Now that we are getting ready to leave Japan in a few short months - Jose got his orders and we will be in San Diego sometime in June - I have been reminiscing about all of the things I have loved in Japan, and all of the things I'm going to miss.
First, the landscape here is so beautiful, with the mountains and forests and little creeks everywhere, not to mention the beaches.
The people are sooo kind, gracious and considerate, even on the road.
Customer service here is beyond anything I've experienced anywhere...
the food is delicious - even types of food we do not have much of back home in MN, like Thai and Indian, have become my frequent treats
Navy spouses, Oakleaf, a group of supportive friends...
having time to learn new crafts from my friends here
teaching English, something that if I could do over, I would have done more of, with more age groups
lingering after classes and having tea/coffee with the mothers of the students
having the time and freedom to just hop on a train and go anywhere...
having the beautiful hiking trails here, and being able to feel the serenity of the forest
the huge and highly entertaining mammoth crows here, I love them :)
getting our Japanese akita girl, and having her fit so perfectly into our family
I am going to miss her kindly older Japanese vet from Hayama :)
I am going to miss the kind gray-haired woman from the yarn shop
I am going to miss my preschool age English students and their mothers
....our book club
...the thrift shop
...the thai place in Zushi and the young man who brings cilantro for our soup
...the beautful windy hilly toll road from Ikego to Yokosuka
...getting packed in the train at rush hour like sardines :)
...having people nod and let me go first on the road even though they have the right of way, just to be nice
...the awesome variety of delicious mushrooms here that are always fresh and abundant...mmmmm shitake....like rich nutty yumminess....
...the nutty game shows
...the 100 yen stores
...the Shonan Villiage flea market on Sundays
...Frankie's wonderful culinary club and robotics club, he has enjoyed so much and they have helped bring him out of his shell and build his confidence and make more friends...
...the pottery teacher at the Yokosuka base who only speaks a smidge of English but who is very kind and gentle fellow who hums as he works
...sushi! especially 100 yen sushi!
...the beach in Hayama where all the blue and white pottery pieces wash up
...the old guys who wave you out of the parking ramps, past construction sights and take your money at the toll booths
And so many more things, but this morning I am headed to Kamakura with some Oakleaf ladies for some lunch and shopping...