#Japanspiration: Instagrammer of the Month

Interview courtesy of our fab new Online Features Editor Akai Tsuioku

This month’s feature is @waygaijin aka William Chesser, originally from the USA. William first became fascinated with Japan after tasting green tea for the first time at a Japanese culture presentation during kindergarten, but it wasn’t until 2010 while living in neighbouring South Korea that he visited Japan for the first time.  

“there it was - hot, green, and bitter, defying everything I had known. I realized suddenly that the world was much bigger than my corner of Georgia, and I wondered what other colors tea could be.”    

After spending five days in Tokyo, he was surprised at how clean and quiet it was, having expected it to be the complete opposite, being one of the largest cities in the world.  

“There was a strange beauty in the way Tokyo untied all of my misconceptions about Japan. I knew I had to visit again.” 

William's second trip took him to Fukuoka, where he was awe inspired at the long history of the city, having grown up in a place where the oldest building had been standing for less than a century.  It was during this trip that he decided to try living in Japan, and after a positive experience teaching in Korea, he submitted his application to the JET teaching programme.          

After researching lesser-known areas of Japan, William became intrigued by Hokkaido, and requested a placement in a rural area there.  He was placed in Teshikaga - a small, quiet town in the eastern part of the island  with stunning scenery.  He was struck by how familiar the place felt; the roads were wide, everyone drove, and there were spacious buildings on large plots of land. To him, it felt much like rural USA, except everyone was speaking Japanese.     

After 2 years in Teshikaga, he decided to leave the JET Program to try living in another area of Japan. Shizuoka felt like a convenient place for travelling around Honshu due to its location between Tokyo and Osaka, and close proximity to Mt. Fuji, and he has been living in the Shimizu ward of Shizuoka City for the past 2 years.     

You can follow William's adventures in Japan over on Instagram where he posts regular updates as @waygaijin

If you fancy being Instagrammer of the month, email us at hello@lovejapanmagazine.com and connect with over on Instagram at @lovejapanmag