February 28, 2013

The Only Blonde in Osaka: Where I've Been

Where I've been: 2012 Japan Trips
Today marks the one year anniversary of this blog! It began as a way of documenting my semester-long exchange at Kansai University in Osaka, Japan. I never thought anyone would actually read it. But along the way I started to really enjoy travel blogging. I started putting effort into my posts, hoping they might come in useful for anyone with an interest in Japan. I began reading other people's travel blogs, and was inspired by their style, tone, and all the fascinating places they were blogging about.

In the past year I have had more than 100,000 views on this blog, which is pretty cool. A lot of these are because I mention Sailor Moon so much that unwitting searchers probably think this is some sort of Sailor Moon fan site. Many views also come from the Japanese news website Searchina, which has a section reporting what foreign blogs are saying about Japan. Three of my posts have been translated and featured here. The views that make me happiest are from people who search 'Osaka blog' or 'things to do in Osaka'. I hope that they came to love Osaka as much as I did.

Glico Man: A symbol of Osaka
I think the best part about writing this blog has been that it encouraged me to do things I might not usually have done. I visited dodgy areas of Osaka. I ate and drank weird things. I used bizarre toilets. There was a brief sojourn to South Korea. I even went to a bloody baseball game. I would do pretty much anything for the sake of a story to put on my blog.

In December I was lucky enough to have another opportunity to go back to Japan, as part of the Kizuna Project. I spent 10 days in Japan examining the aftermath of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis. Visiting the Fukushima region gave me a whole new perspective of Japan. It was one of the best things I've ever done.
Kizuna Project: Asakusa on our last night in Tokyo
Where to now? I don't have any plans to go back to Japan in the immediate future. If I can save up enough money by the end of the year, I would love to go back - this time as a proper tourist, JR Rail pass and everything. I want to do the whole country, Okinawa to Hokkaido. Until then, I'm not entirely sure what to do with this blog. I may post every once in a while. For now, thank you to everyone for reading. Thank you to all my friends and fellow exchange students in Japan who made the experiences so special. Osaka - thank you for having me. お世話になりました.

Friends: A trip to Nara Park
I'll leave you with a motto that Ryan and I came up with after getting lost in Tokyo so many times during our first week in Japan. It stuck with us for the whole trip: "Even if it's the wrong way, it's an adventure.'
Ryan and Siobhan: Lost in Tokyo


  1. Exactly my thoughts on blogging. Not just a public diary, but also an incentive to just go out and do (random) stuff ^_^


    PS: The post about the toilets was especially amusing (smart-phone operated toilets FTW!) and even educational (Otohime appeared on a quiz on Belgian TV, and it would have been a shame to my honour not to have known what it was ^_^)

  2. Thank you for your blog! Seriously Osaka and the whole Kansai region is my favorite part of Japan and I've learned a lot through your blog! Thanks for making me fall in love with Osaka even more than I used to! :) good luck to you in whatever you do!

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