I decided to skip over Kyoto and make the Nagoya video first because it was the accumulation of a difficult journey thus far. Nagoya, as I may have mentioned in the last post, was home. It was a resting place.
I may have portrayed Osaka as some what of a care-free "eat-until-you-drop" time. However, in reality, I flew into Tokyo the day before I was in Osaka. As soon as I landed, I took a train to Yokohama for about 2 hours, walked around for 7 hours, then took an 8 hour overnight bus to Osaka, in which the first two hours were spent lost walking from ward to ward looking for my hotel.
I asked five different people for direction, but each time I would only get close. As embarrassing as this may be to admit and as ridiculous as this may have looked, I just started crying in the middle of the streets out of frustration and exhaustion. When I finally found a cab, the cab driver took me back to where I had been roaming around before, but he too couldn't find my hotel either.
I found out later, that the name of the place I needed to find was a subway station named "Doubutsuen-mae," which translates to "In front of the Zoo." I had been looking for my hotel literally, in front of the zoo.
After seriously considering whether or not I should explore Osaka or rest, I asked myself, "When will you ever be in Osaka again?" I didn't have an answer, so I decided to kick myself out of the hotel room and back on to the streets of the city. As I walked around, I calmed down from the emotional roller coaster and thought about what it meant to travel as a young woman. Quite frankly, I don't think I could travel the way I did in any other country. I was out late waiting for a bus at midnight in some alley way outside the city. I walked around shrines in the dark. I made train schedules with 2 minutes between transfers in the middle of somewhere unbeknown to me without a back up plan that would save me if anything went wrong. And I talked to many strangers. What was I thinking? Maybe a year ago, I would have answered that I was young, stupid, and fearless. However, this time, I can only comply with two. Fear was constantly rolling down my back and straining my breathing. I would create scenarios in my head about how I would escape with 30 kilograms of luggage if I were to run into bad people. And as I was thinking up these ridiculous scenarios, I wondered what kind of concerns young men have when they travel alone. If anyone has read this far, I would love to have some feedback.
I have strayed too far from the topic of Kyoto. This video is not as informative or as engaging as the other videos. I still feel guilty about not going to many of the major sites in Kyoto. However, I don't think I would have been able to deliver anything better than pictures we all can find on google at the touch of a finger. Thus, I could only provide a simple reflection of my mental state at the time. A little lost, a little exhausted, but calmed by the atmosphere and muted by the rain. And in the middle of it all, stopped by the smell of taiyaki to enjoy the small things.
|Photo by: Soohyun Yang|
I hope you enjoy the video.
P.S. I promise the next one will be about Nanzan University!