After having spent 2 months back home in Germany, I now moved on to the next stop on my world trip: Japan!
In August I’m gonna start working with Go Hasegawa, whose studio regularly finds extraordinary answers to everyday problems. Without the necessity for an architectural style or expression, their projects seek fulfilling the people’s true needs and desires.
I decided to get here a little earlier to explore my new home before being busy with work. My trip was a rollercoaster ride between good and bad luck. It started on Monday evening while preparing my suitcase when I couldn’t find my passport. After 5 hours of searching I had already given up emotionally when I finally found it. Turns out, when tidying up my room before, I had confused my expired passport with my current one and had put it away (luckily not thrown out!). Having to leave my house at 5am, there wasn’t a minute left to sleep. The bus driver obviously didn’t realize I was in a hurry when he closed the doors right in front of me. Being a little behind schedule, I decided to walk to the train station carrying my 20kgs luggage in my hands cause its wheel is broken. At this point I really questioned the use of having showered before. Unfortunately I didn’t catch the train either and had to wait 15 min for the next. Luckily I made it quickly through baggage drop off (being told by the agent to better hurry up) and security and managed to be one of the first at the gate.
Then my three flights to Brussels, Hong Kong and finally Tokyo went by without incidents. Thanks to my host here I knew beforehand exactly how to get to my new home. Additionally I had free WiFi at airport and train stations – all easy! Then I arrived at the final stop where my host’s explanation ended with only the words “8 min walk” – no directions whatsoever. Additionally the final subway stop was the first one I’ve been to without WiFi and on top my phone was about to die. Of course it would be too easy if everything went by smoothly. After more than 24 hours of traveling, I found myself in front of a physical map in the entrance to the subway station (yes, these still exist nowadays) trying to find myself a way.
After a couple of minutes a lady approached me offering “Can I help you?”. I showed her my address and she laughed “That’s my house!”. What a coincidence is that? There are 36 Mio people living in the greater Tokyo metropolitan area – and the one I meet is one of my 7 housemates! She walked me to my new home where I met my host and other housemates. I am really looking forward to living in this cute, traditional japanese house for the next months and can’t wait to explore the city.
Today, I woke up at 8am, got ready, got myself some breakfast and felt a little tired. I decided to close my eyes for a couple more minutes and BOOM – it was the late afternoon. I never had a jetlag this crazy. I will go out for dinner soon and will try again tomorrow.
Side note: After having banged my head heavily into doors twice already within the first 24 hours, I suddenly get a totally new interpretation to Alphaville’s song “Big in Japan” – ouch!