Tales of a Japanese (Expat) Housewife

One of my biggest concerns about moving to Japan was what to do with my days during the week, as I wouldn’t be working full time any longer.  Prior to our big move I worked full time, as a social worker, and was really happy with my job (shout out to my U of M peeps).  It was difficult to leave and I worried a lot leading up to the move on how to fill my days.  Honestly, my career defined part of who I was and it brought a source of independence and happiness to me.  So going from that to stay-at-home housewife, literally scared the sh*t out of me.

Fast forward and one month in Japan later, I’ve found what I like to refer to as a groove.  Despite this, Monday through Friday can still be tough.  John literally works from sun up to sun down and if I don’t stay awake late enough, there are days where I won’t see him.  This is normal here in Japan, and if I’m being totally honest with you peeps, it was sometimes normal back home.  That brings me to day-to-day life in Japan (at least Monday through Friday).  When I was Face timing with my mom recently she asked what I’ve been doing during the week while John has been at work and its funny because I have been staying busy but its such a weird kind of busy, one that I’m just not used to yet. Day one in Japan I knew I wanted to hit the ground running meeting people and trying as many things as I could.  I’ve been pretty lucky with meeting people here in Nagoya, there is such a large expat community and I’m really never short of anything to do.  I almost at times feel guilty that John goes to work everyday and I’m out and about enjoying this new life we are living…but it’s called sacrifices 😉

With that being said I’ve been trying to do as much as I can and really take advantage of my time here in Japan.  It’s only been on month and we have a lot of time to go, but as I’ve said so many times before, this opportunity doesn’t come knocking every day and I’ll be damned if I let it go to waste.

My life here in Japan overall has been pretty great, I honestly can’t complain and I’m really starting to love it here.  Honestly, I never thought I would enjoy it this much, but it’s pretty fantastic.  I won’t lie and say there aren’t hard days and I miss John a lot during the week, but overall this whole experience has been one to tell the grandkids (someday).

Any who, here are my latest observations of Japan life and the Japanese:

  1. Japanese literally will stop dead in their tracks…ANYWHERE.  What I mean by this is you will be walking down the street or in the subway behind someone and then all of a sudden they will just stop, out of nowhere…Sumimasen WHAT? Seriously, we were in the train station not too long ago and paid to go through the turn style and the lady in front of John just stops, no warning no nothing, just stops.  I mean I’m all about stoping and figuring out what you are doing and where you are going, but really does it need to be in the middle of a busy sidewalk or subway?  This also applies to cars, Japanese love to put the hazard lights on and stop in the middle of the road and guess what? It’s completely legal.  I just don’t get it…
  2. Um…kids in Japan run wild.  I mean not misbehaving but I mean they lack parental supervision.  There have been so many times I’ve been on the train and I see kids like 10 and under alone.  That would never fly in the States, but lets face it Japan is super safe.  I guess if I were raising kids here I’d probably do the same thing, but I’m still adjusting to see little kids run free about this big city.
  3. This one is my favorite, Japanese business men PTFO’ed in public places.  I’m not kidding you on Friday nights you will literally see men passed out cold from a night of drinking on the train, on the sidewalk, on the stairs, park benches, you name it, someone is probably sleeping there.  It’s completely fine by the way.  Actually, I recently read an article that talked about how some Japanese sleep better in public places then they do in private.  I’m chalking this one up to the fact that “salary men” (which is now including my husband) don’t sleep.  They work 12 to 14 hours days and then commute 3 hours, total, going to and from work.  I guess I would sleep in public too.

The weeks can sometimes be long, but once the weekends roll around I basically “force” John to explore this amazing country with me.  Here are a few recent photos of our travels this weekend.  We spent Saturday hiking in Gifu prefecture with some new friends.  It was just lovely and what a beautiful country this is.  I swear people Japan is gorgeous and I think that for anyone who has the opportunity please come and visit this amazing country!

IMG_2485We hiked from Magome to Tsumago which was a 7.2km hike.  I will admit, I struggled a bit for the first part of the hike, but once you get going and an opportunity to take in the landscape it was pretty amazing.  After the hike we found ourselves at a lantern festival in the rice fields.  I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of the festival was, but man oh man was it beautiful!  Also, fun fact they have bells sprinkled throughout the trails to ward of bears…so glad we didn’t encounter any…

Sunday Funday today included a trip to a local temple and shrine, some traditional Japanese stand up comedy called Rakugo and the tebasaki summit.  I’m sure you all maybe aware by now of my love for tebasaki!  Also, Rakugo was pretty cool, it basically consists of one guy on a stage sitting on his knees and storytelling, but they comedic stories.  It was light, fun, and just a nice way to spend the afternoon.  Also, the temple we went to was pretty cool, so bonus for that! Here are the pics!

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Last but not least my favorite photo of the weekend:

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Yup managed to get a photo with the Yamachan guy himself.  I’m calling this a major win for the weekend!

Well that’s all friends!  Thanks for reading my random rants on life on the other side of the world! Also, tomorrow marks one month in Japan! I love it! 🙂

 

 

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