Wow!  Has it really been a year already?  Happy Japanniversary to us!  A year ago today, James and I were stepping off of a plane into an unknown world, wondering if anyone would be picking us up, or if we would be figuring out how to get to our new home on our own.  As I was about to have my first breakdown, we saw someone holding a little piece of paper with our name on it.  My answer to prayer! A two hour car ride later, and we were crashing in our hotel room, too exhausted to think about the adventure that lay ahead.   It seems like just yesterday that I was waking up at 4:00 am (due to the time difference, of course) and exploring our new home.  And now here we are, a year later, starting to piece our lives back together after the March 11th earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown.  Leaving Japan during the evacuation definitely gave me a greater appreciation for everything I loved about this great country, and I am excited and happy to be back!  It has been such an amazing year, and James and I have been able to experience so much.

And just to give you a sampling of everything I love about living in Japan…..

I love the people, the culture, the food, and hot coffee out of a vending machine.  I love drinking green tea and eating sushi at the sushi-go-round with amazing friends.  I love traveling on the trains and visiting shrines and temples.  I love ordering off of menus I can’t read and I love cooking my own meat at yakiniku. I love celebrating at festivals and watching everyone dress up in traditional clothes.  I love teaching English and I love getting to know all of my students.  I love that my washing machine does everything for me, that I still can’t figure out our solar panels, and that I can boil water in under a minute.  I love our tatami room, our cherry tree, our Japanese maple, and our Japanese plum tree. I love that you see the tip of Mt. Fuji from our balcony.  I love heated toilet seats and Japanese Kit Kats!!  I just LOVE so much about this awesome experience we have been blessed with, and I am so thankful to be here.  So happy Japanniversary to us!

A few of our memories from the last year:

Hiking Fuji-San


Golden Pavilion, Kyoto

The Imperial Palace in Tokyo

Yokohama at Night

The Great Buddha in Kamakura

Enjoying the Fall in Japan