Leaving Nagasaki was really hard for me. I cried multiple times the night before while doing last minute packing, and couldn’t accept it. Honestly, it was one of the hardest things I had done in quite a long time. I remember I was standing in the middle of my room, holding clothes to be put away, when I just burst into tears for the third time that night.
The next morning, I mailed out more things, and my host mum drove me to the airport. We arrived early, and hung out with Alyssa’s host mum and host sister. I cried a lot at the airport too. Overall, I’m just a big ball of tears. Thankfully, at the end when we really had to say our goodbyes, we said ‘See you later’ instead of goodbye. I’m happy that our host parents believe that we’ll be back soon… and we will be! I have nothing but fond memories in Nagasaki, and headed out to Kyoto and Tokyo knowing that they would be places of wonder and excitement, but also knowing that they would never be able to replace Nagasaki in my heart.
Our first stop was Kyoto! We stayed at an Airbnb, and our host was this really nice lady named Rumi. We spent Christmas day shrine hopping, visiting Shimogamo, Yasaka and Fushimi Inari shrine!
We actually ended up visiting Fushimi Inari a total of three times during our stay in Kyoto since we kept arriving a bit towards sunset and couldn’t manage to get any nice photos…
We also went to Nara to feed deer! They’re quite frightening…
On our last day, we went to Mt. Kurama to enjoy the onsen there! There was also a temple there.
In Tokyo we went to a whole bunch of places like Shinjuku, Shibuya, Odaiba, and Akihabara! We did meet with quite a few friends here, some of them who are currently studying abroad at Meiji University! I want to go there next year, so they gave me some helpful tips…
I ended up buying a new scarf here for $15!! It’s super wide and warm and cozy~
Shibuya was high on my priority list because one of my favorite games takes place here. A friend of mine who studied abroad and visited Shibuya last year said the game’s map of Shibuya is highly accurate!! There’s a mural in the game that she found in real life but I didn’t find it… I did find this though!
(When we had trouble finding Hachiko my friend told me “Quick! Which direction did you go from here in the game?” Sadly it’s been years since I’ve played it… but there were only two directions you could choose from in the game and I ended up choosing the wrong way in real life…)
We also went to Meiji shrine to pray! We decided to go New Years Eve even though you’re supposed to go on New Years…
We also visited Harajuku! We came back at a later date and got crepes… I got one with Matcha ice cream and CHEESECAKE. It was the best thing on Earth.
I don’t like Gundams but I also visited the Gundam cafe for a friend! (We later found two more… one in Tokyo station and one in Odaiba behind the giant Gundam!)
It’s just a small glimpse of what I did…!
We really did cram quite a bit in during our last weeks here in Japan. It’s tough to say goodbye, but I’ll be back someday soon!