Many first-time visitors to this site stumble upon it via Google while looking for information on Tokyo, or how to become a kindergarten teacher in Japan. You may be wondering then why essentially all the posts since April have been non-Japan related.
Well, for the last six months I have pretty much been travelling non-stop. I had always toyed with the idea of setting up a sister site to IKIMASHO! – one for my travels outside of Japan, but the truth is I just wanted to keep everything in the one place. I see this site as an extension of myself, and so I wanted it to showcase all my interests, not just Japan. That’s why on IKIMASHO! I post up my art, stuff I have written for other publications, as well as guest posts from some of the punk bands and electronica artists I love. And of course, writings and photography from my travels worldwide – with three continents/ten countries in the last six months alone.
Japan > Thailand > Nepal > Northern Ireland > Morocco > Spain > Northern Ireland > Denmark > Sweden > Northern Ireland > Sri Lanka > Bali > Java > Thailand > Northern Ireland
This constant travel, as well as my other interests, means that IKIMASHO! can sometimes feel a bit disjointed and ‘all over the place’. First-time visitors may ponder: “Oh, it’s a site about Japan! No wait, it isn’t. It’s a travel site. No hang on, it isn’t a travel site either. What is this?” I wouldn’t say that it troubles me per se, but it is something I have been thinking about over the last few weeks. I am still glad that I decided to keep everything under the one roof, but I’m slightly worried that regular readers kinda wonder what the hell is going on.
I guess IKIMASHO! will continue to be, first and foremost, a documentation of my time in Japan – but with my other interests such as travel, art and music making an appearance. It just so happens that right now, since I am outside Japan, the posts about travel are taking centre stage. But I intend, over the next month or so, to write a bit about Japan and feature some Japanese-inspired art I am working on. Right now I am visiting my parents in Northern Ireland and I will be here for Christmas, with the intention of going back to Japan early next year.
I won’t share this post on social media, it’s just something I wanted to write down for myself and get clear in my own head. But if by chance you are a subscriber to IKIMASHO! – or have come here via WordPress – I’d very much appreciate it if you took a quick moment to write a comment below and tell me that you’re still here, and still following despite my absence from Japan over the last few months. I hope the randomness of the site doesn’t bother you too much.
IKIMASHO! has grown a lot over the years – this year in particular – and so I hope the random mixture of Japan, travel, art, music, culture and weirdness isn’t too oddball a mix. And if it is? Well, screw it, I’ll continue doing it anyway.
Hope you are all doing awesome.
Justin / IKIMASHO!