そろそろ。。。

And just like that…in a few weeks I will be heading back to Japan for the first time since saying farewell over a year ago *enter all the emotional tears *

As I prepare for my trip I have been thinking a lot about the things I am MOST looking forward to eating/seeing/buying/doing back in Japan. I began to realize that all the things on the top of my priority list are quite arbitrary…which I guess is the result of calling a place home for 3 years. I miss the most basic stuff!! Forget the fancy shopping malls, the trendy food in Tokyo, the hyped instagram spots…I miss the simplest, smallest, most insignificant things more than anything.

Here are a few at the top of that… “ARBITRARY THINGS I CAN’T WAIT TO DO IN JAPAN” list…

EAT MY IDEAL BREAKFAST - Blazing hot black coffee with Butter An Pan is my favorite breakfast and something I will gladly eat every single day without hesitation. This is a combination that is relatively non-existent in the states for reasons I completely understand. Sweet red bean paste with a slab of butter on top spread on a piece of toast is not something that suits the American palette…but to the average Japanese person this is as classic as it gets and something I love so much. BUTTER AN PAN….I AM COMIN FOR YA.

EAT MY IDEAL BREAKFAST - Blazing hot black coffee with Butter An Pan is my favorite breakfast and something I will gladly eat every single day without hesitation. This is a combination that is relatively non-existent in the states for reasons I completely understand. Sweet red bean paste with a slab of butter on top spread on a piece of toast is not something that suits the American palette…but to the average Japanese person this is as classic as it gets and something I love so much. BUTTER AN PAN….I AM COMIN FOR YA.

WEARING MASKS -let it be known that I miss wearing face masks. Why? After some thought, face masks are one of those random societal norms that 100% work in Japan and 100% would never work in the states and that’s the charm in them. They are ridiculous and excessive but TOTALLY normal (I know people that wear one every single day) and a part of the culture I miss. Plus, when I wear a mask I feel even more Japanese than I already am and this is a cool feeling.

WEARING MASKS -let it be known that I miss wearing face masks. Why? After some thought, face masks are one of those random societal norms that 100% work in Japan and 100% would never work in the states and that’s the charm in them. They are ridiculous and excessive but TOTALLY normal (I know people that wear one every single day) and a part of the culture I miss. Plus, when I wear a mask I feel even more Japanese than I already am and this is a cool feeling.

BRISKLY WALKING THROUGH A TRAIN STATION - is there anything more exhilarating than rushing through a bustling train station in order to catch your train in 2 minutes so that you aren’t late to meet up with a friend for dinner?! No. the answer is no. Driving a car will never compare to the thrill of a train station. The endless stream of people entering and exiting, the organized platform lines, the voices over the intercom announcing the next train, the little shops tucked neatly inside, the beep beep of people swiping their pasmo cards, and the click click of heels on the ground….ahhhhhhh I miss it!!

BRISKLY WALKING THROUGH A TRAIN STATION - is there anything more exhilarating than rushing through a bustling train station in order to catch your train in 2 minutes so that you aren’t late to meet up with a friend for dinner?! No. the answer is no. Driving a car will never compare to the thrill of a train station. The endless stream of people entering and exiting, the organized platform lines, the voices over the intercom announcing the next train, the little shops tucked neatly inside, the beep beep of people swiping their pasmo cards, and the click click of heels on the ground….ahhhhhhh I miss it!!

SHARING A MEAL WITH FRIENDS THAT ARE FAMILY - the relationships God blessed me with in Kashiwa and Tokyo are something I treasure with my whole heart and nothing beats sitting around a table in a smoky Japanese izakaya with a few of them catching up and laughing about our best memories together. This is the main reason I am going back to Japan and the thing I am most excited for :)

SHARING A MEAL WITH FRIENDS THAT ARE FAMILY - the relationships God blessed me with in Kashiwa and Tokyo are something I treasure with my whole heart and nothing beats sitting around a table in a smoky Japanese izakaya with a few of them catching up and laughing about our best memories together. This is the main reason I am going back to Japan and the thing I am most excited for :)

BEING BACK IN TOKYO - There is something magical about Tokyo. I cannot explain it well in words but if you have spent any significant amount of time here…you know what I mean. It’s endless. It’s ever changing. It’s all encompassing. And it is the greatest city in the world. I can’t wait to walk these busy roads again soon!

BEING BACK IN TOKYO - There is something magical about Tokyo. I cannot explain it well in words but if you have spent any significant amount of time here…you know what I mean. It’s endless. It’s ever changing. It’s all encompassing. And it is the greatest city in the world. I can’t wait to walk these busy roads again soon!

A STROLL ALONG TEGANUMA - now, although Tokyo is the city that has captivated my heart, Kashiwa city will always be home…especially this little corner of the city called Teganuma that is very high on the list of specific places in Japan that hold the most memories for me. Teganuma is home to a river (Ohori river) and a park (Furusato Koen) and I cannot tell you how many mornings I walked this pathway talking to God and thanking him for sustaining my life in Japan. This place is peaceful, beautiful, calm and home to me. I miss it daily and can’t wait to be back to breathe the fresh air and thank God once again, for all His goodness and grace.

A STROLL ALONG TEGANUMA - now, although Tokyo is the city that has captivated my heart, Kashiwa city will always be home…especially this little corner of the city called Teganuma that is very high on the list of specific places in Japan that hold the most memories for me. Teganuma is home to a river (Ohori river) and a park (Furusato Koen) and I cannot tell you how many mornings I walked this pathway talking to God and thanking him for sustaining my life in Japan. This place is peaceful, beautiful, calm and home to me. I miss it daily and can’t wait to be back to breathe the fresh air and thank God once again, for all His goodness and grace.

日本。。。see you soon!