Every cloud…

NB: Some of my earliest blogs no longer have their accompanying images but enjoy the copy!

Or, why losing isn’t necessarily losing.

If you’ve been keeping up with my ramblings on Twitter, you probably saw that I wasn’t selected for InsideJapan Tour’s Blog to Japan finals. Obviously, I was very disappointed, not only because I’d spent three odd weeks scripting and editing my video and another six hours just trying to format it for Youtube, but also because I really wanted to have a fantastic trip around Japan and do something fantastic for the blog.

HOWEVER, I am not writing this to moan about losing or question the powers that be. I realised a couple of things whilst putting together my entry and would like to dedicate this week’s post to something else…

First of all, I am thankful to InsideJapan for running the competition. I’d never made a video like the one I submitted as part of my entry before and it was a great opportunity to solidify why I love Japan so much. Even though I didn’t win, the blog will be here to stay for a long time (I hope) and the ‘Send Sophie to Japan’ piece now has its own dedicated section for all to see in the months/years to come. I won’t stop blogging just because I didn’t win my first blogging competition but I know what to do for next time (you can guess what I think I might have done not-so-well yourself).

Secondly, I’m starting to plan a proper trip to Japan next year. I’m lucky enough to have been before but I’ve realised a two week holiday really isn’t enough for what I want to do. So, I plan to spend a month studying the language followed by a month’s travelling. I spoke to my friend Oana, who I went to university with and met at the Anime and Manga Society, before InsideJapan announced their finalists and we said ‘whatever happens, let’s just go there’! Keep an eye out for a guest travel article I wrote for another blog recently (I’ll post a link when it’s published), as that will give you a good idea of some of the places I hope to visit.

Finally, the people I have met through the blog in the past year and since I posted my Blog to Japan entry are worth a special mention. I gained about 50 new followers in those two weeks (not exactly Youtube star figures but I’m bloody pleased with them!) and so many people retweeted and commented on my entry. Special mention #1 goes to my sister Grace (who appears in the end of the video) who bought me a good luck card and Pocky and generally put up with my ‘ohmygawd’ness. Special mention #2 goes to Tokyo Hearts author Renae Lucas-Hall, who stumbled across my entry and liked it so much she sent me a signed copy of her book! I don’t think that happened to any other entrant, so I’m particularly pleased with this. I’ll be talking more about the book next month, so stay tuned…

So, after a brief wobble, I’m back on form and plan to make Sophie’s Japan Blog better than ever! I’ve already planned ahead for the next few weeks and there’s some pretty exciting stuff… plus an AWESOME secret competition. I’ve only been blogging for a year but I’ve already realised how much followers and readers make a difference. So, thanks all!

Next week, I’ll be talking about my trip to the British Film Institute London to see a one-day special screening of the anime movie Tiger and Bunny: The Beginning. On the off chance you’re going there too, post below and come say ‘hi’ on the day!

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