What I’ve Learn After Living in Japan for 11 Months

We are vastly approaching our 1  year anniversary of living in Japan and I have been meaning to post an update for a while. We are learning so much and really enjoy life here.  That is an understatement, WE LOVE LIVING IN Japan. Every single day is a new adventure! Here are a few of the things we have discovered over the past 11 months. Please excuse the quality of these photos. All were snapped with my trusty Iphone.

What I have learned after living in Japan for 11 Months

1. I am a master at backing into parking spaces. Before moving here I don’t think I ever backed into a parking space. Not once. But here in Japan, it is the thing to do. Parking spots are so tight and traffic is so heavy that it is much easier to leave a space if your car is facing nose out. So when in Rome. I practiced a lot on base before attempting to do it in the real world. Each time I parked successfully I would get excited and high five my husband. The funny thing is, now every time I park my car my two year old and one year old cheer for me and say “good job mama.” They knows it took a lot of time and effort for me to master the art of backing into parking spaces.

2. When shopping with a credit card/debit card off base the cashier will always look at me before swiping it and put one finger up.  And then he/she waits for me to answer. I am assuming they want to know if I want to pay for the purchase in one payment, thus the one finger. I always say “hai” which is yes in Japanese. It seems to work and I have not had a problem yet. Hmmm. Hope that’s what it means anyway.

3. Thrift stores here in Japan are AMAZING. People take such great care of their things and then consign them to thrift stores or recycle centers. We personally bought our kitchen table at a thrift store.

4. Car drivers in Japan are not afraid of color. You will find both men and women driving cars in beautiful shades of teal, orange, and even pink. I love it actually. The road is always full of colorful vehicles.

5.Most places here are very kid friendly. Restrooms have accommodations for kids including toilets for toddlers. Restaurants always supply cute little bowls and cups for kids along with child size silverware.  Car dealerships have mini play areas for children to use while their parents are car shopping. I’ve even seen a crib in the middle of a dealership before.

6. Always carry Japanese cash known as Yen. Japan is not a credit/debit card society like the States.  It is not fun getting a bill from a restaurant and then realizing they do not accept credit cards. Yikes. How do you say “I will wash dishes” in Japanese?

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July 24, 2013 - 7:50 am

Susie Booe - Love your post about life in Japan! I can hardly wait to get there. Only one month from today! Yeah!!!!

July 24, 2013 - 9:33 am

Josh Pabst (http://www NULL.pabstphoto NULL.com) - That was a fun read. I’ve traveled a lot in China and Korea, but have never made it to Japan. Maybe you could add some pictures of your kitch table or some shots of the thrift stores – I suspect many readers would like to see both.

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