November, 4 th Ise
Surf and camp. Since I saw the surfers in their amazing vans at the beach when I went surfing for the first time with Michi I was keen to spend a weekend of surfing and with camping on the beach. Just surf, sleep, coffee and surf again. This week this
October, 19 th Kyotango
Surfing. He smiled at me. It was clear cold morning and I still felt the warmth of my house while I was waiting at the Konbini. Kako came along on my bicycle. Strange to see somebody else riding it, but I was very lucky to skip that ride. We dropped the bike at my house and soon were on the way to Kyoto. The forbidden city. I don’t like Kyoto, but today I wasn’t there to waste time. At the Kyoto tower we waited for my friend Michi to pick us up and take us up the sea in the north for surfing. The sun slowly came out and the hot coffee in my hands felt so good. I have to admit it was a Starbucks one and shame on me, but I enjoyed a lot. Michi picked us up and soon we were out of the city heading north. It’s an around two hours journey to get to the Japanese sea. We passed very rural countryside regions while listening to songs and chatting a lot. I met Michi at one of my hikes, he also organises many events on couchsurfing and very soon we became friends. I was very happy when he took me to surfing already two weeks ago and couldn’t wait to be at the Ocean again. Just before we arrived at today’s spot it began to rain. No time to wonder. Forecast said so for days. It’s super nice to surf during sunshine under a blue sky, but actually it doesn’t matter where the water is coming from in the end. Excitement was still untouched. Pouring rain while we arrived at the parking spot at the beach. I managed to get into my wet suit inside the car to stay dry for a few more seconds. After we prepared the boards with leashes, finn and wax, we were already soaked. The waves were pretty good for beginners and some other surfers were also around. When my feet touched the sand, I couldn’t hold my excitement anymore and only moments later I found myself in the water. Next to Kako. Again he smiled at me. A deeply feeling of freedom flooded my body. The cold water refreshed my body and brought an energy which felt like electricity. After kidding around we hunted for the waves and this time it already went better than last time. My experience in surfing is low, I’m a bloody beginner. I just tried once in Portugal. It was January and so cold I only could try for two hours. The last time with Michi I could stand up and ride a couple of waves. This time it felt much better and I could catch way more and enjoy the feeling of standing on the board. While being in water I lost any feeling of time. We left the water to enjoy a snickers at the beach. After swollowing a lot of salty sea water and the salty air around us the super sweet chocolate peanutty snack tasted like pure heaven. After staying in the water, the body gets so used to it that wind and gravity sucks. Back into the ocean. The waves got stronger. Rain stopped. Over the surrounding mountains a wall of dense fog raised down to the sea and created a magical atmosphere. One, no one would ever relate to surfing. I love that perfect antiperfect situations and was just amazed again by the country I fell in love so much with. Paddling is getting exhaustive and I could feel how my muscles in my arms and shoulders got sour. They were burning. I could feel the heat. But I couldn’t stop. My body got tired, catching waves got more difficult, but my mind was still fully awake and electrified. At some point Kako dropped his board to support me. I crawled my tired body on the board while he was placing both of us in line, waiting for the wave. In the ride moment he pushed the board, so I got a lot of speed and could achieve some rides. He did it several times and it was a great feeling to be able to ride some waves. It was almost dark when we left water. Michi already finished and loaded the car. It started to rain again, so we vanished quickly into car and turned on the heater. I felt deeply fresh, clean and warm. What a nice feeling. Back in Kyoto the rain stopped and we could manage to get back to the beloved city dry. In the train I could feel the waves and hear how they hit the board. I deeply fell asleep. (By the way I’m pro right now to fall asleep immediately and everywhere). Back in Osaka hunger was torturing us and a hot pot of Ramen was the only way to cure it. We choose a ramen place in Awaji, which is close to my place, randomly and it came out that it was a treasure! It was one of the best ramen we’ve ever had. It was delicious and fancy! I was deeply satisfied, but the perfect day wasn’t over yet. Not without a topping. I have to say that since I’m hanging with Kako my consumption of Ice Cream increased drastically and now I’m kind of addicted to it. So, stop at the Konbini, buy Ice cream, inhale. Happiness. The end of an amazing Saturday.
September, 28 th 2019 Ōsaka
I AM IN JAPAN. This was my first entry and the start of my journey exactly one year ago. I remember I wrote this sentence in my cabin at Kawasaki full of excitement about the upcoming journey. Today, I’m still in Japan. Japan was always special to me and in deep in my heart I always knew this journey will have an open end. I fell in love with this amazing country and its beautiful people. My heart was guiding me to Ōsaka and it was a kind of self fulfilling prophecy. I arrived at Ōsaka for the first time around Halloween last year. It wasn’t love on the first sight, my first visit ended up in a mess. Winter was coming, I had no idea how to continue and a person I was thought I could rely on broke my neck. Anyway I left with the aim to come back and start something new. I went to Shikoku to enjoy the last autumn leaves of my bicycle trip. During that time my destiny for the next months was sealed. I came back for a job interview, got the job and settled down at a colourful backpacker’s place, Toyo, where I spent an amazing time with even more amazing people. With the new year I started my – very first – job as a scientist. I changed my visa due to bureaucracy and without realising I accidentally moved to Ōsaka. The initial journey was over and it took me some months to realise. But it was the beginning of a new journey. I left the hostel in summer after seven months of staying. Finally I fully arrived in Ōsaka. Since the purpose of this website changed a lot and mainly treats hiking and adventure topics, at this point I would like to give you an insight of my every day life, especially for the ones who stayed home. I live in a shared house in Higashiyodogawa in the northern part of Ōsaka. It is a rather quiet residential area and close to both, city centre and my work. I live in a big family house with other 15 girls, but I still haven’t met all of them. I only meet the same five of them. It is quiet and I also wonder how it works that peacefully without any fights for resources. Half of the residents are foreigners, half of them Japanese, but I’m the only westerner. The shared house is run by a company, so I don’t need to deal with any housing affairs. My day starts at 7 am and unlike in Germany I have no problems with getting up. Shower, breakfast and some time for relaxing until I take the train to work. Train ride is short and also the Station is just three minutes from my home. I’ll start work at 10 am and have my own project, which is running well right now. We are a very international lab and the atmosphere is very familiar. Language is English and Japanese. Some machines are only operating in Japanese, which was challenging at the beginning. I really like my work and the people around me. The kitchen table is always full of sweets and snacks labmates brought as “Omiyage” from their business trips. After work I go for climbing and since I while I also joined a Taekwondo club. Especially people from my climbing group became close friends (no wonder, when your life is twice a week on their hands and you fight death with them). I’m very active and doing sports during the week after work (as in Germany before), so Saturday is my rest and housework day. Sometimes I also go climbing. Sundays are still reserved for hiking as one can read on this website. We already explored 30 trails around Ōsaka and I’m still excited about the city I’m living in. People from hiking also became friends and still new people show up. Even though I deeply my family, friends and especially Taekwondo club I enjoy my life and I’m happy. This is the life I want to life. Every single part of it is well chosen. This is my dream and I’m grateful for the opportunity to live it. I’m planning to stay longer in Japan. In Ōsaka. The imagination of leaving is painful. For sure, living in a different country 10000 km away from family and friends and starting at point zero is challenging and often I struggle a lot. Sometimes I’m super homesick. But in the end I’m just happy. I’ll come back for Christmas and I can’t wait. I’m also sure, I will miss Ōsaka.