I'm excited to be part of this big project as Japan is home for me. Having lived in Japan for 5 years before, I have a love-hate relationship with the country (haha). But for all the things that annoy me about Japan, each time I return, it has always been, "ただいま, I'm home."
I was living in Japan when the Great East Japan Earthquake hit and it was a strong shindo 6 (Japanese earthquake measurement scale) where I lived. While the days that followed were filled with uncertainty and confusion, a lot of it was also spent assuring family and friends back in Singapore that things were fine where I was. Even in the weeks and months that followed, I heard and read all sorts of misinformation and fear-mongering detracting people from coming to Japan. It made me angry to hear and see all of that, and I made it a point to correct misinformation as best as I could.
During my 5 years in Japan, I travelled a fair bit domestically, with Kyushu being one of the major regions I have never been to. As your southern reporter starting in Cape Sata, Kyushu, I'm definitely looking forward to showing the beauty the Southern route has to offer! Of course, the Southern route does not consist of Kyushu only. From Kyushu all the way to Itoigawa, I can't say I've been to all of the places on the route. Who knows what adventures will be waiting for me/us there. I'm excited that there'd be hiking and cycling involved on the tour as these are (in my opinion), the best ways to see the great outdoors and experience the country.
As Thomas Köhler showed, Japan is greater, bigger, and more than just the disaster area. There're plenty of places to visit and fall in love with if you aren't already.
I love Japan.
We love Japan.
See you there,