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Issel

Sayōnara 2017, Kon’nichiwa 2018!

Another year has ended again. Time passed by quickly without me paying too much attention to it. And while I was contemplating on what to write, I was suddenly reminded of the things I had done last year. They were so many in fact but I thought of writing down those that were deeply etched from my memory. What were they exactly? Read on to find out.

Traveling around Japan (for the most part) e.g Nagano and Hakone

Now I gotta say, out of all the sightseeing we did last year, these were my personal favorites. We went to Nagano for a team building activity and in Hakone to well, basically feel like tourists. I mentioned “favorites” because these places were away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo plus, the scenery was totally worth the traveling time and effort (and money).    Team building (Nagano)   

    In Owakudani (Hakone)

Spending the holidays with colleagues and friends

This is definitely a first for me! I’ve always spent Christmas and New Year with my family back home so celebrating the holidays in Japan was quite different and should I say, unusual? Japan had a slightly toned down way of merrymaking, while for us? Well, we were our usual selves with or without any occasion- NOISY.

       Christmas dinner   

   New Year Gathering

Getting the Geisha feels

I love how I kicked off this year by experiencing two of Japan’s oldest traditions: Wearing the kimono and watching Sumo.

Now, for those of you who secretly love attention (like I do), watching a Sumo match while wearing the kimono is definitely a good way to go. Japanese people really appreciate foreigners wearing their traditional clothes and when I mean appreciate, I mean eyeing you from heat to foot in a non- condescending way of course and taking pictures with you. (*Reminisces the experience from memory)

    Senso- ji Temple (Asakusa) 

   Ryogoku Sumo Hall

Seeing snow for the first time

Another check from my bucket list. If there was one thing that made me look forward to winter, it would be the snow. If you’ve lived all your life in a tropical country, this would be impossible. Thus, seeing snow in a foreign land is let’s just say a VERY RARE opportunity (at least for me). It was colder but absolutely breathtaking.

       

Katsushika neighborhood

The year 2017 gave me nothing but pleasant experiences filled with the good old times and new learnings. I don’t know what is in store for me this year but I’ll give it a prelude to the quote: “Life is an open book of blank pages, we write the stories as we go”