An Englishman in Japan
When I decided to leave the U.K., it was for a number of reasons. I was tired of the cold, wet climate and inconsistent temperatures (seriously, you can go from a nice, warm albeit brief summer to arctic conditions in the space of a few days). I also had nothing much of a career for myself. I had trained as a carpenter after high school as I had no clue what I wanted to do but I always knew my heart lay elsewhere. Finally, like many people I’d heard just about enough of the whole Brexit debacle. I wanted to go far away, somewhere completely different to England and start over new.
As a child I had a huge interest in Japanese video games and anime and like many western children of my generation (I grew up in the 90s), my first introduction to Japanese culture was through Pokémon and Super Mario. It was always in the back of my mind somewhat but I decided finally to look into the possibility of working there.
Leaving rainy Blighty behind.
Fast forward a few years to March 2019. I’m ready to leave my friends and family behind and start my new life thousands of miles away in an unfamiliar land. For many people leaving home and moving abroad there comes with it some uncertainties but for me I had never been more certain about anything in my life. I’ve been here for eighteen months now and I can honestly say I haven’t felt homesick at all. The U.K has its advantages for many people I’m sure but after thirty years there was nothing left to offer me. Aside from not been able to spend time with my family the only thing I even remotely miss is a good cup of Yorkshire tea (but there are ways around this).
I live in Kyoto and in my opinion it’s the perfect place to be. Kyoto embodies everything I love about Japan,
culture, scenery, food and history, it really is the most amazing place and I still find something new to smile about every day. I have also drawn a fair few comparisons between Kyoto and British culture which I will delve into in future blogs. For now though, as I sit here writing this, we are still in the COVID-19 era and there is still uncertainty when travel here will be possible. Whenever that day may be however, I urge all of you reading this to consider not only Japan, but Kyoto to be your first travel destination once the world is back to normal. I guarantee you will not be disappointed; in fact, I would stake my entire livelihood on it. Stay safe everybody and I look forward to sharing my experiences in Kyoto with all of you.
The beautiful, centuries old streets of Kiyomizu Dera and the famous Koyasu pagoda,