So this is the first time I've travelled away from my country. Most people in India, when they choose a vacation spot, tend to opt for places that are populated with moderate, if not copious amounts of our own kind; mainly due to the need for familiar food & ease in local communication. It is something to be said about travel; that we look for a bit of home everywhere we go.
To be offbeat is what I strive for. Since the Japanese have the sweetest food and the toughest language I've heard so far, it was incumbent that I go here. Nothing could have prepared me for what transpired through the next couple of weeks travelling.
Journey of a lifetime is an understatement.
From the press of cool buildings in Tokyo, through the sulphur breath of volcanic crests in Hakone, to the vivacity of metamorphosis in Hiroshima & the murmured whispers of pine trees in Koya-san; the country speaks volumes in it's silence.
As somebody used to a buzzing frenzy of people, the quiet was a haven. In a crowded metro with a 1000 people, I could hear my own breathing. In the complicated network of transits, there was orderly precision. There was white music all over, primarily in the sing-song sound of spoken Japanese. Nature is imbued in daily life; it is subtly omnipresent. Modernity has fused seamlessly into tradition; north & south poles of the same magnet.
I'm sure everyone goes through a similar wonderment when they first visit another country. What do you see first? The colour, the expressions people wear or their clothes? Each glimpse of the surroundings tells a story - what form does nature take here? Why are the buildings built the way they are? Even food reflects the nature of the people!
With the world becoming one small village, possibilities are endless for travel. And with that, so are such stories of every traveller.
Although I did eventually start missing home, it was not without the attachment to a place I could identify so deeply with. These pictures are here only as a mere shadow of the images in my memory. So until I keep my promise of revisiting, they will have to suffice my yen.