35 Days in Japan, Part 1 – Around Tokyo

Assalamualaikum w.b.t.

As I am writing this, I am on a flight back to Kuala Lumpur on the 26th of November, after spending 35 days in Japan. I regret to say I haven’t blogged much during these 35 days (I have been posting loaaads of pics on Instagram though!), but I’ll try to summarize my trip in the best way possible.

23 October – 31 October

Finally arrived at Narita Airport with my grandparents, after what seemed like forever. FINALLY done with final exams and off to spend a month’s vacation in another country a.k.a. my kampung. Weeee!

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We got a bit lost after the taxi dropped us at the area of my family’s house because apparently there were two houses with the same number (I am disappointed in you, Japan) and I unfortunately rang the doorbell of the wrong one. Even worse, the doorbells have cameras that automatically send live videos of you to the people inside the house. But the old lady living in that house was kind enough to point us in the right direction. Arigatou nee, obaasan.

So yeah, I finally reunited with my mother, father, brother and sister after being separated from each other for three whole months. What a relief. It’s as if I was studying overseas. The house was pretty nice, and even the smell of it brought back memories from my stay in Japan in 2005-2007.

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The following day, we explored the town a little more and also took the train to Shibuya at night. They have these neat things called Pasmo (IC) cards which serves as a prepaid train and bus pass and saves you a lot of time and trouble. The night essence of Tokyo was heavy in the Shibuya air. Bright colourful lights coming from every direction, the crowds walking across the Shibuya scramble, the vibrant hustle and bustle of the city, the famous Hachiko statue, shop assistants and their “Irassyaimase”’s.

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On Sunday, we visited Tokyo Tower at night. It was stunning. Grandpa kept going on about how the Eiffel tower was much better, though. Took selfies in front of it and went up to the observation deck. The view, especially at night, is quite priceless really. One thing that makes me truly happy is gazing at city lights, and stars. I could do it for hours. Sadly, it’s hard to find stars nowadays. So people turn to city lights instead. Speaking of stars, one really amazing thing in Japan was the dark night sky, because I’d been tolerating the terrible haze in Malaysia for weeks. Just two or three days before my flight, the sky looked as if it was set in a post-apocalyptic movie.

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The first morning I sent Aimi to school (by foot), I got lost and ended up walking for an hour and a half. It honestly felt like The Maze Runner and as if I would never find my way home. Best part is, I didn’t have mobile data on my phone. But I tried to enjoy the autumn atmosphere and discovering the neighbourhood, and I eventually found my way back, Alhamdulillah.

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Friday was a school holiday, so everyone (apart from Dad) went to Tokyo Camii, a Turkish-concept mosque for Friday prayers. The biggest and most beautiful mosque in Tokyo. It was also my first time performing Friday prayers. One khutba was in Japanese, and the other in English, about being good to children and old people. There were two Japanese-Muslim ladies praying near me and they really just looked so happy to be there, MasyaAllah.

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We also found time to visit Yoyogi Park afterwards. It was really beautiful, with the birds and red leaves and fountains. People were picnicking and strolling and wearing Halloween costumes. Couldn’t explore that much though, we had to be considerate towards Grandpa and Grandma. Mostly, Mum and I walked alone and took tons of #instamaterial pictures.

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To be continued with Part 2.

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