One Year Japan

It’s now been over a year since I moved to japan. I can’t say I’ve changed I’m still making the same old mistakes and as my friend recently reminded me, you are who you are and nothing is going to change that.  

“None of us really changes over time. We only become more fully what we are.”
Anne Rice, The Vampire Lestat

 “Forward, forward let us range,Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change.” ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON, Locksley Hall

So then, what has changed is I’m slowly getting used to who I am and I’ve realised that instead of molding myself to the world around me, rather I mold the world to myself and moving to japan has been the epitome of this. 

“Unless one says goodbye to what one loves, and unless one travels to completely new territories, one can expect merely a long wearing away of oneself and an eventual extinction.” JEAN DEBUFFET

This below was what I put on my VISA application and is no less relative than today and every day Iv spent here. These are the days of fruition.  

Personal Reasons for Applying for a Working Holiday Visa
My first real interest in Japan was sparked during the 1998 Nagano winter Olympics. I was just a teenager then but was instantly bewitched with the stunning scenery and the whole romanticism of Japan that then was another world to me. I had always been drawn to winter Olympics from my great passion for skiing and snowboarding. Watching the famous Norwegian Hermann Maier winning 2 gold’s and to have snowboarding’s first introduction to the Olympics, all against the spectacularly backdrop of Japan’s Yamanouchi, I was just hooked.
As I said the initial spark of interest was from the Olympics but over time and study it grew into a love affair for Japan. Since leaving University I have said to friends that I would take the opportunity to visit but until now the time wasn’t right. From completing the iron man triathlon I have come to know that it takes a leap of faith and commitment to realise your goals. So to be given the chance to immerse myself in the Japanese culture would be a dream come true.
For the first months in Tokyo I will base myself staying with a friend, a place where I will try to get my bearings with the Japanese culture and find part- time employment to fund exploring other parts of Japan. While in Tokyo I have a vast itinerary of shops to visit and sights to see.
Living in England the weather is renowned for being miserable, all the season merge into one and so I’m excited to experience the change and variation in seasons enjoying the summer heat and the spring with the cherry blossom coming out.
My aim is to see as much as I can and hopefully learn Japanese but ultimately I intend to go on a personal pilgrimage to Nagano and live the postcard image I’ve kept in my head for years. From recent triathlon training I have developed a passion for cycling, which I intend to incorporate in my travel around Japan. My plans are to take a three-week tour of the Japanese Alps from Takayama to Norikura to Matsumoto then ending at Nagano.
It just seems to me that the Japanese way of life and culture would suit my personality and with a lot of hard work and planning I could reap the rewards of a life changing trip. From the mountains to the temples and the cities I hope to see. I will take both mental and photographic images I can take back to England, with my wonderful memories of Japan.    

Thank you,

Benjamin Michael Spenceley


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