ON THE WAY
STAY SALTY ...... travelers on the way
photographer / writer / traveler Kaori Kawamura
⁂ Journey ×
Journey × Film
I have been morbidly shy since I was a child, and I have always had a complex about it.
I always wondered how I could talk to people happily and build relationships with them smoothly, and I think I finally came up with movies.
I had always been addicted to books, so movies were a way to connect with people.
For me at the time.
The more I watched the movies, the more I became addicted to them, to the extent that I would go on location tours with my friends on my days off.
When I think about it, my love for movies is probably the reason why I started journey.
Whether in Japan or abroad, the purpose of journey is always to follow in the footsteps of someone else's story.
Fortunately, my love for movies has paid off and I am now able to work in the film industry, which allows me to journey all over Japan on business.
Of course, since I was working, I couldn't do much sightseeing, but I have good memories of talking with local people and eating a lot of local specialties.
But when I think about it, a location is just a work site for me, as I used to work in film.
We build up the background to match the movie.
Putting up decorations according to the movie.
Exclude unnecessary things according to the movie.
When I look at it objectively, I think I'm making out like a bandit.
It's like they're raiding the land and destroying it.
Even so, some areas welcome us as film locations, and there are people who are willing to help us out.
I really appreciate it.
That's why I feel so happy when I go there, because I feel that every location has its own memories of the film, and the thoughts of the many people who were involved in making it, regardless of their position.
Journey × Language
One of the things you always worry about when you travel abroad must be the language barrier.
Interestingly enough, Japan is a big country and the culture varies from region to region.
Even if you are traveling within Japan, you may not understand the language in some areas.
I am from Osaka, so the culture of Osaka is ingrained in my body.
That said, after living in Tokyo for a few years for work, I realized that language is a form of self-expression.
Language is so closely intertwined with culture that I don't think it is possible to learn a language without understanding the local culture.
No matter how much I practiced the accent of standard Japanese and became able to speak it, if I spoke standard Japanese with Osaka culture, I would stumble over the nuances and details of communication.
I struggled with this language barrier for about two years after living in Tokyo.
"I didn't mean it." and "Why do you say it like that?"
Because of this experience, when I decided to study abroad, I set a big goal to "become to handle English well."
"I think it is surprisingly easy to acquire the ability to speak a language if you study hard.
It's easy to acquire the sense of English that many Japanese are accustomed to studying for exams.
However, the hurdle of "to handle English well." is quite high.
I was aware of this when I came to Japan, but I still couldn't fix it if I wasn't conscious of it.
I could have been naive and thought that since I was not a native speaker, I should just speak English.
However, since language is a means of self-expression, I strongly felt that I wanted to convey my thoughts and feelings as well as possible.
When I first came to Japan, I was depressed and cried because I could not handle English as well as I thought I could.
There were even days when I despaired that not being able to say what I wanted to say would cause me to lose my identity to such an extent.
On days like this when I feel depressed in my study abroad destination, I wander over to a famous local café or a good bakery and try to have a conversation with the cheerful locals.
I'm an Osakaite, so I've never been afraid of suddenly talking to people on the street or having a conversation.
It's people who heal my depressed feelings, so as I talk to the locals, even though it's not very well spoken, I feel like, "I'll do my best again! I'm going to try again!
When I try to speak, and the other person's reaction is strange, I repeat the process of "I must have just used the wrong word.
It is no different from the process of changing Osaka dialect into standard Japanese.
You try to speak English, make a mistake, ask for help, and then fix it.
It was simple, but learning through conversations with others was probably the most fun and reliable way for me to learn.
When I studied abroad in three different countries to learn more about the "English" of each country, it was the first time I felt that speaking English with different accents in each country was so interesting.
The happiest moment in my travels is "laughing with people from the country, in the country's language, while drinking the country's alcohol.
Even if English is not your native language, you can use English as a common language.
If you do, you can catch people from that country and teach them the language.
I think that connecting in this way is one of the joys of learning a language.
I feel that the biggest language barrier is the fear of talking to people.
We are afraid because we don't know.
We are timid because we don't know.
If that's the case, why don't you just ask and see?
Everything can be solved by talking with people.
If you talk to people, you will naturally see the culture of the country.
English is really something that is handled differently depending on the culture you have.
Journey × History
What is the most important thing that makes a trip interesting?
I think it's knowledge.
Whether you're traveling abroad or in Japan, there's a big difference between knowing about the history of the area you're visiting and not knowing about it.
I'm sure this is not limited to travel.
I'm sure it's the same when you go to museums, plays, and theaters.
The more you know about the history and background of the items on display, the more enjoyable it will be.
It is also a good idea to actually go there and ask the locals about the history and culture.
I used to do this a lot in my travels in Japan.
When I went to Okayama, I asked locals about the places related to the legend of Momotaro and toured them.
When I went to Iwate, I was told an old story about the setting of the Tono Monogatari, and when I went to Amami Oshima, I was told about the history of Amami while I was dyeing.
This is only possible because I understand the language and culture.
So, what can be done in Japan can surely be done overseas.
When I was in France and England, I went to places recommended by my local friends, but I regretted that I could not fully enjoy them because I was not always on the history side.
Now, I would like to study the general framework of the place to a certain extent and ask the locals about the fairy tales and history of the place over a drink.
The only thing I have to be careful about is that it is a very sensitive topic depending on how you ask.
If you don't have a certain amount of knowledge about the topic, you might end up being a rude Japanese.
Respect and consideration for the country or region you are visiting is absolutely necessary.
Journey × I
Narrowing down the areas I want to visit with movies, communicating with the locals using their language, and having them tell me their history and stories makes my heart sing.
That is my style of travel, and I recognize that it is the cause of my addictive travel.
I'm not the type of person who dabbles in a lot of unfamiliar things, because I'm the type of person who dabbles in my favorite movies and favorite countries over and over again, both in movies and in travel.
Going to a favorite country over and over again, and then going to an unknown area within that country to talk with the local people, is the style that fits me.
Everyone has their own way of traveling.
I guess I will continue to follow this style of travel.
photographs and text - Samidare
designer / traveler
Formerly in the film art department. Has studied English in five cities including London and Ireland, and French in the south of France. She has traveled to locations in more than 20 countries. She has a keen interest in kimonos and Scottish tartan, and enjoys researching ethnic costumes from around the world. She is currently looking for an opportunity to go to France to study design. note is a record of her travels and a way to organize her thoughts.