Prior to traveling to Tokyo I had never known anyone who had even visited Japan. I was not entirely sure what to expect. Since then I have made dozens of new friends as I’ve gotten accustomed to living in Tokyo. What I did not expect is how difficult winter break has been. After the conclusion of the fall semester many of my friends who were study abroad students studying for only one semester went back to their homes. Additionally, many friends of mine studying for more than a semester decided to go back to their homes for the break or even travel. This means that once again I have found myself feeling quite lonely in the largest city in the world, however, this time is a lot different from when I first landed.
When I first landed in Tokyo I was thrilled to be there. I had dreamed of being here for so long and I finally had the chance to go explore the city. I have now gotten pretty accustomed to the city, it no longer feels like the brand new shiny toy that it once did. Despite this, in a way the city has become even more enjoyable than it was when I first arrived. What I hadn’t noticed while attending school was just how comfortable I’ve gotten with navigating the city. Now that I’ve begun to have a better understanding of the different areas in Tokyo I know which places I like to walk around, which places I like to shop at, and which places I like to go to eat. Going out with a purpose keeps me focused on the task at hand and helps alleviate the feeling of being alone.
I have also used this extra time to do things I hadn’t had the chance to do during the semester. I have visited many places of interest in Tokyo such as Ueno Zoo, the National Museum of Nature and Science, and the DDR Formula 1 racing simulator. I haven’t just used this break to do new things, but I have also started talking to a lot of new people. The number of people staying in the dorms during break decreased substantially, but because of this I have started talking to the people that remained a lot more, many of whom I hadn’t spoken to in the past. Although I have been enjoying my own company, I am always happy to meet new people and make more friends.
Overall this winter break has proven to be incredibly fun and relaxing. I look forward to continuing to try new things and meeting new people.