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Published: June 18th 2015
Well this year has been interesting. It has almost been 3 months since I went on my first journey to Japan, my first time going on a flight alone. I cannot believe it has been so long since updating this site but I was struck with such heartbreak and depression since which is to be expected I suppose- but the trip was more than perfect and it was all thanks to my amazing boyfriend and his kind family. Finally, today I feel it is the right time to record my incredible experience.
I departed on March 21st as promised many months prior to it, I saved over £1,500 from my job in Wales and at Harry Ramsden's. The tickets were just over £500 from Finnair, an amazing airline which Virgin could weep at for the value for money. Dad saw me off at Heathrow early morning, the moment I got to departures I was suddenly very frightened as he turned to walk away- I ad no idea where to go or what I was doing, I had a thousand pounds worth or yen in my pocket and tickets I looked at every 5 minutes to make sure I got the
right, time and airport. It soon occurred to me what I was doing was very stupid and potentially dangerous- travelling to a foreign country to meet a boy I met on the internet alone, I had to trust my gut completely on this one and I'm glad I went ahead.
However, it went very smoothly. The staff were very kind to me and understanding about my nut allergy which was my main concern. There was a 5 hour stop at Finland which was very dull, I had a burger and sat around once again repeatedly checking I got the right gate. Later on my boyfriend returned from school and we could Skype, he kept me company for the last few hours and played the guitar to keep me from panicking, we were both really nervous. I really wanted this 10 hour flight to get over as soon as possible.
Once again, I boarded the flight and had a pleasant journey. I met a kind lady from the flight before, she was Japanese who lived in Canary Warf- she was visiting family. She was incredibly friendly and we chatted for a while and exchanged contact details.
kind enough to see me off the flight at Kansai International Airport. We picked up our bags and just a few seconds later, there he was.
Standing right in front of me, I couldn't believe it was actually Nobuyoshi. This was the second time we would meet, but just like the last time we instantly had a connection, we had the biggest hug I have had in years. Finally there was no distance between us, he had strong arms and thick hair and he was just so happy to see me. I can't remember the last time someone was so happy to see me.
It was a long train ride from the airport to Osaka, we held hands and watched Japan fly by us on the train-- this was going to be the week we would do everything we fantasised for 8 months.
We first went to Tennoji to meet his mother, I recognised her in the bustling crowd, throughout the whole week she was so kind to me. I landed at 10am and by the time we met up with her it was time for lunch, so we had our first meal together at a restaurant
in a shopping mall by the train station. I have never seen a train station so huge and luxurious- the idea of shopping and having transport in one spot is ingenious. Although buying tickets is a bit of a nightmare, I got him to do it for me.
The restaurant we eventually found was quite discreet and looked fancy, the staff were women and they wore beautiful kimonos which was nice to see and were extremely polite. The meal was amazing as well, all little dishes designed to look like petals of a cherry blossoms with an assortment of sea food and vegetables and sweets. There was also rice, miso soup and green tea. It was a wonderful introduction to authentic Japanese food.
Later on, his mother went to go shopping for dinner and me and Nobu went to a cafe for my first ice cold macha latte. I really took advantage of having quality green tea as it is a lot thicker and tastier than Twinnings.
In public he was more conservative about holding hands and I tried to understand it as much as possible, though sometimes it was difficult, I was just so happy I was here.
We talked about our university plans and other things and later after a wonder about the department store, which was really impressive, we took a train back to his Grandad's city.
He met us up from the train station and I told him how pleased I was to meet him, the reason I stayed there rather than Nobu's house was because he owned a Machiya, a traditional Japanese home just to add to the experience. It was so kind of them to allow me to stay there.
Their home was amazing, just as you'd expect, Koi pond in the front garden, a bamboo fence and a cherry tree. The interior of the house was made of timber and tatami mats. My room was bigger than the one here and complete with a futon. One thing surprised me was a little break away room I could use to hide my things, unfortunately I had no draws or cupboards to unpack which was the only annoying thing.
Later on, I got to meet the rest of his family. His brother, two cousins, aunt & uncle, grandmother and father. All being in one small room downstairs, it felt comfortable. But I was so tired and Nobu disappeared for two hours to go to cram school, I had no idea what to do. So I gave them my gifts, I bought his parents and grandparents those Harrods bears I promised myself I would do. And for the rest, I quickly bought a load of keyrings and post cards from the airport as I didn't know we were going to be meeting until moments before I was boarding. They all had the London Eye or a red phone box on them to represent my country.
I suddenly got overwhelmed and insisted I needed sleep after battling a conversation with everyone no one could understand without my boyfriend to translate. I fell into a Futon which had a fur lining, it was so warm and comfortable it suddenly felt impossible that I was here, in Japan, just like my dream, just like OUR dream. It finally happened after 8 years of dreaming to go, I meet the most amazing person to make is possible.
My favourite memory was when he finally returned, running upstairs and jumped in the bed next to me for a hug, it was then that it all felt real.
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