A K E  C O M O // I T A L Y

COMO

T H E  E D E N  P R O J E C T / / U N I T E D  K I N G D O M

THE EDEN PROJECT, ST AUSTELL

S K E L L I G  M I C H A E L / / R E P U B L I C   O F   I R E L A N D

Real Life Star Wars – Skellig Michael, Ireland

H E L S I N K I  / / F I N L A N D

72 Hours in Helsinki, Finland

T A L L I N N / / E S T O N I A

Exploring an Abandoned Olympic Stadium in Tallinn, Estonia

Tallin’s Fairytale Old Town

How to Spend a Day in Alternative Tallinn, Estonia

R I G A / / L A T V I A

What to do in Riga, Latvia

S I A U L I A I / / L I T H U A N I A

The Hill of Crosses, Lithuania

V I L N I U S / / L I T H U A N I A

Snapshots of Vilnius, Lithuania

V E R O N A / / I T A L Y

7 Things to do in Verona, Italy 

E D I N B U R G H / / S C O T L A N D

11 Things to do in Edinburgh, Scotland

N E R J A / / S P A I N

Nerja, Spain

L I S B O N / / P O R T U G A L

LX Factory: Lisbon’s Alternative Tourist Scene

Lisbon’s Top Street Art

Three of the Best Views in Lisbon

L I M A / / P E R U

Lima, Peru. What To Do in 48 Hours

N A Z C A / / P E R U

Nazca, Peru. You have to fly over the Nazca Lines

Coming when I get my shit together….

A R E Q U I P  A / / P E R U

C U S C O / / P E R U

M A C H U  P I C C H U / / P E R U

L O S  A N G E L E S / / C A L I F O R N I A

S A N  F R A N C I S C O / / C A L I F O R N I A

L A S  V E G A S / / N E V A D A

T H E  G R A N D  C A N Y O N / / A R I Z O N A

P O R T L A N D / / O R E G O N

S E A T T L E / / W A S H I N G T O N

P R A G U E / / C Z E C H  R E P U B L I C

1 In travel/ Uncategorized

Ueno Park, Harajuku’s Owl Cafe and Shibuya’s Movie Bar

Back in Tokyo, and after 26 posts, we are nearing the end of these finally!

On one of my final days I met up with my friend Eggy, we’ve known each other on Twitter for a really long time, so it was amazing to finally meet her! She came all the way down from Sendai, because she’s the true MVP! I also met Eggy’s friend Ayu, who was really lovely also!

I passed this shrine whilst on my way to meet Eggy in Shinjuku, I’m just throwing it in here as all torii gates are pretty.

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