japanniversary (year two)

It’s September 24th again and time for another round of what did I do during my year in Japan?

This same time last year I thought I would be slaying the LSAT. Sadly I have not proven to be the all-natural standardized testing whiz I once thought I was, so while I ponder my fate as a legal professional, let’s take a look back on this wonderful year in Japan filled with a few transitions and leaps forward.

October

November

December

  • served on bonenkai committee for my company holiday party
  • saw one of my all-time favorite bands, the XX in tokyo
  • took the LSAT for the first time :/
  • trip to atami in izu
  • hakone xmas with mamaimg_4984

January

February

  • attended my first bikram yoga class in Japan at Bikram Ginza
  • ran the Tokyo Marathon and Friendship Run, raising ¥100,000 to support Special Olympics NipponIMG_5294.jpg

March

  • CHO(L)A takes Japan (a return to kyoto, my 1st time in osaka & kobe, and tokyo)_MG_6140_MG_6389
  • start of hanami season (yoyogi park)IMG_5508
  • celebrating the first day of spring in fukuoka

April

May

June

  • britney spears concert at yoyogi national stadium
  • Puroresu FMW (Japanese pro wrestling)
  • trip to fuji-Q highland roller coaster park & lake kawaguchiko

July

  • 26th birthday (star festival)
  • tokyo disney sea
  • trip to okinawaIMG_8647
  • maguro cutting & tokyo bay cruise
  • osaka & kyoto with the Suzukis
  • universal studios osaka
  • moved from kuramae to ginza (more on that later)
  • softbank hawks vs. nippon ham fighters baseball game

August

September

  • took the LSAT for the 2nd time
  • worked on law school applications *crossing my fingers & toes*
  • ultra music festival
  • booze cruise in tokyo bay

Firsts

Goals before I say Ta Ta For Now to Japan this December…

  • visit all 4 main islands in Japan [hokkaido, honshu, (coming for you!) shikoku, kyushu]

Looking back at this second year in Japan, I feel so happy and blessed to have witnessed so much beauty, both in humanity and nature. Of course there have been low points but they serve to make the moments of connection and growth all the sweeter. I’ve had a few personal revelations and challenges this year that I will save for reflection at the end of 2017. If you’re curious, take a peek at last year’s japanniversary post. Thanks to you for dropping by dear reader.

xo your friend alice

Location: Tokyo, Japan

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japanniversary

Today, September 24, 2016 is my one year Japanniversary!

In honor of this day, here is a post for posterity sake, recounting the marvels I have witnessed, the new friends I have hugged, and the cultural memories I have made in Nipponland. I can’t believe a year has zoomed by so quickly, although looking back, I remember each event distinctly demarcated by season and state of mind. I am happy to say that I loved strangers, cried tears, sang (karaoke), danced wildly, roamed freely, read voraciously, ate intrepidly (psa: horse sashimi and fresh sea urchin are delicious), stumbled upon beauty, hosted visiting friends from many chapters of life, and learned more about myself than I could have imagined. People often ask me why I moved to Japan and increasingly my reply is, why not?

There probably would have been more adventures (#fomo) but sadly I have also been grappling with the LSAT (law school admissions test) for a big chunk of this year. Not to worry, I will be slaying that beast soon and there is always more exploring to be done. I’ve included links to websites, blog posts, and instagrams if you’d like to see more about each ❤ ❤ ❤

Adventures

  • started work at the Tokyo office of an American company (September)
  • met Hello Kitty at Sanrio Puroland (October)IMG_0450.JPG
  • my oldest brother and my niece came to visit (October)
  • my darling mama visited me for 2 weeks (Nov)IMG_2183.JPG
  • trip to Odawara (Nov)
  • Dada Life concert (Nov)
  • Takahashi Murakami exhibit (Dec)IMG_1106.JPG
  • first Japanese EDM concert, ElectroX (Jan)
  • Toro y Moi concert (Jan)
  • Tokyo sumo tournament (Jan)
  • trip to Nikko (Feb)
  • chvrches concert (Feb)
  • Bon Iver concert (Feb)
  • skiing in Hokkaido (Feb)
  • ran the Tokyo Marathon Friendship 5k — coming for you next year 42.2 km! (Feb)IMG_1743
  • trip to Tohoku (March)
    • learned how seaweed and oysters are cultivated and gathered, how mochi is made, and lots of facts about Buddhism and the Great Japan Earthquake and tsunami
  • baby’s first hanami (cherry blossom viewing) season (April)
  • trip to Shimoda (April)
  • climbed mountains (Takao, Nokogiriyama, Mitake, and the venerable Fuji [part I, part II])
  • witnessed matsuris (festivals – all year)
  • ate at the Kill Bill izakaya – Gonpachi (May)
  • my childhood dream came alive at the Sailor Moon art exhibit at the Mori Art Museum (June)
  • first Japanese baseball game – SoftBank Hawks vs. Chiba Mariners (June) softbank game
  • turned twenty five (July)
  • visited the world’s first hedgehog cafe  (August)
  • swam with dolphins in the Izu islands (August)
  • saw Radiohead at Summer Sonic (August)IMG_2050
  • visited the Studio Ghibli Museum (August)
  • moved to Taito-ku (September)
  • Ultra Japan (September)
  • worked on deal closings for several large blue chip Japanese companies (all year)

Firsts

and since this listicle has gone on long enough, I’ve decided to separate a whole ‘nother post to my Tokyo tomodachi (friends) because there is too much love in that subject to be contained in this year in review. Thank you to everyone who has been such a light in my life here in Tokyo and to my family for being supportive of me and my decision to move thousands of miles away. I’m feeling very blessed today.

xo your friend alice

Location: Tokyo, Japan