adventurer, traveler, and designer at heart, jay roop is on a mission to experience the most that earth has to offer and bring others on board for the time of their lives. currently residing in seoul, korea where he runs operations for his design studio, and previously living in gothenburg, sweden and san francisco, california, he is ready to share documentation of his life and work with all those who are interested.
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my name is jay. four years ago i got on a plane to japan. when i got there i had my life turned upside down. the photo above is of my first meal after landing.
basic communication and daily activities were intimidating. i didn’t speak the language. i couldn’t read what food i was buying. i was jet-lagged, but having the time of my life.
my friend ben and i lived in an 18m square apartment together for 4.5 months.
we often rode our bikes past familymart; our closest convenience store, over the bridge and down along the river where the cherry blossoms were blooming in the distance, past the rice fields with the occasional farmer hunched over paying us no attention, through the rolling hills to school.
occasionally we made the 45 minute walk back home as a result of staying out too late down by the ishikawa river while drinking with the other students, witnessing wild stunts such as a guy eating an entire of wasabi paste, or someone jumping into the cold, dirty river water.
most often, though, we made our way under the vines shading the winding alley behind our apartment, past the old man with the one room bicycle shop, down the street and then through another alley behind the pachinko parlor where it wasn’t uncommon to encounter a drunk peeing man, cats, or bees (quite an odd assortment) before spilling out across the street from our local train station by the same name of our town – tondabayashi.
this was just the beginning, but putting everything down into words is something i’ve wanted to do ever since i got back, and i hope this will be some kind of reminder to myself to make that wish a reality. every time i try, it always comes out a bit jumbled, missing some things here and there, and generally indecipherable to others, but i really want to find a way to tell this story, at least for myself.