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…

Kyoto-Bound

Some years back, I wrote this for someone I used to cherish. We both dreamt of moving to Japan one day, so we kept each other motivated, and this was how I went about it. Over time, people change, and perhaps my writing has, too. But, the same wistful desire remains.   She was nervous….

Lines of Jukai

Many tourists have their eyes set on Mount Fuji the moment they step off the plane, and why not? After all, at nearly 4000 metres, it is Japan’s highest mountain, inspiring great pieces of art like ukiyo-e artist Hosukai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa”. Yet, behind every beauty lies a beast. In that same vein, beneath…