What I’ve Learn After Living in Japan for Eight Weeks

Has it really be two months since we moved to Japan and relocated to Yokota Air Force Base? It doesn’t seem like that long to me, but I guess that’s because we are still trying to unpack and adjust to living on this side of the planet.  Many times a day, especially when I am out and about, I find myself still saying, “I can’t believe I leave in Japan.”  And it’s true. Reality still has not sunk in yet. However, as foreign as it still feels I know that I was meant to live abroad. I love new cultures and new places. And Japan is no exception. I am still super excited to be here, just miss my family and friends. If I could move them all over here too than everything would be perfect!  I know that’s not realistic. So my plan is to make you feel like you are here too with blog posts of our adventures here. And what better way to start then with a little post about what I have learned so far.

(Image taken at Showa Memorial Park in Tachikawa (http://www NULL.showakinenpark NULL.go NULL.jp/english/index NULL.htm))


1. As you can see from the photo above, the Japanese love photography! Seems like I will fit right in. Everyone lugs around some pretty expensive gear around their necks. AND they will take photos of anything. Including my blonde haired babes.

2.  かわいい (Kawaii) means “cute” in Japanese. How do I know this? Because I hear it EVERY time we go off base. Let’s just say my kids are pretty popular around here. And I do not mind it, because as a result people are nice to me!

3. Not many people on base get out much. I was expecting to see Americans all the time when off base. That is not the case. Normally, when I am shopping in town I stick out like a sore thumb and never see anyone around me who is doing the same. Strange feeling for sure.

4. It takes me 25 minutes to drive 9 kilometers. THATS 5.5 miles. Even though we are an hour outside of Tokyo we are still considered a suburb of Tokyo. Traffic is terrible and you just have to be patient.

5. I look like I speak Japanese. Well, at least the Japanese think so. When I checkout at the store the nice ladies at the cash register just talk to me like I know exactly what the are saying. I just smile, say “yes” in Japanese, and hope I am not agreeing to give them my kidney.


I am excited to see what the next few months will bring. Planning to travel and do all we can over the next three years here. Can’t wait to share those experiences with you. AND if you have any advice or suggestions for us please comment below and let us know!

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October 21, 2012 - 7:25 am

Sarah (http://www NULL.sarahsharesthings NULL.squarespace NULL.com) - I’m pretty sure I’ve given away three kidneys since being here. Yes, three. That’s how much I just nod my head and say, “hai.”

October 22, 2012 - 9:12 am

Meg Martin (http://coloringspirit NULL.blogspot NULL.com) - I’m so happy to hear of someone else who here who is getting off base as much as possible. I do all my produce shopping off base and generally feel like I “live” off base. I LOVE Japan so much! My first year has gone by way too fast!

October 22, 2012 - 9:15 am

Renee - Meg that is awesome! So glad to hear you are comfortable about and about. I’d love to know what stores you love to shop at. Especially for produce.

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