One year in Tokyo

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Ironically, this photo was not taken in Tokyo.

I don’t know how to start this post.

In fact, this post is a month late because I don’t know how to put into words all the feelings of love and gratitude and happiness I feel being able to live in this amazing country for the past year (and also because I’m being a procrastinator as always lol).

Have you ever felt like there is a place where you feel like you truly belong, a place where you can really call home? I’ve always felt awkward and out of place despite living in Malaysia for most of my life but I think Tokyo is that place for me.

The city with it’s always-changing landscapes, it’s vibrant nightlife, the kindness of random strangers everywhere, being able to get anywhere quickly with the convenience of public transport, having clean toilets even at dodgy-looking highway rest stops, the fact that you can go to the konbini at 5am in the morning alone dressed in your pajamas without having to worry about being robbed or raped or kidnapped…

I like it. I love it. I never want to leave.

All the friendships I’ve built living in a sharehouse here with a warm and welcoming community also helps. Imagine being fed with sweets and yummy treats almost everyday by your neighbours who “made a little extra”, going on trips to Kyoto and Okinawa, getting drunk and doing crazy things together until late into the night…

I’m really glad I took the plunge to move into a sharehouse instead of living alone (partly because it was too annoying to view different properties and I am an extremely lazy person) because without all these people my life in Tokyo would have probably turned out really differently.

Moving to Tokyo has also been really crucial for my development as a human being. I used to be very selfish and spoilt, always needing everything to go my way and throwing tantrums or crying when I don’t get what I want (you should ask Cheryl how I was like when we first became friends lol). Nowadays, I think I’m still a little spoilt (in fact one of my friends called me the most ワガママ person in our sharehouse oops) but I’m learning how to be more tolerant and considerate of other people.

I’m also learning how to socialize with people more despite me being super introverted and shy. It also helps that I’m surrounded by lots of friendly people willing to strike up conversations with you at any time of the day. Of course it still gets overwhelming sometimes being surrounded by so many people, so when that happens I’ll retreat into my room and read a book or watch a movie on my laptop or just lie on my bed contemplating about how to best conquer the world. Kidding.

In fact, I recently even took up a part-time job (insert shocked gasps and incredulous faces here). My friends used to tell me that they can’t imagine me ever working because I’m too fragile and emotional and won’t last in the harsh world of working adults (lol) and I myself used to think that all I wanted in life was to find myself a husband, get married, and be a stay at home mother.

But being in Tokyo, and being surrounded by so many independent and successful people, my mindset has slowly started to change. I wanted to grow and change as a person and the first step to doing that is to gain as many experiences as I can here in Tokyo. Right now, I work part-time at a fashionable store selling vintage branded bags in Omotesando after school and I haven’t thought of quitting so far so I guess it’s going pretty well? (laughs)

Finally, I just want to say that I’m really thankful to have such supportive parents who allowed their daughter to fulfil her dreams of living in Tokyo. Without their support both emotionally and financially, I’d never have been able to live the life I’ve always been dreaming of ever since I was five. Thank you daddy. Thank you mummy. I love you.

Right now, I have a little less than a year left before my student visa expires and I still don’t know what I’m going to do after that. Will I be able to find a job here? Should I start my own business instead? Do I want to live in Tokyo forever? So many questions which I have yet to answer. But one thing is for sure, living in Tokyo has been one of the best experiences of my life and no matter where I end up in the future, my memories of this place will be my most precious treasure.

x, Hermes

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♬ Song of the day – Tokyo Dreamer [NICO Touches The Walls]

 

DMM.Planets

Do you know the saying “pain before pleasure”? It means that one has to go through suffering before enjoying the fruits of their labor. That is exactly what I experienced with my friends as we queued for more than four hours to enter the DMM.Planets art exhibition last weekend. On hindsight, we were to blame really. We wanted to get priority passes to skip the queues but because we kept delaying our plans till the last minute, by the time we went online to purchase them the passes were already sold out. Thankfully, the weather that day wasn’t too hot and we managed to idle our time away playing with our phones and talking about random topics before we finally reached the front of the queue and was ushered in to a whole new world.

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For those of you not in the know, DMM.Planets is an a new age art exhibition presented by Team Lab held at Diver City, Odaiba from the 16th of July to 31st August 2016. Using a combination of science, art, technology and creativity, their aim is to provide their audience with an immersive artwork experience where people can interact with the pieces using their bodies.

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<Wander through the Crystal Universe>

This is my favourite art piece of them all. Using accumulated light points to form the body, the particle of lights are controlled digitally and changes according to the viewers’ interacted with the work. I liked how the lights keep dimming and brightening in different spheres of colour, making it seem like I was in the center of my own little universe.

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<Drawing on the Water Surface created by the Dance of Koi and People-Infinity>

Whew. That’s a long name. Basically this piece is a computer generated work where the viewer’s interaction with the installation will cause continuous changes to the artwork; ie lots of swimming fishes and blooming flowers on a surface of water. My friends and I spent a lot of time here chasing the pretty lights and koi around while ignoring our freezing toes *laughs*

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<Floating in the Falling Universe of Flowers>

This artwork describes a seasonal year of flowers that bloom infinitely on the ceiling of their dome art installation space. Whilst laying down on the floor staring up into the beautiful array of flowers blossoming and withering above and listening to the eerily soothing soundtrack that accompanied this display, you will either feel like you’re transported to a dreamland with fields in full bloom… Or you’ll start wondering how many people have stepped on the floor you’re lying on right now with their stinky feet. Oops.

I’ve never been a really artsy kind of person, but I did enjoy myself thoroughly at this exhibition. I’d love to go to another one held by the same team and next time, I will definitely get priority tickets on time. I hope.

For more information on the exhibit (which has since ended) and the art pieces on display, you can visit their official website here.

#Heartze; Mt Fuji

Visiting Mt Fuji has always been on the top of my to-do-in-Japan list, but because I’ve always been too lazy to make a trip there by train I’ve never gotten the chance to see Mt Fuji’s snowy peaks with my own eyes. However, when Cheryl was here she really wanted to go and so we were very lucky to have our friend Solomon take us there on a day trip! Yay! *_____*///

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On our way to Mt Fuji!

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Yay we are here!

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It’s snowing super hard \o/

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Dreaming of a winter wonderland /*

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The snowman Cheryl made (left) vs the one Solomon made (LOL)

Unluckily for us, it was snowing pretty heavily on the day we went and so we were only allowed to stop at the first station at the base of Mt. Fuji. Nevertheless, we are pretty easy girls to please and the fact that we got to see snow in the middle of spring was already enough to make us happy (laughs). I guess this means… That we’ll just have to visit Mt. Fuji again some other time!

Bisous xx.

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♬ Song of the day – Let It Snow [Frank Sinatra]

 

#Heartze; Asakusa

Cheryl decided to accompany me for two weeks in Tokyo before my school officially started for a short vacation so I brought her to Sensoji Temple in Asakusa on her first day here! Recently she’s turned into some religious fanatic where she’d visit many temples in different countries to get her fortune read and buy amulets for luck and protection so I decided to humor her by bringing her to different shrines in Tokyo.

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We dropped ¥100 into one of the wooden boxes in the temple and drew out an おみくじ which is a paper containing your fortune for the year! I only got a regular fortune while Cheryl’s said “best fortune” ahh I’m jealous I want to get a good fortune too! :<

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We also exchanged love charms with each other because our love lives have not been very blessed so far. I also suggested we write a message for the other person on it and this is what Cheryl wrote for me I hope we’ll both find good men someday ♥

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Tried sakura flavoured ice-cream from one of the stalls in Asakusa and it was delicious! They sell lots of unique snacks and drinks like rice-crackers, sake, manjuu, and more at the stalls around Asakusa so if you ever drop by do try them out!

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Also, if you’re wondering what the #Heartze on the title means, it’s a custom hashtag for the both of us which is a combination of Hermes + Ying Tze + Heart. Doesn’t it sound cute? :p

Bisous xx.