Sorry I've been away from my blog for a little while. Life has been a little crazy the last few weeks and I'm finally able to sit down and think about this blog.
Leaving Tokyo last week was bittersweet. There are so many people and things I'll miss:
Friends/Students: Including Judy, Courtney, Colleen, Jonathan, Jeremy, Eric, Satoko, Steve, Val, Amanda, Michael, Devon, David, Hiroko, Jean, Rieko, Hisae, Rumiko, Michiko, Emi, Chikako, Mayuko, Ryosuke, Tadashi, Chieko, Sachiko, Yohei, Rika, Yumi, Sho, Kosaku, Mayumi, Hiroko, Fumiko, Aki, Naombu, and friends who have already left--Michelle, Wendy, Emma, Elisa.
Food/Beverages: Impeccably fresh sushi and sashimi such as ebi, ikura, uni, maguro, and hamachi; bento; tofu (the REAL kind) and yuba; burdock root salads, mountain potatoes and all the other beautiful fruit and vegetables; Japanese tsukemono (pickles); sake (the huge variety), chu-hi (my beverage of choice); and especially the beauty and artistry of every food presentation which never failed to thrill me.
Trains: Really! Most of the time I was lucky enough to ride on less crowded trains. As long as you don't have to ride trains during rush hour, there's no better transportation service in the world than the reliable and convenient train system in Japan. While expensive, it nevertheless meant I never needed a car and could go anywhere I wanted quickly and safely.
Karaoke: Lots of fun with friends!
Konbinis: Convenience stores that really are convenient! There's almost always at least one near every train station or within two or three blocks from where anyone lives. Most of them sell bentos that are much healthier than the traditional hotdogs or fake cheese-laden nachos and other crap that's available in American convenience stores.
Vending Machines: You name it, you can find it in a vending machine!
Places: Shibuya--especially the Food Show, Hachiko (for meeting people), the BIG crossing, Bic Camera, the Apple Store, 0101, Blister, Loft, and millions more! Omotesando, Tameike-sanno, Ginza, Hiro, Ebisu, Roppongi, Shinjuku, Yoyogi park, Harajuku, Jiyugaoka, and on and on and on.
Izakaya: All those great, inexpensive places to go to eat and/or drink with friends after work.
Kimono: The gorgeous patterns and colors!
Temples and Shrines: Such beautiful places.
Festivals and Fireworks: Seems like there's always something happening.
There are just so many more things, but for now that's the highlight of my memories of Japan.
It's been quite an amazing journey these past three years and I hope I never forget it (hopefully, this blog will be my biggest reminder).
My next post will be about some of my feelings since arriving back in the U.S. Still haven't figured out what to do with this blog--change its name or what exactly? Anyway, I'll continue blogging under "Gambatte!" until I do decide. I hope you'll stay tuned.