NB: Some of my earliest blogs no longer have their accompanying images but enjoy the copy!
Here it is, the fruit of my labours for the past few weeks. This is my blog entry for Inside Japan Tour’s Blog to Japan competition, which coincides with the tour group’s 12 year anniversary. Entrants have to present twelve reasons as to why they should be selected as the lucky winner. The prize is a two and a half week adventure around Japan and the winner has to share their experience of this wonderful country by writing a daily blog.
So, here is the video I have spent a good week editing and re-editing to make as persuasive as possible! Every campaign needs a name and this one is appropriately named Send Sophie to Japan.
Here is a lovely photo of my friend Leah with the mother of Koshi Inaba, one of the greatest rock stars in Japan. For some reason this picture didn’t appear in the Youtube video so I’m including it here so it makes sense!
As you will see in the video, I should be sent to Japan (in a box, if necessary!) because:
1) I’m a proven and passionate Japan blogger
2) I’ve visited Japanese events and written articles in the UK and Europe
3) I’m adventurous!
4) I know where I want to visit and want to step off the beaten track
5) I love Japanese history, especially the samurai
6) I want to write a novel set in Japan and need to do some research to make it authentic
7) I want to meet the wonderful Japanese people in their home country
8) I love Japanese food
9) I am in love with Japan’s natural scenery, especially the famous Nihon Sankei
10) This is the perfect opportunity to put my language skills into practice
11) I have penfriends scattered across Japan who I’d love to meet in person
12) Just ask my friends!
I also made a top 12 list of things I want to do in Japan:
1) Take in the majesty of the Nihon Sankei: Matsushima Bay, Miyajima Island and Amanohashidate
2) Dance in the crowded streets during a matsuri
3) Read manga in a cat cafe
4) See a Takarazuka performance
5) Experience a traditional tea ceremony
6) Meditate in a remote Buddhist temple or Shinto shrine
7) Buy the freshest sushi at the Tsukiji fish market
8) Eat traditional gyutan (beef tongue) in Sendai
9) Stock up on anime memorabilia in Akihabara
10) Visit the Studio Ghibli Museum
11) Ride the high speed Shinkansen
12) Meet up with my friends in Japan and take them out for dinner… and make some new ones too!
About Sophie’s Japan Blog
The fact that Sophie’s Japan Blog is celebrating its one year (12 month!) anniversary at the moment makes me feel like it was fate that I found out about this competition. In the past year, I’ve learned much more than I thought was possible just by researching, blogging and speaking to other bloggers in Japan and the UK.
If you have a look around the website, you’ll see how it’s grown and developed. I ran a Japanalphabet Twitter campaign last year, where I shared some particular features about the country’s traditional and modern culture with my followers. I’ve also written a couple of guest articles for various websites and magazines and expanded my reading list with a dedicated Book of the Month feature.
One of my secret hopes when I started this blog was that someone would pick it up and send me to Japan… and perhaps I can really realise this dream!
If you Send Sophie to Japan…
On a daily basis, you could expect to see plenty of photos and short video blogs accompanied by the music I’d no doubt discover over there, sprinkled with observations and comments from my travel companion and myself. I’m famously generous with my camera so there would also be plenty of footage with which to make some longer videos and posts when I got back! I would also create a section on the blog dedicated to the competition so the experience would be digitally immortalised for all to see!
There would even be something in it for the readers too! I often run giveaways through the blog, so it would be wrong if I didn’t buy something on my travels for a lucky someone.
Winning this competition would allow me to combine my two greatest passions; writing and travelling.
I really hope that you’ve found this entry interesting as it’s certainly been fun and challenging to make. I’d like to thank my friends who appeared in the video and all of my readers who motivated me to enter. The next stage of the competition is the selection of the three finalists, who the public will then vote on! So, if I’m lucky to make it that far, I’ll let you know! It’s been quite eye-opening putting this entry together. One thing is for certain, I think I have a good voice for documentaries!
All images from the Inside Japan Tours website and Leah Holmes