Finding Your Feet in Kofu (Unitas Student)

I have to admit, I was heavily aided in my preparation to live in Japan (shoutout to my school’s coordinators, James-san and Hide-san for letting me harass them to no end about the various nitty gritties that I was quite unnecessarily bothered by on hindsight). Yet, there are some aspects to living in Japan, or…

Kofu, Week 2 — The Sleepy City

Kofu is the capital city of Yamanashi Prefecture and home to some 200,000 residents, and the cityscape from afar seems to suggest that it is a pretty bustling place to be, with buildings sprawled from one end of the city to the other. Yet, my increasingly distant walks paint a different picture — one of…

Kofu, Week 1 — New Beginnings

Before I left Singapore for Japan, I told anyone who had to put up with my annoyingly incessant conversations about the latter that I was looking forward to the many challenges that would invariably fall my way as I navigate foreign lands on my own. Hoo boy, did I get one the moment I stepped…

Nomadic Affair — Chapter II

I was debating for a bit, if I should be publishing this, mostly because I didn’t want to overly dramatise moving abroad, and partly because I didn’t want to jinx what could possibly by the biggest life decision I’ve made in my entire life, all 30 years of it. As I write this, less than…

Pursuing the Autumn Dusk: A Photo Essay

Highway after highway, the bus carrying several passengers, including myself, strode effortlessly along. I remember looking out of the window, watching neat rows of houses pass me by. “I wonder how life is like in those neighbourhoods,” I would muse over and over. Eventually, the houses disappeared, and we crossed over a deep gorge —…

Directionless in Tokyo

On 28 October, 2018, together with my parents, I embarked on what was my first ever trip to Japan. Although it was meant to be a family vacation, it was also an opportunity for me to ascertain for myself if Japan really is how I had made it out to be. You see, for the…

Playing Marco Polo: Reliving the Silk Road

The searching light shone upon the world by great explorers of the Middle Ages begins to flicker, and for millennials, few of their names bear any significance at all. Interestingly however, prominent figures like Ibn Battuta and Marco Polo appear vaguely stored in our memories, perhaps from the odd atlas book we had skimmed through…

Chilled Spring — Searching Switzerland

As I began to write this, I realised that most of our time in Switzerland was spent either lounging away in our rented apartment in Zermatt, or commuting between cities. Zermatt, the southernmost alpine town that lies right next to the mountainous shared border with Italy, is at least an hour’s journey by train to…

Chilled Spring — Amsterdam [2/2]

It seemed that no matter where we went, a drizzle was never too far away; a stop-start affair that graced the Nederlands with a strange, dull allure. We needed the sun, but in those few days, we felt like it did not belong. Nevertheless, spring marks the start of tulip season, the very reason we…

Chilled Spring — Amsterdam [1/2]

5 Days in Barcelona had come and gone. The sun was still shining down on El Prat Airport as our plane took off, north-bound, for Amsterdam, the Dutch capital with its fair share of stories that never fail to fascinate me. As someone who has lived in Singapore all his life, these tales are all…