Even after over twenty years

7 Jan

I have been living in Japan for most of my life.
I came here when I was twenty years old…and that was over twenty years ago now.

I think Japan is the most beautiful country in the world and Tokyo is the best city.

I wanted to show some scenes that I see regularly in Japan and I may have started taking for granted but they are a part of what makes Japan so special.

Rather than go through the photos in my camera’s memory cards, I decided to be a bit lazy and see what I could find online.
I found a website called Getty Images that has many stock photos…some of them of Japan.
The people who take these photos must have cameras that are much nicer than mine because they took some really nice photos.

I use photos that I took myself in most of my blog posts, but the following photos are from Getty Images.

Every January, when the "Tokyo Stock Exchange" reopens after the New Years holidays, the female staff wear kimono.

A"bird's eye view" of Tokyo

A traditional Japanese breakfast.

A Japanese garden.

The symbol of Japan: 富士山 (Mount Fuji).

Tokyo's "Rainbow Bridge".

Japanese "Green Tea".

The Shibuya area of Tokyo

The Shinjuku area of Tokyo.

新幹線 (Bullet trains)

Tokyo Tower

By the way, today is the seventh day of the New Year.
On this day it is Japanese custom to eat 「七草粥」 (“Seven Herbs Porridge“) for breakfast.
I will have it for breakfast today as I usually do on January 7th.

Click here to see my post that explains this tradition in more detail.

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14 Responses to “Even after over twenty years”

  1. Dan Elvins January 9, 2011 at 4:52 am #

    I think that this point, after 20 years I would become a naturalized Japanese myself, as its not asif I could see myself moving back the the US after having a family etc, all children would need to be fully grown up (around 20-25 id say) and even then…by the time all thats done i’d be like 50 so then its actually rather pointless moving back.

    Like

    • tokyo5 January 10, 2011 at 12:45 am #

      Actually I have been thinking about changing my citizenship for some time but it’s a big decision so I’m not in any hurry.
      Anyways, as I said, I have “Permanent Resident” status…so I never need to worry about renewing my visa as people with a student, working, or spouse visa do.

      Like

  2. Dan Elvins January 9, 2011 at 1:07 am #

    Yeah thanks for fixing the comment, I was originally just going to write 「かなまら祭り but I decided for the other readers of this blog I would put it in English too.

    In all honesty, I would probably visit the shrine myself one day.

    I say foreigner abroad, but eventhough you are in a sense, your an official Japanese citizen now, especially considering your married and have children. Were you given the option to change your name when you became a citizen or attempted to marry? I remember reading the debito blog YEARS ago (not too fond of the guys opinions generally) and he was given hte option to change his name to his wifes name, just curious if you had the same option.

    Like

    • tokyo5 January 9, 2011 at 2:39 am #

      >I decided for the other readers of this blog I would put it in English too.

      Yes, that’s best. Whenever I write any Japanese on my blog I add the English meaning in parenthesis after it.

      But, rather than what you had written, I would call that festival a “Fertility Festival”.

      >your an official Japanese citizen now

      Actually, no. Sometimes I consider naturalizing to Japanese citizenship since I’ve immigrated here, but currently I still have American citizenship.

      I do have “Permanent Resident” status in Japan now though.

      >Were you given the option to change your name?

      I believe that anyone can legally change their name in nearly every country if they want to.

      >debito blog

      He is an American who has been living in Japan almost as live as I have and he did become a naturalized Japanese.

      Like

  3. Dan Elvins January 8, 2011 at 1:43 am #

    >When was your most recent visit? When was your first visit? (Just curious).

    A good few years back now, my most recent visit was in 2007 (I believe…) as I attended a wedding of a friend, Its been a long time since i visited, too long, just university had me quite busy and then so did my job (Im only 24).

    >The “Japanese Language Proficiency Test”. Which level will you take?

    Level 3, but my Kanji needs quite a bit of work these days as I rarely use it, my Keigo isnt quite “upto scratch” as generally speaking I speak to all my japanese friends closely, so of course we never speak in Keigo anyway.

    >What type of job? When will you begin working there?
    Its a 3d modelling job for a games company in Shibuya, its quite a small company that mostly does mobile games and is looking for a new game designer and artist, one of the board of directors is a close friend of mine who studied in London a few years ago, so he has recommended me.

    Yeah the station at Shibuya is VERY busy at almost all hours.

    >Are one of your parents Japanese and the other English?
    Both my parents are english but my stepmother (継母) was Japanese, as ive grown I have made friends with many japanese people and generally my way of life has kind of been a merge of the two much of the time.

    I will continue reading, there are many blogs on japan by foreigners living abroad (no offense intended) however many of them just post about how Japan is “strange” and “weird” and has lots of “anime orientated lifestyles”, which is true..but only to an extent, i generally read the blogs of the people that post about interesting things and sometimes even boring things, you couldnt possibly count the number of 「かなまら祭り」 posts there are on the internet, events like this are most popular with many foreigners in Japan I suppose. It seems that once people settle down, with a family or a job, that they start to post about the more normal everyday things within Japan that many people might not know about.

    Like

    • tokyo5 January 8, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

      >A good few years back now, my most recent visit was in 2007

      That’s more recently than the last time I visited America.

      >Level 3 (of the “JLPT”)

      Level 3 is pretty good. You must speak Japanese well then.

      >I will continue reading (this blog)

      Thanks. And comment often too.

      >foreigners living abroad (no offense intended)

      Why would I find that “offensive”? I am a foreigner living abroad.

      >many of them just post about how Japan is “strange” and “weird” and has lots of “anime orientated lifestyles”

      Well, I’ve been living in Japan nearly my entire adult life. Japan was a culture shock to me when I first arrived but I’m more used to Japan now than America.

      And regarding the 「かなまら祭り」 (I edited your description of it in your comment because certain words attract a lot of spam)…
      I came to Japan before the internet, so when I first heard about that festival I didn’t believe it was an actual event. I thought my friend was pulling my leg.

      Have you seen that festival? It is kinda shocking.
      But the shrine it’s held at is a “fertility” shrine where people who are hoping to having a baby or farmers hoping for a healthy crop go to wish for it.

      And every spring they have that infamous fertility festival.

      Actually most Japanese don’t even know about that festival.

      Like

  4. Dan Elvins January 7, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    Hey, nice blog post, its funny that you’ve been living in Japan longer then in the US.

    I’ve been to Japan a few times and am currently studying (again) for the JLPT seeing as I have been offered a job position (in Shibuya oddly enough).

    >Is that Shibuya area of Tokyo the “equivalent” or cousin to Times Square in NYC? It kind of reminds me of it (Times Square) from that photo.

    I would say its similar yeah, its just as busy (if not more so) its also a fashion center of Tokyo with a large night life.

    I would say that despite being an expensive country to visit (flight wise at least..from the UK) its still my favirote city, having been raised with both Japanese and British (not so much british…) values, I’ve grown quite attached to tokyo during visits and also find it to be the most beautiful city in the world, though I havent visited everywhere else, I dont feel the same attachment.

    Great post as always, been reading for several months but only recently started commenting.

    Like

    • tokyo5 January 7, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

      >Hey, nice blog post

      Thank you.

      >its funny that you’ve been living in Japan longer then in the US.

      I’m surprised how quickly twenty years passed!

      >I’ve been to Japan a few times

      When was your most recent visit? When was your first visit? (Just curious).

      >am currently studying (again) for the JLPT

      The “Japanese Language Proficiency Test”. Which level will you take?

      >I have been offered a job position (in Shibuya oddly enough).

      What type of job? When will you begin working there?

      >its (Shibuya) just as busy (as Times Square).

      Shibuya has the famous intersection at the street near the train station that is the busiest in the world.

      I wrote a post with videos of Harajuku’s “Takeshita Street” (which is probably the most crowded shopping street in the world) and also parts of Shibuya, including the busy intersection:

      https://tokyo5.wordpress.com/2008/11/04/shibuya-festa/

      >having been raised with both Japanese and British (not so much british…) values

      Are one of your parents Japanese and the other English?

      >also find it (Tokyo) to be the most beautiful city in the world

      Tokyo has the ancient traditional coinciding with the ultra-modern. And it’s clean, safe and convenient.

      >Great post as always, been reading for several months but only recently started commenting.

      Thanks for the kind words and thanks for commenting…please continue.

      Like

  5. cuteandcurls January 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    Its great to read your blog based from your view as an Expat (I apologise if thats the right word to use). Its always positive to read your views,although some of have the perception that Japan is an expensive country to visit but I always believe that despite THAT ..what makes it WORTH the visit is the beauty of this country.

    Though Im a bit late, I wish you and family a Happy New Year 2011.

    Like

    • tokyo5 January 7, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

      >Its great to read your blog based from your view as an Expat

      Thank you. Please continue to visit and comment.

      >Though Im a bit late, I wish you and family a Happy New Year 2011.

      Thanks again. Happy New Year to you too.

      Like

  6. metalodyssey January 7, 2011 at 3:01 am #

    Is that Shibuya area of Tokyo the “equivalent” or cousin to Times Square in NYC? It kind of reminds me of it (Times Square) from that photo.

    Like

    • tokyo5 January 7, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

      >Is that Shibuya area of Tokyo the “equivalent” or cousin to Times Square in NYC?

      I actually have heard other people compare them before. Must be all of the neon.

      Shibuya and the nearby Harajuku are most famous for being “fashion centers” for young people in Tokyo…and therefore all of Japan—and, to a large degree, all of Asia.

      Shibuya and Harajuku are close to each other but the young people who shop in one area often don’t shop in the other. There are “Shibuya Girls” and “Harajuku Girls”.

      Like

  7. tornadoes28 January 7, 2011 at 1:49 am #

    Wow, you’ve been in Japan a long time. Impressive.

    Like

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