Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Two Weeks

Two weeks from now I will be on a plane heading back to the US (well, hopefully if my flight is on time!). It's crazy to think about it! I'm going to miss a lot here, but there are things to look forward to as well.

Back in May I did a post about what I missed and didn't miss (click here to see it). Since May, I still agree with many of those things, with the exception of not missing food. I miss a lot of food in America now.

So now here is a new list of what I will miss and what I am looking forward to.


Shibuya, Tokyo

I haven't done a whole lot of traveling in my life, but I can't imagine ever loving a place as much as I love Tokyo. It's a huge city, but it's easy to get around because everywhere I want to go is a quick walk from a train or subway station. The trains and subways are super convenient and run often. The Yamanote Line does a loop around the city and trains come every 2.5 - 4 minutes, so you never have to wait for long!
Shopping in Tokyo is awesome. There are tons of places to eat. There are nice parks. I could list tons of things that are great about Tokyo. :)
I'm trying to think of something I dislike about Tokyo and actually can't think of anything right now. Well, I guess it can be a bit crowded, but it doesn't really bother me that much.

Public Transportation
I live in a town with a 5,000 population out in the middle of nowhere and there is still a bus route that goes to the train station. It comes about every half hour or hour depending on the time of day. It's pretty reliable too. It's usually on time or just a couple minutes late. One time it was nine minutes late, but that was unusual.
The trains are even more punctual! Trains are so convenient and I'll miss them a lot. I prefer taking a train over driving. I'm less likely to get lost on a train. :)
So, public transportation is just awesome here in Japan. :)

Cute Stuff
There's so much cute stuff in Japan! I've taken pictures of many cute things that I've bought so there's not much point in saying too much about this. Though I could go on and on and on about cute stuff. :)

Clothing That Fits
I don't really like clothing shopping in the US. Well, I like it, but it can be very frustrating. When I see something I like, it often doesn't fit very well. Many tops fit weird on my shoulders, the sleeves are way too long, I can't find my size, etc. When I see something I like in Japan, it almost always fits! It makes clothes shopping so much more fun. Plus, the clothing here is cuter so I find more things that I like.
So, I'm kind of stocking up on clothing. I'm trying to pack up my stuff, but I'm making it a bit harder for myself because I bought three new shirts this past weekend... :P

I love Japanese convenience stores. In the US, I only went to convenience stores when I was at the gas station. In Japan, I go to konbini much more often. Besides stocking up on junk food I can make copies, pay bills, pay for amazon.com purchases, and more. Plus, they have decent food. I often buy salad, onigiri, yakisoba, and more.

my first real meal in Japan

There is a lot of Japanese food I dislike. I can tolerate some seafood, but I still hate most of it. I still don't like eating raw meat. The idea of eating raw meat doesn't really gross me out anymore, but I hate the texture and the taste. But, there are many things I will miss, including noodles (ramen! soba! udon! yum!) and crazy Kit Kats.

It's a heated table. It's awesome. That's all.


The natural scenery in this area is beautiful. There are mountains (Mt. Fuji!) and the ocean. I've never lived near either, so it's very nice here!


Going New Places
I am constantly going new places in Japan. I never traveled in the US as much as I do in Japan. It's just much more convenient here.


I love making stuff and selling it on Etsy. I could still do it here in Japan, but it would be harder to sell stuff because of international shipping. Plus, a lot of stuff that I make is made from Sculpey, and I need an oven for that. No oven here. :( After a year in Japan, I am full of some really super cute ideas and I can't wait to make them!

I'm looking forward to skim milk, cereal, Mexican food, cheese, cookies, veggie burgers, lima beans... mmm! I usually don't like grocery shopping in Japan because I don't know what a lot of stuff is and can't find what I want. Today I went to the grocery store and they were out of bread. Seriously. Okay, well, they did have a couple loaves of expensive bread from the store's bakery, but they were out of normal loaves of sliced bread.

I never really appreciated things like dryers before. Doing the laundry can be annoying. In the US I could do laundry the night before I needed something. Here I have to wait for stuff to dry. Also, I have to plan when I do my laundry based on when it will rain. I've tried drying stuff in my apartment and it takes forever. Though sometimes it takes forever to dry outside as well, especially with the humidity.
I also look forward to ovens, better washing machines, and microwaves. The microwave thing is my fault though because I've just been too cheap to buy one.

Living in Less Temporary Conditions
This goes with the thing above about being too cheap to buy a microwave. There are many things I haven't bought because I'm here for only a year. 

Hot Water
I have hot water in the bathroom, but only in the shower/bath. The sink does not have hot water. The kitchen sink doesn't have hot water either. It's not convenient to use the shower to wash my hands because I have to turn a knob to turn on the gas, and then turn another knob and hold it down for a while to heat the water. 

Insulation, Heating, and Air Conditioning
My apartment doesn't have heat, but I have a couple space heaters, a heated rug, and a kotatsu. I can get a room fairly warm, but if I turn off the heater, it's super cold a few minutes later. My apartment (as well as most apartments in Japan) doesn't have insulation. I really don't understand this. 
Plus, even though I can warm the upstairs pretty well, when I go downstairs it's super cold! I look forward to living in a house where I don't see my breath inside! 
Oh, and it was super hot in the summer. I actually didn't mind it that much except in the mornings. It was impossible to sleep in because the sun rose around 4 AM so it was usually already in the 80s by 6:30 when I woke up for work. Ugh.

I never saw any cool storms here. I saw lightning a couple times during the summer, but it was usually far away. There was a storm in Toi once this whole year and I saw like three strikes of lightning, though one did strike right really close, but that wasn't cool because it knocked the power out for a little bit.

Well, that's all I can think of right now, though I'm sure I've left some things out. It will be interesting to look back at this post once I am back in the US to see what other things I miss! 


  1. And now you'll be coming home to super expensive gas prices. Ugh; I'd much rather take a bus to go somewhere and walk than to pay these ridiculous prices. And as far as I know, we're the cheapest in the country!

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