Last month my nine-year blogiversary quietly came and went (perhaps I will do something special next year, for the big 1-0), and it occurred to me that I cannot genuinely claim to have been blogging for nine years, not really. If you glance down at the archives, you can see that years 2002 and 2006 only have one entry each, so that hardly counts.
Since I am on the cusp of another large life change (stay tuned in the upcoming months for more info), it seemed a good time to revisit the past, and start filling in the blanks for those undocumented years.
For my first few years in Japan (2001~2006), I owned neither computer nor camera, and kept only a very patchy, infrequent journal. Luckily though, my boyfriend at the time was an avid film photographer, and I do have the albums I meticulously put together from that era. We travelled A LOT, he and I, and the albums are more or less divided by trip location: Kyoto, Okinawa, Takayama, etc.
Because I wasn't organized enough to scan them chronologically, we are starting with the 3rd of my albums: Kyushu (the island prefecture just south of the main island of Honshu).
*This era marks a particularly low point in my personal fashion history, as well as a regrettable case of over-plucked eyebrows.
We took the train down from Tokyo and began at the top of Kyushu, in Nagasaki.
What I remember most about the city was the abundance of stray cats, and of course the still vivid remnants of the bomb.
After a brief stop in Kumamoto to see Aso-san, Japan's largest, still-active volcano, we made our way down to the bottom of the island to Miyazaki, where we stayed with relatives of my grandmother.
My mother's cousin took us to Aoshima, where I retraced my mom's footsteps by collecting tiny pink shells on the beach (something she often reminisced about from her childhood visits there).
My favorite part of the trip was staying in the old family home, combing through old photos of my grandmother as a child, and being spoiled with sumptuous food: a massive fresh-caught sushi feast one night, decadent renowned Miyazaki beef steaks another... (I pretty much gave up on being vegetarian for the duration of my time in Japan).
Next time on Life in Japan... our trip to the lovely rural town of Takayama.