Around Koga

My Tiny Apartment a Year Later

From the doorThis post is more for pictures, but perhaps you read my post from about a year ago when I arrived in Japan. Now, I’ve definitely collected more… things. It’s going to be hard to decide what to take and what to leave. Clearly, there is a lot to choose from. I may have bought a few too many books, also. I better start getting picky!

Despite being a really small apartment, for my brief duration here, it definitely felt like home and I made it my own. I’ll be sad to leave all it’s crafty strorage spaces and easiness to clean. It’s been fun, Leo Palace. If only you were wired for fiber-optics, we could have been better friends.

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Ramblings

More Notes on Translation

An endless ocean of change

An endless ocean of change

Tomorrow marks 5 weeks until I return home to visit friends for nearly 1 month. 5 weeks. That’s just over a month. That’s 3 weeks at First school and 2 weeks at Second school. That’s 5 more Wednesday classes. That’s almost a year from leaving Florida.

5 weeks.

And where am I now?

People like to ask me “Has living in Japan changed you?” My answer is a distinct “Yes.” The natural follow up question is “In what ways?” To which I never have a response. I know I’ve changed. I can feel it in the way I look at others, in the way that others look at me. I can feel it in my body language, my responses, my decisions. I’ve definitely changed. But in what way, I don’t know.  Continue reading

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Ramblings

The Whole Truth

Sunset over the school

Sunset over the school

I’ve just returned from a fun-filled 4-day weekend in Sapporo at the Snow Festival with none other than Becky the Banana. I’d be lying if I said I’ve recuperated already.

So, apologies in advance, but today I’m just going to post a link to, by far, one of the funniest articles I’ve read in a long, long time. I would call this “not safe for work” as you’ll surely be unable to contain your laughter. For those of you who don’t live in Japan (or never have) I’m afraid it might not be as funny but it’s sure to get you giggling on this groggy Tuesday. Mind you, it’s been passed around a bit, so if you’ve already enjoyed this piece forgive me for being so unoriginal today.

Without further ado, the truth about living in Japan:

5 Things Nobody Tells You About Living in Japan

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Travel

The Foreseeable Plan

With a six day work week and a slew of “big girl” documents that need to be taken care of, I’ve been nothing shy of busy. To add to the pile, it’s 8 weeks left here in Ibaraki meaning it’s time to take a look at that Life Plan. So far, I’m still not 100% sure what is going on, but I’ve bought a few plane tickets so I know at least that much. So here it is, my current, temporary, tentative, foreseeable plan.
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Travel

Kurisumasu in Sapporo

Christmas Town 2I flew all the way to Hokkaido for one very important thing: to have a white Christmas. And that’s exactly what it was.

Carolyn and I got a 4 day head-start on the group by arriving in Sapporo on the 22nd. Typical Japan, there were plenty of Christmas activities going on. The park and tower were all dressed up for the occasion with special lights and music. The middle of the park had the most amazing “Christmas Town” set up with German food and Russian goods.  Continue reading

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Travel

The Mystery of Snow

What is this stuff?

What is this stuff?

I can honestly say, after about 10 days of serious snow, it’s no longer a mystery. It is, in fact, lovely to look at, and miserable to exist in. A few days in winter wonderland and the memories of falling off my bike in the snow of Colorado came rushing back. Verdict- snow is good for three things: winter sports, snow ball fights, and making everything look all pretty and wintery.

That’s about it.

Then it’s pretty cold and wet.  Continue reading

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Travel

Bucket List Accomplishments

The Slopes of TeineOver my two-week break, I managed to tick two items off my bucket list:

[x] Skiing/Snowboarding in Hokkaido
[x] See the hotel from Lost in Translation

These have been on that list since long before arriving here. Granted, it’s an impressively long list that is always getting added to, but I’m glad to have at least made somewhat of a dent in it!

Here’s a few pictures from those accomplishments!  Continue reading

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Travel

And She’s Back!

The "Florida girl" playing with snow

The “Florida girl” playing with snow

After two weeks of Christmas, New Years, Hokkaido, Tokyo, Shirakawa, snow, skiing, ramen, world heritage sites, fancy hotels, and making progress on that bucket list, I’m finally back where I started: good ole’ Ibaraki, Japan.

As if my lack of posting doesn’t tell you how much fun I’ve had, I’ll be sure to show you pictures from the whole journey. Apparently, I was pretty good a skiing back in the day! Apparently snowboarding isn’t like riding a bike! Apparently, I don’t know any French! Ok, well I already knew the last one. But still! Hope you’re ready for a week of catching up.

Akemashite omedetou! Happy New Year!

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Travel

Let it Snow

white christmasBright and early Saturday morning, I’ll rise to the first day of winter vacation. Actually, the plan is to pull an all-nighter at the airport, but let’s imagine, shall we? Regardless of starting position, I’m stoked. Somehow, I’m more excited about winter vacation that I was about summer vacation. This might be because this Florida girl is gonna have a white Christmas. Of course, I’ve lived in both Vermont and Colorado, but snow is still a magical thing to me.

(Those of you who grew up with snowy winters, I can hear you laughing)  Continue reading

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Around the Tokyo area

Kurisumasu 3 – Odaiba

写真 H.24-12-13 20 29 05Last Thursday, I hopped on over to Odaiba to see what sort of fun illuminations they’d set up. I really love Odaiba because it’s a completely man-made part of Tokyo and feels super futuristic. Not to mention, 10 minutes walking in any direction is something fun to do or see. It’s got everything from a full beach to an indoor theme park to a full-size gundam. No, seriously. Check out the pictures.

In my opinion, the ride on the Yurikame monorail is fun on it’s own. But, maybe that’s years of riding the People-Mover at Magic Kingdom over and over (it’s lame, go on, google it).

Anyways, here’s a few shots from the adventure.  Continue reading

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