It has been exactly one year since I moved to Japan – and what a year it has been! This has been a challenging year, but one that I am very grateful for. I’ve learned so many new things, both trivial and very important things about how to live in Japan as a foreigner.
I remember going food shopping at Aeon for the first time and just walking up and down the aisles looking for anything familiar. My Google Translate app was the most helpful tool that day! Even with my app in hand it took time to figure out what I could and could not eat as a vegetarian.
I remember walking around Tenjin during my first weekend here and admiring the stores, cafes and all of the people. I had so much fun looking at the cool Japanese clothes that are so different from any I’ve seen before.
I remember celebrating the Sakura season at Ohori Park. It was beautiful to see all of the cherry blossoms and so many people having fun with their family and friends. I’ve never seen so many people picnicking until the wee hours of the night.
I remember surviving the summer heat and wondering when it would ever end.
I remember going to Hiroshima and trying Hiroshima style okinomiyaki for the first time. The pancake was good, but the sauce was the best part for me.
Overall, I have had an amazing yet challenging time here in Japan. I am happy that I took the risk of living in a foreign country so different from my own. But now it is time for me to return to the United States after 4 years living abroad. Thank you to everyone I have met at Global Café and I look forward to the next time we’ll meet!