|Home Sweet Home- the best place in Japan.|
Once in a while I sit back, gather my thoughts together and reminisce. I used to do it a lot more, but I've been too busy lately, with too many changes. When living abroad, small (and big) changes can be extremely unsettling, as everything is intensified. I realized that I moved a lot while living in Japan, from the rice fields of Shikoku to my present home of Tokyo.
And in the process, this adventure somehow turned into real life, which I love, but which comes with more challenges. I'll always look back fondly on my first year in Japan, living in the countryside. As much as I complained about being bored and isolated, it was perhaps the best time of my life, and I advise everyone to go straight to rural Japan if you come here to work. Life in the countryside is sweet, especially with the work schedule I had. I recall rolling out of bed at 11am, making pancakes, then just read, watch movies or write until it was time to go to work- for a mere two or three hours. Trains were always near empty, and I could ride my bicycle all around town and have leisurely strolls at the castle.
My biggest concern was how to occupy my free time, and budgeting those ¥540 train rides to Takamatsu in order to get Starbucks coffee and a glimpse of civilization. Weekends were spent bussing it to Osaka and Kyoto, shopping and partying. Oh, sweet Shikoku life, I dearly miss you at times.
Tokyo is a different story. My days start at the crack of dawn with packed trains and a hectic commute, nudging salarymen who sleep on my shoulder. My days (and weekends) are spent working, trying to keep up with the pace of this city, where everyone probably works twice as much as I do. Tokyo is all about surviving skills, and whenever you think you're handling it well, it reminds you that you don't. Yet, I still love Tokyo.
I'm not sure what I was trying to get to with this post- maybe that no matter how difficult it can be to make it in Tokyo, living here makes it all worth it. BUT- if you get the chance, spend time in rural Japan, it secretly is where it's at...