Welcome to the first Japan post!!! I have been eagerly waiting on this film over the weekend, and I am so pleased with how they have all turned out. The posts are going to be split into three sections; this first one, which is the photos I took in Tokyo. On a mix of my Mamiya 7 and Contax G2. For your reference, the ones on my Mamiya are the ones in the ratio of the photos above and below this text. The detail on them is incredible if you zoom in! The second post will be sharing photos taken outside of the city, and the final one will be a very practical guide. I don't want that to be too photo heavy so that you could load it easily when you're away. I hope you enjoy them, these photos are some of my favourite I have ever taken and I have spent hours editing them as carefully as possible!
Taking this trip is one of the best things I have ever done. I wasn’t nervous in the slightest before I went away, and on the flight it did occur to me that I was maybe being very naive in my lack of worry. But, I think it was an intuitive thing, that I just knew it was going to be amazing and I would be fine. The only words of wisdom I can offer in regards to travelling alone are; be realistic at how happy you are in your own company, and prepare to surprise yourself. I love my own company and can spend quite a decent amount of time on my own, but even so, I was amazed at how much I enjoyed being on my own on this trip. After a full weekend at home on my own in London, I will start to itch for some company, but that moment never came on this trip. I felt so stimulated by my surroundings the whole time, and had the constant feeling that there was so much more I wanted to do and see, I didn’t even stop and think to consider how the experience might have been with someone else there. It felt like something so singular to me, stopping to stop where I wanted, when I wanted, returning to the same places as many times as I wished, spending as much time perfecting the photos I wanted to take - this total selfish independence, combined with being so far out of my comfort zone, was very empowering and liberating.
I think Japan was the perfect place for my first solo travel experience to somewhere that isn’t English speaking (previously I have only been to America on my own before, and I have also always known people at the other end). I didn’t have a moment of feeling unsafe. I walked so much, even at night, without a worry or a second of feeling intimidated by anything. The Japanese are so eager to help in whatever way they can, it’s such a beautiful culture, that even the language barrier was relatively manageable to navigate. It was a culture shock, for sure, but not to the point where I ever felt out of my depth or like I couldn’t get by. This made it the perfect balance between being a totally new experience that I wanted to immerse myself in, and one that didn’t feel too intimidating to be tackling on my own.
All in all, I am so glad I took this trip. It has felt like the perfect way to end the year, and I know it will be the first of many trips I take on my own, and I hope it can inspire some of you to also take a trip somewhere new on your own. Looking at these photos fills me with so many different emotions, firstly that I miss it there so much already. Secondly, so excited, the same feeling I had stepping off the flight! Those of you who watched my vlogs will know I was a little under the weather while I was there, which was the only drawback of the trip, and I was worried it was making my head foggy. But looking at these photos helps me remember everything so sharply - who and what was in my mind at each moment, how I was feeling (all good things, thankfully).