Half-way into 2022, and it seems like the cloud of COVID is slowly starting to lift around the world. Japan’s entry restrictions are still very strict, but it’s obvious from my social media feed that a lot more people are travelling in general. I feel lucky that I was based here during the pandemic – somewhere I love to be anyway. But it’s also nice to think that travelling abroad has now become an actual possibility again. In recent months, my mind has become excited by the thought of eating pho in Vietnam, cycling through the Thai countryside, and listening to the waves in Bali. Not to mention seeing friends and family back home in Northern Ireland. It almost feels weird and surreal to be contemplating doing the things I once took for granted.
2022 has been a ‘foundation’ year for me – something that happens every 3-4 years in my life where I shake things up a bit and lay the groundwork for the next few years to come. I got my Japanese Permanent Residency, and I am currently in the process of transferring jobs into one that will give me more vacation. This will give me a bit more freedom at various points throughout the year – something I feel that has come at the right time, with the world opening up again.
Despite its size, Tokyo continues to have a calming effect on me – its smaller neighbourhoods affording me the peace and quiet that I seem to crave the older I get. I’ve lived here for ten years now, yet still don’t get bored taking pictures of the daily things I see. I hope you continue to enjoy looking at them, too.
Justin / IKIMASHO
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