Daily rambles, stumbles and travels

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Plan Japan: New Set Dates + Birthday!

I realised when messing around with my journal layout that I haven't updated about my re-booked dates to Japan yet. A common habit where I update everywhere but here >__> (I swear I'll break this soon enough!)

My awesome boyfriend (OMG, it's his birthday today YEEEY!) and I will now be flying out on the 16th April, which means when we arive it'll be 17th, so our move-in date with be the 19th (As we plan to stay over night and get some rest before moving in). Luckily, there wasn't much fuss with the re-jigging of dates and all the travel and apartment folks have been so pleasant throughout ^___^ This actually gives me more time to sort a few bits and bobs out before I go, not that theres much left to do, but I guess just mentally prepare? Oh, not-to-mention re-packing my suitcase many times over...

I actually managed to find our apartment via google map the other night and had a good snoop around the area all detective like, it was so exciting to check out the nearby shops and streets. Seeing how far the nearest train station is etc, it looks so fantastic! It truly is something surreal right now and I'm pretty sure it won't hit me until we actually unlock the door. EEEE!

**EXCITEMENT BREAK***

The Sakura are just about to bloom in Tokyo right now, and is predicted early April for Yokohama, so we might be able to catch them as we arrive. Everywhere is looking so beautiful already!
Another feature I came across whilst the re-booking of flights, was that the Virgin Atlantic website actually gives you the exact countdown to your flight. It is exactly: 16 days, 21 hrs, 26 mins until the flight. Very shuay, eh?

I managed to once again attend a Japanese lesson with my boyfriend yesterday, as he found a native Japanese speaker tutor in his local area who holds one-to-one sessions. He picked them up so we could have a somewhat 'Shikansen' style of learning, cramming all the useful phrases/words for when we move over there. The tutor is absolutely fantastic! I've only attended the two so far, but each time she has been so friendly and her teaching methods stick! I think its an added bonus she offers me green tea everytime I attend ^__^ This session was about body parts and certain illness'/injuries, just in case something bad were to happen to any of us *touch wood*.
It was quite heart warming towards the end of the lesson when she gave me at least five hugs as I left, asking me to take care while we're both out there and she has enjoyed my company during the lessons. She was just so lovely and couldn't be anymore kawaii ^__^ I'll be sending her a little drawing for my thanks!

Stay tuned for more Japan info!

In other news, I am at my boyfriend's house this present time for his birthday-ness, with this, his brother and his fiancée came down to celebrate too (It was meant to be a "leaving for Japan" get together too, but this wasn't exactly the case since arrangements were shuffled around, so birthday celebratory times instead!). With them they brought along their adorable newly adopted retired greyhound, who was simply lovely! I am not only an animal nut, but for the past couple of years I haven't had a dog presence in my own household, so it was a joy to hear the jingling of a dog collar and feel little snuffles at my feet. This was coupled with mountains of tasty cakes, it was quite a weekend! I, of course, took plenty of photos, which will be uploaded when I return home ^___^

Those of you awaiting commissions, they will be finished VERY SOON. Keep watch on my Deviant Art and FurAffinity journals for more info!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Let It Bloom

I'm usually not a fan of pink (Anyone who knows me directly is aware of this), but when it comes to early Spring, how can you not admire such beautiful fleurs as the cherry blossom










Sunday, 20 March 2011

J-Plan Update

A long overdue entry about certain events that have happened within this past week...

As many of you know by now, just over a week ago there was a a terrible natural disaster that hit Japan, not only was it the largest earthquake to hit the Isle, but simultaneously a tsunami wave took out a majority of the North eastern coast. This lead to an oil plant exploding in the Chiba and one of the Nuclear Power plants in the Fukishima prefecture began to over heat and there has been threats to it leaking.
Watching these events happen was shocking, seeing peoples lives being shattered in an instant, loosing people they love and/or their homes. Many are missing and many more were found dead in the days to follow. You can't help but feel so helpless when seeing something like this.

Despite these terrible uncontrollable events, Japan's people have come together to help one another out, friends and strangers housing one another and giving out food to those who need it. There was no looting or mass panics, they managed to keep under control and dealt with all the situations in a calm manner. I was so proud of the people at their strong willpower, the very Japanese way of "pick up and carry on" attitude is very inspiring. My heart goes out to all of those effected <3 I can gladly say the folks I know who are out there are all safe, even those who live in the effected areas. I must thank them for uploading up-to-date information concerning the post natural disasters (Even some of them managed to report while during), giving insight into what is really happening.

If you are interested in helping those effected by the tsunami/quakes, PLEASE check out the following links!

***Donate to the Japan's Tsunami/Earthquake disaster***

You can donate to help those effected by this natural disaster via Global Giving or American Red Cross give as much or as little as you like.

Now the first thing many people asked me was "How does this effect your travels to Japan?"; This wasn't necessarily the first thing I was thinking, but it did dawn on me a couple of days later post to these events when situations began to unravel, that the plans my b/f and I had been working towards for almost an entire year may have flown out the window.

I think it was about three days ago that I became a little numb trying to fight off the idea that I'd have to admit defeat, I become glued to any news source about the quakes and tsunami effects on Japan. This DID NOT help in any way, as all Western media were, and still are blowing everything out of proportion and causing more harm by spreading panic via the exaggerated and usually untrue headlines, devoid of any factual information.
I may have sat for a few nights in the early hours of the morning with insomnia, trying my best not to give into emotion and repressing the hell out of it. I didn't want to give into these emotions because to me they seemed somewhat selfish in comparison to what people were going through in Japan, but naturally, my mind cracked and I was very overwhelmed with the likelihood that plans of living in Japan may be cancelled.

Although, all is not lost! Luckily, I have a very supportive b/f, family members and friends who have kept my hopes high about my travels to Japan.
I started to ignore a majority of Western media coverage and watching NHK instead, who have been ontop of all up-to-date information, making sure to spread understanding as well as the positive sides of the story. How communities came together to help one another and how Japanese architecture saved thousands of lives.

So, whats the latest news?
Tokyo and the surrounding area is doing pretty alright for itself, a lot of the city is back to normal, which includes Yokohama, our destination. Transportation is running, food is there and many places are open once more. The people are a little shaken from the quake, but they are back on their feet.
The British government are still advising against all non essential travel to Tokyo at this present time, so after much discussion between my b/f and I, we have decided 'Plan Japan' is still a-go, but we've dropped our flight back a week or so. This should hopefully give enough time for the surrounding area of Tokyo to reach a normality.

We're still not sure of dates just yet, as we have to re-book flights and schtuff, but I will keep you all updated (As much as I can anyways!) with everything Plan Japan.