Please welcome Lulu from Cherry Blossom Adventures to the blog –
This is the first time I have guest blogged on somebody else`s blog which is why this is out of my niche for me…
I grew up in Australia and was 19 the first time I lived in Japan…. after coming from a place where I had been driving since I was 16 and had to drive anywhere to be able to do anything it was an interesting transition to be able to walk outside 50m and buy an orange juice, or a beer…at 3am in the morning or any other time I chose. I also had to get used to riding a bike again, since there were no cars for us students and at that time we lived 20- minutes away from the station.
I had lived in Brisbane, just outside actually, most of my life in a place called the Redlands….it was near the water but my house really was in the middle of nowhere (My family lives bayside now)…..the closest shop was a 10-minute drive. My closest friend was a 10 minute drive….and my highschool boyfriend at the time was a 20 minute drive away and when we met neither of us could drive so we had to rely on our parents to shuttle us around.
Going from that to a place like Tokyo was a bit of a shock. Perhaps not as much of a shock as it would have been for someone from the country but a shock all the same.
I moved back to Tokyo 2 years ago now, to live with my boyfriend. He is Japanese, and yes we communicate in Japanese (one thing that isn’t convenient about Japan is the language…although it is not so much a problem for me anymore)…we lived in a tiny tiny apartment in a place called Kichijoji, which is in West Tokyo. It was a beautiful place, and I wish we still lived there now, except the 25m sq apartment wasn’t for me. But we lived a 2 minute walk from the closest train station, we had a 24hr 100yen shop across the road and a supermarket 100m away that was open until 2am everyday…If I had a craving for some chips at 3am I just had to walk across the road. If I ran out of beer during a house party, I just had to go across the road. If I wanted MacDonald’s I only had to walk around the corner…and it was a five-minute walk to the one of the nicest parks in Tokyo.
We still live in an apartment that is convenient (but thankfully bigger) a 6 minute walk from the station, a 3 minute walk to the supermarket and about the same as that to the local convenience store…We live closer to downtown Tokyo now and a taxi to Shinjuku costs $15 or a five minute train ride costs $1.60. It is not as convenient perhaps as where we lived before but it is a hell of a lot more convenient than where I was in Australia….We don’t own a car, and to tell you the truth we really don’t need one.
I am moving back to Australia in July this year for six months to a year so that I can spend some time with my family before my boyfriend and I get married and move back to Japan….he will study English and I will work in the city. I am not sure how I will go with having to drive to the supermarket or train station….or how I will go with paying $5 to catch the train when public transport is so much cheaper here. I love Australia, I really do, but will the convenience that is Japan have ruined me for Australia living?
Lulu is a 23 year old Aussie girl living in Tokyo with her Japanese boyfriend trying to make sense of the crazy but fun Japanese world she lives in.
And remember, you can get out of your niche too – all bloggers are welcome. Just contact me.
4 thoughts on “The Convenience That Is Japan”
Wow – talk about culture shock! But each place I’m sure has conveniences and beauties that are all their own.
I think you’re so brave. I teach ESL kids, and I know for sure that I couldn’t move to another country with a different languge. (Holidays are different… then it just adds to the fun.) I hope that things continue to be fun for you. Enjoy that extra space!
Hi?Lulu – I`m in Tokyo right now, for work. I`m based in Hakozaki, but did a bit of sightseeing last weekend around Ueno, ???????????????????????Flying home to Australia tomorrow night. I find Tokyo fascinating.
Thanks to Snoskred, for putting my post up!
teeni: Thanks for the comment. I know I will miss Japan a lot when I go home…I have gone home before after a year here and it is a huge reverse culture shock…but hopefully I am getting a little bit more used to it now!!! But I know I will be back, which is a comforting thought for me!
Frogdancer: I am sure having more space when am back in Australia is going to be one of the best things about it! I will just have to check to see if I remember how to drive since I rarely drive here…especially not in Tokyo!!! The kids I teach are ESL kids (most of the time) but some are also native speakers and there is such a great mix, and it is so fun to see them communicate in English especially when some of them speak a completely different language at home!!!
Ian: I am glad you liked Tokyo! Was it your first time? I hope you had a safe trip home!