I just got back from Japan yesterday so I will post a few pictures as I know some of you have been following my advantures. Altogether I took over 1700 pictures, yikes.
What a trip. I can honestly say it's changed my life and me. Not even in terms of my love for manga. I fell in love with the culture, the people and the country as a whole. To many Japan is only about manga and anime. And that's okay, it used to be for me as well a few years back. Maybe if I focused my trip on popculture it would be different, but I didn't really come across M&A much during my time there. I did go to a few toy stores and bookshops, but focused on getting the "feel" of the place and historical/cultural sights.
Japan somehow managed to be everything I imagine and then some... and at the same time it was completely different. I don't think I have ever felt such a huge sense of belonging as I did there. Which is ironic because sadly a gaijin can never truly belong to a Japanese society. Maybe a better word instead of belonging would be "longing" - it's been my dream to visit Japan for over 12 years, over half of my life.
It's funny how dreams and desires work. Once I arrived I thought my heart was going to explode (both literally and figuratively). My dream came true so what's there to not be ecstatic about? But then 2 weeks went in a blink of an eye and suddenly I was on a plane back. And instead of being happy that my dream came true I was crying my eyes while landing in Paris and waiting for my connection. Or I'm just a huge cry baby. Or a bit of both.
I am sure I will live there one day, if not in Japan then somewhere in Asia. One of my dreams came true, even if I had to wait 12 years for it. With enough patience, this one will as well.