I’ve now been in Tokyo for just over three weeks. Three weeks! It seems like a long time, but the time I have left in Japan also stretches out before me. Three weeks is longer than I’ve ever had for a vacation in my entire life — not that this is really a vacation, but you know what I mean. So far, things are going well, but I have a lot of “I’m in JAPAN!” moments. At the same time, if I don’t leave the house, I could be anywhere in the world.
THINGS I MISS SO FAR:
- My cat
- Having a clothes dryer (I will never understand why dryers have never caught on here)
- Someone to clean my place (cleaning the bathroom is ugh)
- North American packaging (everything here come with SO much unnecessary packaging, and the annoyance of that is compounded by the really strict garbage disposal rules)
- Being lazy about my appearance (Japanese girls are so adorable and put together that I feel inferior)
- Cheap fruit
THINGS I DO NOT MISS SO FAR:
- Any food items (Japanese food is my faaaaaaavourite so I am still overjoyed to eat it for extremely cheap every day, and I definitely do NOT miss things like hamburgers and Kraft dinner and ketchup and pizza)
- Diet everything everywhere (there are very few diet or low calorie/fat foods here, which is cool because I like butter)
- The TTC (I hardly took the TTC in Toronto, but I don’t know HOW it’s so terrible with its two measly lines and the Tokyo subway system is massive yet amazing and efficient)
- Canadian GST/HST (tax here is only 5% AND it’s included in the prices!)
THINGS I THOUGHT I WOULD MISS BUT DON’T:
- Space (living in a tiny Japanese apartment is easier than I thought)
- Wearing pants (in three weeks, I’ve worn jeans once — in Canada, I wear them every day)
Here’s some stuff I’ve done in the last three weeks that hasn’t been mentioned in previous posts:
I ate tonkatsu! I love tonkatsu. Especially when it’s perfectly crispy but not greasy.
I hung out in Shibuya! Shibuya always makes me feel happy.
I had cheap drinks at an izakaya!
I had yakitori! You can’t go wrong with meat on sticks over fire.
I had yakitori with cheese! Surprisingly delicious.
I complained some more about Japanese packaging! Single tomatoes in individual packages.
I had soba at the train station! I like restaurants with vending machines. They’re efficient and they eliminate language barriers for the most part — if you’re a tourist, you could just mash some buttons and you’ll end up with some kind of food.
I had kaiten (conveyor belt) sushi! Yes, I know that kaiten sushi is kind of pedestrian, but hey, they have gross weird sushi. Like this corn sushi. (Japanese people LOVE corn. In EVERYTHING. I don’t know why. But I also love corn so it works out for me.)
Other gross sushi: hamburger sushi. With mayonnaise.
And bacon sushi. With, for some reason, a pile of onions. (I would like to point out that all of these were eaten by Mike, not me.)
I had delicious food with my neighbours!
I met my neighbours’ cat, Jack! (Or “Ja-ku” as they call him in Japanese.)
The neighbours served me yakitori!
I saw the Les Miserables movie a week before it opened in North America! Now that I look at this photo, I can’t believe how expensive movie tickets are here! ¥1800 = $20 CAD. Good thing I almost never watch movies.
I had caramel corn at the movies! Japanese movie theatres have better snacks.
I tried Japanese pizza delivery! I don’t really like pizza, but it was mostly to see if we could actually accomplish ordering pizza. SUCCESS! This pizza is four different “flavours” but it includes shrimp, cheese, and yes, corn.
I ordered from Amazon Japan! I have since ordered many times. I think they’re similar to US Amazon — they have everything (toilet paper! food! nail polish! clothes! sake! horse sashimi!), and your order arrives on THE SAME DAY YOU ORDER IT. Amazon Canada has basically nothing and I don’t think anything in Canada offers same-day shipping.
I ate curry udon! Curry udon is one of my favourite Japanese foods.
I went to Hikarigaoka Park! It’s a large park that’s close to where I live.
I admired the leaves at Hikarigaoka Park! (Note: there is no snow here. It’s still about 10 degrees during the day.)
I laughed at Mike because he had to use my girly cellphone with all of its dangly cellphone charms and he was unimpressed!
I went to Haneda Airport just to watch the planes! (This will be the subject of my next post. Stay tuned!)