Since I’ve been studying in the Osaka area, I’ve been to Kyoto, Nara, Kobe and a few other areas. I’ve really wanted to go and check out Tokyo for a while so I figured spring break was the perfect time. I made plans to meet up with my friend from FSU who is studying abroad as well. That meant that I was going to have to get to Tokyo on my own. Up until this point, I’ve always gone everywhere as a group so I was understandably nervous. I get stared at quite a bit in Japan as I do look quite “foreign” compared to the Japanese population. I’d never noticed just how much I got stared at until I started traveling alone. It hadn’t bothered me before because everything is easier when you’re in a group. I had thought that figuring out the train system alone would be my biggest challenge. Instead, it was actually the attention I was receiving which I struggled with. 4 hours later, I’d finally made it to Tokyo and the staring finally begin to diminish. In Tokyo with the thousands of tourists visits daily, I was hardly interesting anymore. Though I hung out with my friends a majority of the time I was in Tokyo, I did decide to take two days to go sightseeing on my own. I ventured out to the non tourist areas and found myself getting staring at again. However, the longer I explored, the more I found myself comfortable with the staring. By the time I left Tokyo, I was significantly less bothered. I even started joking with my classmate that perhaps sightseeing alone and getting stared at, will help me overcome my public speaking fear!

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