One Year in Japan


About a year ago Julie and I flew from orientation in Tokyo to the airport in Aomori City.  Our supervisors met us at the airport to drive us to Noheji.  It was hot.  Along the way we stopped for lunch at a soba noodle restaurant.  Since it was summer, they suggested the cool noodles that you dip into cold sauce.  This troubled me.  I was worried about the texture and decided I was going to order hot noodles in broth instead since that sounded more familiar (ramen).  I don’t remember the taste as much as I do having to continuously wipe sweat from my forehead and adjust my legs because we sat on the floor.

Today zarusoba (cold noodle soba) is one of my favorite foods.  Additionally, Julie and I are full capable of finishing a meal while sitting on the floor without having to move our legs every thirty seconds.

It’s been one year since we arrived in Japan and we probably have one left to go.  Although we haven’t made a final decision, we’re strongly leaning towards returning to Oregon after the completion of this next contract year.  Approaching the beginning of our last year here is bittersweet.  From now on, every season and festival we experience will be our last.  But there’s a kind of blessing in that.  Since we know it will be our last time I think it will be easier to enjoy the moment and appreciate the things we do and see every day.

Of course we don’t just want to repeat what we did last year.  Obviously the goal is to dig deeper.  Julie will continue her language exchanges with some friends we met in the community.  She’s also participating in yoga, tea ceremony, and flower arranging classes.  My main hobby is Go and I won’t be giving up on that any time soon.  In fact, starting next month, I’ll be able to compete in monthly tournaments amongst the people in the club.  Previously I had only been able to watch these tournaments since my ability was so low.  Now I can beat some of the weaker players in the club and make games interesting for the ones who are very strong.

The main goal for both of us though is to continue to refine our teaching and make the most of our interactions with the community.  This includes everything from cultivating friendships to the way we say hello to the people we see in the streets.

If you’re reading this and remember our first post from Japan, thank you for taking this journey with us and please continue to check in as we begin our second year.


2 Responses to “One Year in Japan”

  1. Hanna Says:

    Have another great year! I always enjoy reading your posts :o)

  2. kotonii Says:

    Don’t talk about leaving yet! Nooooo~!!! : (

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