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Leaving Korea for Japan

My biding memories of Korea will always be staying with Master Kim, The Temple Stay, the food with oval metal chopsticks and the modern architecture.

My final night in Korea was spent at the zzzip guesthouse which I have to say is one the best I have stayed in. The Korean couple that own it, use to live in Bournemouth, and were so helpful and kind on top of this it was really clean.

Getting up at six am, which was a late start compared to last week I headed on the subway to Incheon airport to see if I could change my plane ticket from Tokyo to Osaka where a friend I met in Shanghai is currently staying. This did not happen due the flight from Seoul to Osaka being full. I did have another attempt to see if it would be really simple to get a flight from Tokyo to Osaka upon landing in Tokyo but it would be quite a hassle so left it.

These attempts to change made sense because when I found out that a friend is 90% sure he will be in Tokyo in mid-October I thought going somewhere other than Tokyo first was the best idea. Though now I am in Tokyo and looking at a complicated train and metro service with different owners and ticket allocations it may be best I suss the place for a few days before moving on and hopefully catching up with my friend from Shanghai.

The flight to Tokyo was very uneventful, in fact its the smoothest landing I have ever experienced. The guy who sat next to me is Spanish football player playing the Korean league. He is very good friends with Manchester City’s David Silva.

Upon arriving at Narita airport is was plain sailing to get through immigration and customs, everything was so organized, something I have heard from many people who have been to Japan say.

Then all I needed to do was get some Japanese Yen and see if I could find my way to the hostel I had booked. Getting the train ticket was easy because of my habit of saving the maps to each hostel on my phone with the nearest subway stop showing. So showing the map to very help lady at the ticket office, who spoke English, I was ready to catch the hour and a bit train on the rapid line and a change to a local line Rogoku station to get to hostel.

As I waited the 55 minutes for the train to arrive I was struck by a scared feeling at the change of culture and the shear size of Tokyo. This outward journey has most certainly been matched by an inner emotional one for me. I am learning so much about myself, especially how to care and nurture myself through times when I have strong feelings.

The train was a two storey train, which I’d never seen before, for the first class (Green card) passengers and it was empty when I got on it and gave me more time to reflect and support myself through the awkwardness and uncertainty I was feeling. I sat with the emotions for a while and just felt them through before focusing on finding the hostel and getting settled before exploring this city which I have so much been looking forward to experiencing.

To my delight when I reached the hostel I found it is in ‘Sumo Town’ and the main stadium is just around the corner. Even better one of their main tournaments is running until Saturday. On the website it says all the tickets are sold out, but just speaking to an interesting guy, who works for F1 teams in the winter and has driven to Tokyo from Ireland, he had enter the Mongol Rally which states you can only have a 1 litre car. He said that yesterday a couple of guys got up early and queued for a couple of hour at the stadium and got tickets. I am getting up at 6am tomorrow morning and going for it. This is a chance I cannot miss! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

The hostel is very cool and very Japanese as you can see from one of the pictures.

I quickly went to find the Sumo box office ready for the morning and saw a several of Sumo wrestlers leaving todays event.

By Mark

The areas of life I am most interested in are great design, the golden ratio, minimalism, Pareidolia (faces in everyday objects), micro living and finally I will be searching for remarkable human beings who use the power of their mind to achieve amazing effects.

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