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One year ago I was sitting on a plane flying over the wm on my way to move to Japan.
A lot has changed since then.
When I first came here I wasn’t really sure how long I would stay. I was spending a lot of money on a dream and taking one of the biggest risks of my life. As the saying goes the bigger the risk the bigger the reward.
It’s been completely worth it. There have been plenty of bad days, after all no day is perfect. There haven’t been many good days either. Most of them have simply been amazing. There’s just something about being a foreigner in a ethnically homogeneous country that makes interesting and crazy stuff happen all of the time.
Plus I get excited over the little things. Two of my friends were visiting this week and we stopped by a smoking area so one of them could smoke. We are three Americans just standing in the middle of Shibuya speaking English. Yet for some reason, despite plenty of other Japanese guys standing around smoking, this guy comes up to me and asks for a lighter in perfect natural fluid Japanese. That made my day. As a foreigner I rarely get asked for mundane things and usually when I am asked its obviously simplified. Hopefully karma repays him for his openess.
That’s just one of 365 stories I could tell you. Here’s hope for 730 more! (Yay two year visa!)
Posted by Mike in Japan at 12:49 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
There hasn’t been any snow in Tokyo this year and I’m very thankful for that. It has been a very mild winter.
However, it is snowboarding season and with the help of a few friends I’ve found some awesome places to go. The mountains aren’t quite as big as the Rockies, but the snow is every bit as good as Colorado. Both places I went to were really great.
This weekend’s trip was especially interesting. We got up early on Sunday morning and took the Shinkansen from Tokyo all the way out to a ski area called Kagura. The shuttle from the station only took about 15 minutes so our trip was something like:
6:00am Wake up, get dressed, head to Tokyo Station.
7:48am Get on Shinkansen, eat, sleep, relax, talk.
9:05am Arrive at Echigo-kasawa, stretch, wait for the shuttle.
9:30am Buy lift tickets and enjoy the day.
Actually it was closer to 10:30am because me and another guy had to rent some equipment, but its just so close and so fast and there’s zero driving involved. You don’t even have to be fully awake until you strap in for your first run down the mountain.

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