Farewells

Omotesando PartyLast week began the farewells, as I said good-bye to my third-years at my other school for the last time. It took some coaxing to get them to understand that they won’t see me again, but once they got it, they were clearly really sad about it. And these guys would get a “good-bye” whether or not I was staying.

It’s been a lot harder than expected! I’m not one to cry, but I can feel my self getting emotional at the farewell parties for the students. They gave me those lovely flowers and a small board with notes from students saying how much fun they had with me. The kids were honestly the only reason I really loved teaching here. I like my schools and my company, but what made me smile, what made me love it, were the kids.    Continue reading

Japanglish

Local hair salon

Local hair salon

Learning Japanese and living in it’s country of origin makes it practically impossible to avoid using Japanglish in your everyday speech. There are just some words in Japanese that don’t have an English translation. Probably the best known word is genki- meaning lively, healthy, spirited, etc. That’s as close of an explanation we’ve come up with. For anyone living in Japan, this word is definitely part of daily speech as it holds it’s own meaning and is among the most common of Japanese words. “How are you?” is “Genki desu ka.” 

Another good example is mendokusai meaning “I can’t be bothered.” Granted, mendokusai can be conjugated and used in a variety of ways. But, it’s just mendokusai to say it in English.  Continue reading

The Constant Coffee Conundrum

Ever since moving to Japan, I have this new problem. Coffee. You see, “conbini’s” (convenience stores) carry coffee. And when I say they carry coffee, I mean they have an overwhelming amount of options. You can choose between hot or cold, but that’s only the beginning. Coffee is also sold in vending machines all over Japan (and that’s something like 1 vending machine to every 5 people…. imagine it).

Then there are the flavors. Black coffee? No brainer. Milk? Got it. Sweetened/unsweetened? Take your pick. How about caramel? Want some coffee jelly in there? Cafe Latte? Light? Cappuccino? Almond? Honey? Banana? Cream? Hokkaido cream? Brazilian blend? I’ve got it, you want the “relaxed, evening” coffee. Wait, what does that even mean?! Continue reading

It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Kurisumasu

Japan does Kurisumasu (Christmas) very similarly to the west. Most importantly, they decorate for it. Of course, houses won’t put up Christmas lights (typically) but most major shopping/sightseeing areas put up special decorations.

All the shops are decorated and sell special Christmas merchandise, to boot. If you can imagine the fine, adorable quality of Japanese stuff, it’s like a Christmas shop-a-holic’s heaven.

All over Tokyo, special “illumination festivals” are held during December, and Disney goes all out, too. I’ve taken it upon myself to personally find all of them in the greater Tokyo area. Continue reading

Mixing it up

So in an effort to keep myself motivated, I’m changing the pace of this blog. You can still look forward to my verbose “insights on Japan.” But from here on out, the plan is to write more often, write shorter posts, and show more. You’re also going to get to know me a lot better.

Did you know:

  • I’m a fitness enthusiast. Not to be mistaken for someone who is actually fit. I just enjoy learning about fitness and trying new workouts.
  • I’m really into photography and art. You may have guessed this already, but I’m going to let it show more than ever.
  • I have an inner fat-kid. I’m a foodie who loves sweets. Be prepared to hear about amazing food/recipe discoveries.

So, it’s going to turn into more of a “daily-life” blog, with some longer posts about culture and the like sprinkled around.

This is also an attempt to motivate myself to look for inspiration and positives in my daily routine. Hopefully you enjoy some of my findings as well!

 Yoroshiku!

Apartment Tour

Alright, this is a video of my (tiny) apartment here in Koga! It’s pretty short and quite informative. It was shot when I first got here, so my room looks a bit more complete now, with decorations, flowers and the like. Either way, you get the idea. Please don’t mind the mess!
Continue reading