So it’s finally time for me to leave Tokyo, and to make my first steps towards Sendai. I’ve had an incredible week meeting with so many friends, catching up, sharing stories of growth, love and change, and taking in the busyness that is Japan’s major cities. On top of that, I’ve had the opportunity to mellow in the stillness of some of the parks and temples scattered around Tokyo and Kyoto offering a quiet refuge for people like me, often overwhelmed by the cities.
I’ve been hesitant to leave, worrying about what could happen, but deep down in my heart I know I will be ok. I’ve been excited and anxiously awaiting this day for a long time, and it’s finally here.
My current plan is to walk to Sendai and arrive by the 6th of August. My purpose is to travel along the coast of Japan, to see the damage caused by the tsunami, and to hear the precious stories of some of the strongest people on the Earth. Not only did they endure a terrifying earthquake and powerful tsunami, but everyday now face the fear of radiation from Fukushima and it’s possible effects on not only their lives, but of their future children, an invisible, ferrying enemy.
I have already had several amazing conversations, one with an incredible homeless man in Shinjuku, who was living a normal life until the economic system collapsed and he was forced into a cardboard box without food, and one with a maid in Akihabara who was from Fukushima, experienced the tsunami and the radiation fears, and lives now with a massive smile on her face regardless.
To say the least, my time in Japan so far has been incredibly fruitful. I’ve had an abundance of incredible conversations, have influenced and have been influenced already by so many people, I’d be happy to go home now a changed person. But there is still so much more to come.
The 6th of August, my arrival date, is the special Tanabata festival, and it would be my pleasure if I can share this special day with my beautiful friends in Sendai and reflect on the adventure I will have had.
Tanabata is also a time to write wishes, so today, before I left, I left my Tanabata wishes on a tree at the Tokyo Information Centre for Tourists. It was kindly translated by Risa Hikichi, who I am glad to feel the honesty of my words and translate them so accurately.
I wish that both Japanese and Western people can learn from what took place in Fukushima, and that we, the people of the world, can take positive steps forward to creating a more loving and caring world that nurtures each other, and the world’s beautiful environment.
I wish that even after such an event, humanity can all continue to smile and love one another, grow and be appreciative of the beautiful planet we have been blessed to live on.
I wish that my travel will be successful, that I can touch the hearts of all of those I meet and spread my beautiful love of the world. I also wish that my heart may be open and willing to be touched by all of those I meet on my travels, and that I may continue to grow and truly learn to follow my heart.
Deep down, I do pray that I will have safety over my trip, and that I will have the ability to touch the hearts of those affected by one of the worst disasters to date.