Every day, I am drinking green tea, at night I sleep on tatami mats, often I eat rice, natto, fish and nori, I listen to Japanese language exercises, and I do try to speak Japanese at every opportunity. But still this is not like Japan, like what I experienced when I stayed in Japan last year – not even close. Every day I keep thinking about this unforgettable time, all those wonderful encounters with kindhearted people, who supported me while I was crossing Japan.
My thoughts are wandering to Japan every day, and I think this will not change for a long time. Many people in Japan I have been knowing for ages, and others whom I met during my trip or via Facebook, keep me posted on what is going on in Japan. Every day I am looking forward to see nice pictures and to receive kind messages, and I am glad to hear that even travel to the Tohoku region is picking up.
Finally, eight months after I started out to my trip, I feel at home again in Winterthur, and am busy setting up my own Japan travel business. I moved house successfully, but now there are still quite a number of bureaucratic obstacles to overcome.
I already had visitors from Japan. Rolf Müller, who lives in Yokohama, and who supported “Hiking through Japan”, came to Switzerland, and also came to see me. I was very happy about it, and we took a trip down memory lane.
Following our 11th March Joint Charity I got the very positive feedback that a lot of people joined the Japan Charity Bazaar, and spend a lot of money on it, a huge share of it going to the Red Cross. Also, I did a few more interviews for German and Swiss media, and my long-time pen friend, Yuko Kaneda told the Yomiuri Shinbun, a daily Japanese newspaper, about my activities in Japan. They liked my project “Hiking through Japan” very much, and accordingly published a huge article about my trip through Japan.
It is a big relief, and of course joy for me to see that the feeling that Japan is still one of the best destinations worldwide is not lost here in Switzerland. Also people here know that travelling there is no problem. I am looking forward to book a lot of trips for Swiss people to Japan. I will be starting on 2nd July.
On 11th May you will find my next blog entry. Looking forward to seeing you here again!
Thank you very much, and best regards from Switzerland