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Typhoon Shmyphoon

30 Oct

With all this talk about Frankenstorm back home, I figured it was prime time to post about the weather here in Japan.  Ok, actually just about the Typhoons – which is really just another name for Hurricane when a storm is located in the Western Pacific. {But if you ask me, I think typhoon sounds way cooler/scarier}

For all you facing dear Sandy back East, I would like to pass on some words of wisdom that allowed us to survive our first typhoon in Japan.

1. Be sure to stock up on all of your necessities:

2. Have plenty of food and make sure you have a means to prepare it without using electricity:

3. Take care of thy neighbor:

Unfortunately, I’m a bit rusty in my typhoon skills since we haven’t faced a serious one here in Tokyo in over a year. However, Okinawa (an island in southern Japan) did recently face one of their worst storms yet, so I’ll leave you with this video to enjoy. {Moral of the video? 1. Always have your camera ready and 2. put some heavy junk in your car before she blows away!}

 

Stay safe everyone!!!

Life in Japan

12 Mar

Growing up, I had no desire to ever visit Asia…never mind live in Asia. It was just…so…different. I mean, traveling in places like Europe, you can at least read a map without knowing the language. But how could you ever do that in Asia?! Take a look at Japan, they use not one, but three written “alphabets”. And let’s not even begin to discuss the cultural and culinary differences – sushi anyone?  

Luckily for me, these presumptions were simply a reflection of my naivety. Moving to Japan, I have quickly fallen in love with Asian culture, lifestyle, and food – and because it is so different, it leaves me wanting to learn and understand more.

Now, to answer that burning question you’ve all been asking – what is it like to live in Japan – I’ve found one of these extremely useful collages that have been popping up all over the internet. Have a look:

Pretty accurate, huh? Ok, ok, well I don’t really live in a capsule. Lucky for us we have an “American sized” home on base – but more to come on that later. As for the capsules though, they really do exist!

But, what I find most fascinating about the picture, is that it really does show the many sides of Japan. In a country the size of California, with a population equal to half that of the US, it is hard to believe you can escape to a place as peaceful as Mt. Fuji only to find yourself in the middle of a congested crosswalk a few hours later.

Coincidentally, take a look at the image for “where the world thinks I live”. Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. And while we are not greatly affected by it living in Yokota – it is very apparent that Japan is still struggling to recover. In fact, only 6% of the 22.5 million tons of debris has been removed from the towns where the disaster struck.

So over the weekend, I got to reading a few articles on where Japan stands and what the future will bring, when I came across this one. It is a series of writings from high school students who share their thoughts on this memorable day. They discuss concerns of the government, environment, economy, discrimination and prejudice, clean energy, the media….the list could go on and on, but ultimately, it goes to show that in the end, maybe we aren’t so different after all…

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