As a child I wished I could be a Japanese schoolgirl, heading to my studies alongside Serena Tsukino or Sakura Kinomoto, catching up with my friends at the arcade after class or meeting my brother and his friends to go to a festival at the shrine. I spent hours reading manga and daydreaming about my alternate life – it was an escape from my life as a loser at school. I don’t think I realised how much of the clothes and fashion present in anime and manga infiltrated my young brain until this trip – so much of my personal style was identical to the young girls we saw daily in Japan.
This unintentional Japanese Schoolgirl aka seifuku outfit was completely serendipitous (blouse, skater skirt and trainers is my daily uniform at home) but the minute I emerged Sam exlaimed “you look like you’re going to school!”. So of course when we visited Keio University we had to take these “going to school” photos! My own school uniform was pretty boring – I would have preferred cute sailor collars and pleated skirts! We headed to Kinchi Park afterwards, a beautiful little playground filled with teenagers and kids.
The Keio University campus itself was so regal – I’m sure it was partly due to the combination of sakura bloom and intense sunshine (notice me squinting in every photo…) but the buildings seemed steeped in wisdom, authority and knowledge. It wasn’t too hard to slip back into my childhood daydreams and imagine myself chatting with friends on the walk to lectures or studying under the sakura during summer exams. I always like visiting universities when I go somewhere new – my own university meant so much to me and I suppose I’m curious about where everybody else spends their student years!