Kyoto: I’m Still Not Over You

Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto

To me, Kyoto is like an ex that I can’t forget. We had a year long love affair and even though we’re apart now, my heart is still there. If I close my eyes, I’m back in Kyoto, clear as day. I just can’t let go.

When I got back to New Zealand after leaving Japan, I tried not to remember my memories of Kyoto because it was too painful – I didn’t want to acknowledge the fact that I wasn’t there anymore. I was in denial.

So, what do you do when you’re still in love with somewhere you left two years ago? How do you mend a heart that got broken over leaving a city?

When I stop and think about it, I believe there are actually a few reasons why Kyoto still has such a powerful hold on me:

1. Home Away From Home

Kyoto was the first place that I lived away from my family and my hometown of Christchurch and it was the first place where I fully came into my own. I became an independent being that could survive alone in a different country. I made a home for myself, away from home. Kyoto was where I could finally be one hundred percent myself. I truly believe that the birth place of your own emancipation will stay with you, always.

2. Best Times with Best Friends

Kyoto was also where I got to know some of the best people I have ever met. The friends I made at the International House where I lived for the year are people that I will never forget. We all got along so well and we went through the experience of living abroad at the same time, which only brought us closer together. We went to so many places together and did so many fun things that I think I’m still mourning the loss of all of those good times.

3. Finding (and Leaving) My Love

Last but definitely not least, Kyoto was where I fell in love. Big Love. It was where I met the love of my life and it was where we had all of our first dates and experiences together. And you don’t go forgetting somewhere like that in a hurry.

On a sadder note, it was also where I had to leave my love when my exchange year was over and I had to go back to New Zealand. I think those memories of major love and massive heartbreak when I had to leave him are still jumbled up inside of me and associated with Kyoto whenever I think of it.


Okay, so this was embarrassing to admit, but I was actually tearing up while writing this post. What are you still doing to me, Kyoto!


Does anyone else have a place they lived in that their heart just won’t let go of?

Please tell me I’m not the only one! I’m begging you!