Japan: Glass Half Full

Some have said :::cough DAVE::: that the tone of my posts lately (such as the one about my countdown calendar and possibly the one where I talk about being lonely) makes it sound like I am totally and completely miserable in Japan. And while I may be a bit homesick and longing for a Jimmy John so badly that I would rip one from the hand of a stranger and eat it while making eye contact with them, I do like Japan. It’s a beautiful, crazy adventure that I am going to reflect on fondly…once I have that Jimmy John in my mouth. In the name of a glass-half-full mentality, here are some of the things I am enjoying about Japan this week.

Products and packaging. The sweets aren’t quite as sweet but somehow seem more flavorful, and the packaging is almost ALWAYS more interesting (and harder to open) than back home. Suntory’s Gokuri (white peach) drink is my new favorite treat.

My rice maker. I know we have rice makers back home too, but I’ve never even considered owning one and they are certainly not a primary kitchen appliance they way they are here. My friends here tell me how the rice maker is as integral in their day as a coffee maker or a toaster is to mine…they get up in the morning and start the rice for the day. Our rice maker is an old, well-loved, basic version and it makes the most perfect, amazing, delicious rice I’ve ever eaten.

Our view. The first thing I check in the morning when we wake up…I’m usually hoping the sun is up higher than this but…at least it’s not dark.

Strawberries and other local, seasonal produce. Strawberries are in season in Japan from December to March, AMAZING, delicious dessert strawberries. We are just chasing the strawberry season around the globe from now on if I have anything to say about it! We have a market up the street open 7 days a week where local farmers bring their food each morning. Local meaning some of it is harvested just across the street from our apartment. I love trying vegetables I’ve never seen before and having a seasonal spread right in front of me.

The scenery. Everywhere you turn in Nikko you’ll see mountains, mostly snow-capped these days, hills and trees. It’s beautiful.

The ramen. My god the ramen. I love it. And so does this baby of mine. We will miss it dearly when we leave. Especially tan tan men. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm….

Since our first week here, the baby and I have been visiting the ‘Child Nurturing Support Center’ (which I promise to expand on in a post of its own soon), a free service to city residents where kids are free to play and go bananas and make a mess all while under the watchful eye of their parents and the preschool teachers. These are commonplace here, and unimaginable in the U.S. Yes, please.

Half-full enough for you Dave?

2 thoughts on “Japan: Glass Half Full

  1. I got a kick out of the strawberry chasing! Then you must chase them to Switzerland! June-August and depending of the time you get different sizes and sweetness. My personal favs were the little one. So sweet and dainty. And they grow wild too! I’ve seen them in the Zoo and the local park.

  2. I can completely relate– it was only after moving back to the US that I appreciated the little things about living in Asia (and ditto about the rice cooker– I can’t find anything here to beat my $3 Chinese model!)

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