That “I’m in Japan” Feeling

When I came to Japan, I always had the “I’m in Japan” feeling. Everything I saw, heard, smelled, tasted, and felt was Japan. Everywhere I went, I thought, “This is Japan.”

A few months later, the feeling wore off. A few years later, that feeling just isn’t there.  I loved that feeling. I remember when I was a kid and we visited my grandparents on Vancouver Island, I had that “I’m on Vancouver Island” feeling. Then I lived there, and didn’t have that feeling anymore.  Occasionally, I’ll get flashes of these feelings whenever I’m somewhere somewhat familiar to me, but not often.

But I felt it again. After more than a week of sightseeing, I felt it again! But not where you’d imagine. I felt it while I was laying in bed this morning, hearing the sounds of everything going on outside. I suddenly felt, “I’m in Japan.”

Today, we’re going to a place that is very Japanese. From its tofu-filled shopping street to its Afuri Shrine, Mt. Oyama is a very old religious site in Japan. We’re going to climb it! And by climb it, I mean we’re taking the cable car. It’s a new cable car, too. I won’t live blog it, since I’d just say thing like, “here’s a tree, and some more trees” and “Check out this rock!” I will take video whenever we see something interesting, though.

So, my question for you today is a two-parter. First, the feeling that I’ve mentioned, do you get that feeling whenever you go somewhere new? And second, have you ever climbed a mountain? Let me know in the comments below.

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11 thoughts on “That “I’m in Japan” Feeling”

  1. I do get that feeling when I go to new towns and cities. Even if I’ve visited there before. I climbed Mt. Chirripo in Costa Rica. Though we didn’t make it to the shelter at the top because we ran out of daylight. One day I’ll be back there and we’ll make it to the top!

  2. I used to get it a lot in Europe. Ah, I’m in Germany. Ah, I’m in France. Ah, I’m in Poland. Everything was so different that it didn’t matter if I was in bed or driving down the street or at work, it was difficult to forget.

    Now, I get it whenever I go home, which is a 7-8-hour drive. As soon as I hit about 3-4 hours out, I can feel my blood come alive and my breathing change. Everything in me says, “I feel it. We’re getting close. We will be in Houston soon.”

    I don’t have that distinct feeling here in Oklahoma. It’s actually a fact I forget a lot. The one time I don’t is when I’m perusing the mountains. I haven’t climbed any, but I have driven a few. :]

    1. I got it whenever I went back to my hometown and stayed with my family. It always felt the same. I’d also have to say that the feeling of home applies to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. I’ve gone through it so many times on my way to Canada that I can feel home is near.

  3. While I get that feeling when I go someplace new, I feel it more acutely when I return to a cherished place, such as where I grew up or my college.

    The tallest mountain I have summited is Pike’s Peak in Colorado, but I’ve been there by car and by cog railway, not on foot. I can only do hills on foot. 😉

  4. I’ve “climbed” a few mountains, by which I mean hiked up them (I didn’t have to use my hands). In Africa and South America, I was often the only person on the mountain (or my group was the only group). In Southeast Asia, the mountains were usually so covered in jungle that there was no scenic view. Uluru in Australia was a lot of fun. My home continent of North America is probably where I’ve been to the fewest mountains.

    1. I’ve been to the top of only five mountains: three in Japan, two in Canada. Mt. Fuji is the tallest. Interestingly, I’ve never actually climbed a mountain in Canada. One was by gondola, the other by ski lift.

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