Weekend With is an ongoing Instagram series that features people we like photographing places we’d like to be. Follow @thecut on Instagram to join in, and tag your photos with #weekendwith when you travel somewhere new.
Lindsay Akemi Arakawa (@blindsaay) recently left her job as senior creative social strategist at Refinery29 to move to Japan. “I moved to Tokyo to see if I could live a fulfilling life that wasn’t directly tied to career. Not so much in an Eat, Pray, Love kind of way, but I got to a point where I decided that life is way too short to sit and ponder on your interests, goals, and dreams. I’ve always wanted to live in Japan, so I just did it.” Adjusting to living in a new country proved challenging in the beginning for her. “Thankfully I have a small, but very helpful support system out here, which has been such a blessing,” she said. Scroll down for photos from her life in Tokyo.
“Before moving to Tokyo, I told myself that I wanted to take a short trip outside of the city at least once a month — this picture was taken when a friend and I took a day trip to Hitachi Seaside Park. I enjoy living in big cities, but I’ve found that balancing that with nature is important to me.”
“At the time, I had no idea what I was looking at when taking this photo. A friend and I saw this park geotagged on Instagram and we decided to hop on a train to check it out. Turns out this is a plant called kochia, or Miharashi no Oka — I don’t think I was meant to touch them, but I did and they spongey.”
“When I first moved to Tokyo, I stayed with a good friend, Keiko, while I got my new life figured out. Keiko is a fantastic prop stylist out here in Tokyo and also such a kind friend. We took this photo when we decided to walk 25 minutes to a bar that ended up being closed.”
“This photo is honestly one of eight photos that I took of the Tokyo Skytree. It was my day off, the sky was so clear, the weather finally started to feel like fall, and the Skytree was looking real cute, so I went off with my camera. It’s probably such a waste of money, but I picked up a habit where I’ll take the same photo with the same framing over and over again until I feel like I have at least a few good shots to look forward to.”
“Sometimes you get real lucky and you see a bus that instantly reminds you of one of your favorite pop girl groups in the middle of Ryogoku, the sumo wrestling district in Tokyo.”
“There’s a level of trust in Japan that always has me feeling like I’m living in a storybook. Bikes are hardly ever locked up (unless you’re somewhere like Shibuya), deliveries are left untouched, and the respect for others that flows throughout the city is, well, respectable.”
“The other day I learned that Mt. Fuji is an active volcano. Out of pure fear, I actually haven’t looked it up myself, BUT despite this warning, I traveled down to Hakone in November to bathe in an onsen, take pics of the mountain, and eat some black eggs in Owakudani. Supposedly eating one of these eggs is meant to extend your life by five years. Your girl had 2.5 eggs, so I’m v. much looking forward to the extra 12.5 years of life.”
“Every time I have a friend visiting from New York, comparisons are a-l-w-a-y-s made between Tokyo and NYC. Supposedly Shinjuku is similar to Times Square, so you better believe that I try to avoid going to Shinjuku at all costs. #SheNotComfortableWithLargeCrowds.”
“I saw this on my way to McDonald’s in Roppongi the other day and took it as a sign (lol) to live my best life. So, when I got to McDonald’s, I ordered some mini cinnamon rolls with my Filet-O-Fish meal.”
“If we’re talking about comparisons between New York and Tokyo, Shimokitazawa is a neighborhood that has a lot in common with Williamsburg. IMO, some of the best shopping is in Shimo, especially if you’re into vintage finds and vinyls.”