I knew I was worlds away from Tokyo the moment I peered out the plane window to see a blue sky, sandy shores and a blur of endless green trees and terracotta roofs. It was a far cry from the towering and never-ending, yellow-lit skyscrapers that greeted me upon landing in Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. I remember back then feeling helplessly small and wondering how I could possibly find my way in a city of that size. But upon arriving back in Sydney I came to realise that a lot of my fears were unfounded and as I disembarked from the plane I couldn’t help but feel accomplished.
Ume (plum) tree blossoms at the Imperial Palace East Gardens. Photo by: Beverly Parungao