Be Right Back

January 13, 2017

I’ve given Tokyo more chances than I’ve given most people. Every time I find myself here again, I fall for it a little more. But, I’m not quite head over heels for it yet.

Unlike New York or any other cities I’ve been to, Tokyo is probably one of the densest. Imagine the island of Manhattan not composed of only the Upper/Lower East/West, Midtown, Tribeca and every other Avenues in between, but all of the boroughs of New York squished altogether (yes, Staten Island too). Tokyo is in fact not even a city, but just a metropolis portion of its geographic region - just to give you an idea for scale.

Coming from a place that makes you feel as little as an ant or a giant depending on whether or not you’re having a good day, my biggest mistake was assuming Tokyo, just like New York, was different but the same.

On my very first trip to Tokyo, I remember feeling the same way I felt on my first day of elementary school in 3rd grade, after immigrating from Vietnam. It was a feeling of excitement and anxiousness that mixed together well and marinated into a realization of not belonging soon after.

Knowing what I know then alongside to what the experiences I’ve been through have taught me. I should have been reminded that being comfortable helps you have a good time, but feeling discomfort pushes you to have a meaningful one.

Instead of being afraid to face the uncertainties of the various barriers that I'd encounter this time around. Although I'll never regret looking at Tokyo with such a critical eye that first summer I first visited it. I paid a little bit more attention and listened just a little more intently. It definitely paid off in the genuine connections I’ve made and the things I’ve discovered with just a little more effort than previous times here. For this is the first trip where I've counted more conversations initiated by native speakers with me than all of my previous times combined.

The last photograph in this photo-set is one that really makes me feel like a heroine exiting a sci-fi episode where she's walking away, but you just have a feeling she'll be back again soon.


Coat: Zara (similar here and here)
Top: /Styling (similar options here and here)
Skirt: Zara
Shoes: Acne Studios
Bag: Celine Belt Bag

Photos by Shun S.