Kim has been based in Japan since 2017. As a freelance writer and translator, she covers Japanese music, art and travel, for local and international publications. Subject matter ranges from indigenous tattoos to expressionist dancers.
Which country or location most inspires you?
Anywhere I’m visiting for the first time is super inspiring to me. You can’t beat that rush and bubbling up of new moments that come with being in a new place, whether country, city or neighbourhood.
Where would you go back to and why?
I love Onomichi, a small town on the Seto Inland Sea. Up until a few years ago, it was suffering massively from depopulation, until the locals started a campaign to renovate the area, attracting city dwellers who longed for a quieter life and cheaper rent. Lower rates meant they were able to start their own shops and cafes, so Onomichi is now a thriving cultural hub, full of independent businesses housed in really cool, old Japanese houses.
Top tip for visiting Tokyo?
Tokyo is huge and its train system is intense. Imagine London underground x10. Then mix everything up and you get an accurate idea. When you go to the train stations, especially big ones such as Shibuya or Tokyo, keep your eye on the signs around you, coloured coded for each train line. Think of it like a treasure map and your journeys will be a lot easier.