This is my 56th visit to Japan, and despite all I know and love about Japan, I have never actually “lived” in Japan before. The longest stay was couple of weeks in service apartments.
So with the kids having a long summer break, we are spending 1.5 months here in Tokyo, and for the first time in my life, I am finally getting a taste of how it is like to “live” in my favorite city in the whole wide world.
For most, if not all of my trips to Japan, I was on 100% tourist mode and sightseeing was the main purpose. Just like many curious travellers, I wanted to see as many things as I possibly could. But just for this time, I have so much spare time outside of mini travels that it allowed me to slowly take in each sight at every turn of a corner, looking out the same window gazing at different shades of the same sky, walking on the same path sensing different scents in the air, or just keep going back to the same combini to find different newly released products.
It was my #Tokyolife.
It feels strange, but a nice kind of strange. It feels like home.
I was actually quite nervous before this trip, because it was like a trial run to my future plan to actually live here. And it is mid summer right here. Me with two kids. That’s like the ultimate test to see if my love can actually withstand all these challenges and inner conflicts. (Just to give perspective on how weak I am to heat – I would avoid the sun at all cost and will only walk under the shades just to avoid even 5-second of exposure to sunlight, and it’s obvious which I would choose: minus 15°C or 35°C. How about you?)
But I think Japan loves me a lot. While I have fully braced myself for the summer heat (sunblock, UV jackets, hats, parasols, portable fans, cooling sheets…), it was the coolest July Tokyoites have ever experienced. It was so cooling I had to wear a cardigan on a rainy mid July evening. I had not seen a day of summer time until yesterday where it was all clear and sunshiney.
Soooooo many people who have resided in Japan warned me that once I start living here, the magic that I experienced from a tourist’s point of view will slowly disappear. The work-related stress, human relationship, politics, etc. I know maybe not all of it, but I know enough. Well noted, it was actually also my biggest worry all these year. Because it is already happening. Many things that I used to think was nutella-flavored unicorn coated in glitters, are now just… normal. Easy example – plain egg sandwiches from the combini once tasted like pyschedelic unicorn dancing on rainbows, but now it is just… a regular delicious egg sandwich.
You get what I mean? My biggest fear of making Japan my residence was that I will slowly get immune to all the amazing things I once thought was out of this world, and take things one by one for granted as if I have forgotten how they used to make me squeal in delight once before. And in the end the magic sparkles just…slowly turn lackluster and fade quietly into an unremarkable blank.
Deep inside I also know that it won’t happen. I won’t let it happen. Yes, I would probably get sick of eating the same pyschedelic unicorn after a few weeks into Japanlife, but I will find new things to appreciate every single minute. And it will make every single day worth living.
The change of seasons.
The endless discovery (sorry to borrow your tourism slogan, Japan. You can’t have said it better), even just in Tokyo alone.
The air. Just breathing Japanese air makes me happy.
And even if you are not in Japan, you still can.
The ever changing new experiences, new ideas, new innovations, new everything that I think is what inspires me the most here in Japan. It makes every single day a newness exploration (and being an Aries type O I really can’t do routine. Constant new excitement is what keeps my energy going).
The high-tech home (I’m going to do a separate blog post about this. Actually this blog post was supposed to be about that but I got carried away being sentimental, and it happens to me all the time when I blog).
That’s why I think, I will do just fine.
Because I know it is all in the mind. You decide what you want to see, what you want to be thankful for, and that includes searching for your own small everyday magic and make it happen.
I know I my heart is safe with me. My heart that is a white square with a red circle, is safe, here in this city. I also know that I will continue to love Japan, not any less, but only ever more.