Happy Japan-niversary!


Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto

We’ve lived in Japan now for three years. Three years? Really?

Time truly does fly! Three years of exploring this beautiful country which has become our home. Here’s a few things we’ve learned during our time here.

1. Customer service is AMAZING! You are cheerfully greeted as you enter any store. Workers are quick to help you find what you want. And they bow after every purchase. But the best customer service innovation is a buzzer found on the tables of many restaurants Perfect solution for having a waiter there when you need them and no mindless chitchat about how your food tastes when you don’t.

2. I will never learn to read this language. Yes, it’s sad but I’ve just resigned myself to that fact. The challenge is it isn’t one written language but four! You have hiragana, katakana, kanji, and romanji (Japanese words written in Roman alphabet). To be honest, the hiragana, katakana, and romanji would be do-able but kanji is straight memorization…and my brain just shuts down!

3. Homes are fragile. This is possibly one of the few dislikes I have about living in Japan. The homes are cold, cold, cold in the winter because they are built to “breath” during those hot and humid summers. The floors are impossible to keep clean and glossy because even though it’s wood, there is not durable wax to protect it. The redeeming factor is most homes have heated toilet seats. Best invention ever! I want one in my American home.

4. Food is diverse. Most Americans seem to think only of sushi and teppanyaki when it comes to Japanese cuisine. And now, ramen is starting to make a splash! But this is barely scratching the surface of Japanese cuisine. It’s varied and diverse from curry and yakitori to nabe and kaiseki. And once you’re finished sampling Japanese food, you can move onto basically any cuisine in the world. French, Italian, Moroccan, Chinese, American BBQ, or whatever your stomach desires!

This list could go on and on because we are always learning and growing. Living in a foreign culture is not only challenging, but forces you to growing as a person on a daily basis. You have to step outside your comfort zones, embrace the adventure, and make the most of the time you have here. We’ve enjoyed our three years of experiences, the friends we’ve made, and personal growth. Here’s to another two years in the “Land of the Rising Sun”!

Enjoy some photos of our first three years!


Day 2 in Japan: Iwakuni’s Kintai-kyo Bridge


Miyajima Island and its famous floating torii


Making momiji-manju on Miyajima island with my work group


Hiking Mt. Fuji with my sister and brother-in-law


Birthday weekend to the art island of Naoshima


Festa de Rama with friends


Cooking class in Kyoto with visiting family


Backpacking Shikoku with Zion


Hasu-chan, Iwakuni’s mascot, at a Lotus Root cooking class


Learning to make a character bento


Trying cross-country skiing on Nagano’s Olympic course


Meeting up with old friends from my BGSU years


Performing tea ceremony

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