It all started when a friend got me addicted to watching Japanese dramas in my first year at University. I got so addicted to the point that I found myself watching these shows on the morning of my final exams in the summer of 2006.
I thought to myself that taking up Japanese as one of my elective modules in my second and third years would be the best way to justify all the time spent watching Japanese dramas during my free time as it can be then considered studying.
I took it a step further and enrolled into the MSc in Modern Japanese Studies at the University of Oxford in 2008. As part of the requirement for the course, I had to achieve a certain level of Japanese language which led to me buying a return ticket to Japan with no idea on where I would stay or what I would do for 7 weeks in Japan.
Luck was on my side. My dad and sister met a Japanese man on a city bus tour in Frankfurt where they were before coming over to the UK for my graduation. This same man turned out to be the kindest, most generous yet whacky guy I now refer to as my host dad, Kanagawa-san. Thanks to him and his family, we now have yet another place to call home.
I’ve since been back to Japan twice, in 2011 with the husband just before the tsunami, and in the summer of 2015 with our firstborn.