I got this daruma doll from a small shop during one of my now routine visits to Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo Historic District sometime last Summer because I wanted to achieve something specifically great. Today, it will be traveling with me to where it originated from as I achieve the life goal I so passionately began and pursued nearly twelve months ago (and possibly well before that in small doses).
For two weeks, I will be experiencing first-hand the culture of Japan that I have grown to be fond of since, admittedly, the days I was first introduced to flashy and sometimes corny anime on local television broadcasts, the squeal and roar of tires and engines as lightweight and sporty cars swiftly slid sideways across L.A. county’s northernmost race tracks, and the slurp and sip of my first bowl of as-authentic-as-possible Hakata ramen. As far as I knew, I was the epitome of all things extremely yet nonchalantly otaku when it came to Japanese culture in American lifestyle; and I’m sure it helped that I’ve lived so close to L.A., one of the closest spots to experience, at least, the Japanese-American side of the culture, and had the pleasure of having such a wonderful batch of family and friends to help share with me in the excitement, gluttony, and fandom.
And now, here I am, six hours away from an eleven-hour flight to visit a longtime dear friend of mine, and to take a step that I’m sure many only dream about at my age and yet few actually clear their schedules and save up enough funds to do.
For the next fourteen days, follow me through my first experience to Japan as I narrate my trip with a series of pictures and words and that I can only hope will seek to inspire those who wish to achieve their own lifelong dreams, for those as curious as me about culture and travel as a travel-newbie, and for those simply looking to enjoy the ride with me here remotely. If all goes well, I’ll at least be able to find time for a few hours each day to share my thoughts and post here everyday or every other day.
And by then, I’m sure the second eye of my daruma doll will be happily filled in, and I’ll be able to keep it with me as a symbol of one of many lifetime achievements I’ll be looking forward to.
See you in Japan! ^_^