Adventures in Japan | Kizugawa Firework Festival

Kizugawa Firework Festival

After a pretty relaxed week, we headed to the neighboring town of Kizugawa for the Hanabi Taikai (Fireworks Festival.) It's the first festival I've been able to go to since I've been here, so I was really excited when we were asked to help our local bakers to sell cakes from a stall. The cakes were  seriously delicious, it was so hard not to eat them all, haha. 

Everyone was so nice, and a lot of customers wanted to take photos with us, and learn some English words. I felt like a celebrity, some people (mostly little girls) would scream, giggle, and blush when we said hello to them. There are hardly any non-Japanese people in this area, so it was really exciting for them to talk to people from all over the world. A lot of parents would send over their small children to talk to us so they could practice speaking English. It was also really good for me to get to practice my Japanese, which is coming on slowly but surely, haha. 

The fireworks were amazing, it was one of the best displays I've ever seen. They had fireworks blow up in the shape of a cat's face! It was crazy. The festival was so busy and buzzing with people. There were stalls selling every type of food imaginable, some of which I could neither recognize nor pronounce, but it all looked so delicious. 

It was a really long day, and by the end of it I was exhausted, but it was really fun, and I'm so glad I got to meet so many people. Plus, we got free cakes to take home, so all in all it was a pretty great way to spend a weekend. 

Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival
Kizugawa Firework Festival

What's the best festival you've ever been to?

Sending my love from Japan. 
Hope you all have an amazing week.

Share:

Travelling Alone



The idea of travelling by yourself can seem really daunting. Initially, I kept thinking "I wish someone was coming with me." However, when I really thought about it, and put my doubts and fears to one side, I realised that it was actually better for me to go it alone. 

If I had taken someone with me, I wouldn't have experienced it in the same way. When you're alone, doing something scary, or that you've never done before, you learn what you're made of. You learn a lot about yourself when you have no-one else to rely on. If I brought my parents, or my boyfriend, or even a friend, I'd have been in 'daughter' mode, or 'girlfriend' or 'friend' mode. I'd have been able to rely on them, so I wouldn't have been able to learn how much I am actually able to adapt and handle in new or a little scary situations. You can't grow if you don't challenge yourself.

The whole experience of travelling by yourself is amazing. Not only do you get to learn more about yourself, but it's also really freeing to not have to worry about what anyone else wants or needs, you can just focus on yourself. There's a sense of like "Okay, put on your big girl pants and just deal with it" whenever you start to feel scared or overwhelmed. As a solo female traveller, you're aware that you need to have your wits about you at all times, even in extremely safe countries like Japan, you're always wary 'just in case'. On the other hand, there's also a great deal of trust that you need to have in others. On my flights I had lovely conversations with the people sitting next to me, and when we got off the plane, they showed me where I needed to go next. When we were at the station, lost, a man stopped to help us get train tickets, and guided us in the right direction. When you're alone in a totally alien environment, it's good to be able to trust in the kindness of strangers to help you out. 

I am lucky enough not to be completely alone all the time. I'm living with six roommates, and we do quite a lot of stuff together, so I haven't really been lonely. It's good to meet new people when you travel, because it becomes a shared experience, and you can all learn from eachother. 

Don't get me wrong, I miss my friends and family and Scott, but this has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and something I never thought I'd be capable of. To go somewhere you've never been, and live with people you don't know, it gives you the freedom to grow, and become someone you've never had the chance to be.  


Share:

Adventures in Japan - Visiting Nara

Nara

During the week, we're kept pretty busy with work, so we really like to make the most of our weekends off. This weekend we decided to take a wee trip to Nara. It's only a 10/15 minute train journey from the house, so it was too good an opportunity to miss. 

The city of Nara is famous for two things - deers, and the big Buddha. However, the city itself is really beautiful too, with lots of side alleys full of interesting shops and cafes. 

It was very very hot, and having come from the North of Scotland, I'm really not used to this kind of heat and humidity. So it was really nice to reach the deer park and be able to sit under the trees, eat, and relax. Although, you can't eat and relax at the same time, because as soon as the deers see/smell food, they'll come over and basically wrestle it out of your hands or into your bag (deers are strong, yo.)

Seeing the deers was amazing, like nothing I've ever experienced before. They are treated as Gods, and are so used to human contact that they'll just walk right up and headbutt you. They are also very sweet and gentle creatures. Most of the site is full of tourists, desperate to feed and get photos with the deers, but we went off the path a bit, into the woods, and managed to have some lovely moments watching the deers relax and play in the rivers and forests, which was really beautiful. 

We also did the tourist thing, and bought a ticket, then waited in line, to observe the beautiful big Buddha statue. One of the biggest Buddha statues in Japan, it's definitely worth visiting while you're in the city. However, the whole place is packed with tourists so it's best to go earlier rather than later. 

Walking through the city, we stumbled across a couple of ponds, and stopped to watch the koi and turtles swimming around. Before we left we managed to grab some Japanese curry for dinner, and get our photos taken in a Purikura machine (we couldn't resist.)

Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara
Nara

So despite the busyness and heat, it was a really magical experience. I think if you're not afraid to go off the beaten path a little bit, and keep your eyes open for unique places, and new experiences, then you can appreciate the city and all it has to offer, beyond the big tourist sites. Because it truly is spectacular to be so close to nature, and surrounded by so much beauty. 

If you have any suggestions for places to visit, or advice, then let me know.
Hope you all have a great week. 
Share:

An ode to freckles | Loving yourself


I always forget how freckly I get in the summer, freckles popping up all over the place.

I used to hate my freckles so much, I thought they made me ugly. I wanted to bleach my skin because I thought it would get rid of them. I used to try to cover them and hide them with make-up, but they'd always show through, and I hated it. 

As I got older I just realised that the features that you're born with, you are often stuck with, and yes, you can get surgery or specialist treatments to change them, but for most people, they're with you for life. And it's probably true for other people, the same way it was true for me, that the thing I hated and obsessed over, bothered me way more than anyone else. Sometimes people were mean, but more often that not, people didn't care, or didn't even really notice.

Everyone is different, with different features and insecurities. If you chose to embrace the unique part of yourself, and chose to love it instead of hate it, you begin to see yourself as beautiful instead of ugly. 

I love my freckles now, not many people I know have as many freckles as me. A lot of people in my family have freckles, so I feel like my freckles are like my family markings. I enjoy them, and chose to see them as marks of beauty.

My point is, whether you want to look conventionally beautiful, define your own kind of beauty, or reject the concept of beauty all together, I think everyone should just do what makes them feel good and comfortable with themselves. If you can accept and love the thing that makes you different, then no-one can make you feel bad for it. 

Life would be so boring if everyone looked the same. Enjoy and express yourself in the way you look, embrace what you can't change, because the thing that makes you different is the thing that makes you special. 
Share:
© WONDERCHEBS | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Designed by pipdig