こんにちは! Life in Japan thus far

Hello everyone! Welcome to our blog! We recently moved to Japan in August 2019 from Birmingham, Alabama, USA. I'm currently serving as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) of English in a city called Narashino. It is an eastern suburb of Tokyo in Chiba prefecture. Stone is a computer scientist and is currently working for an American company.

Narashino Location

Narashino's location

We came here in August 2019, but this post is coming to you in October... hm... So what have we been doing since then? Well, first, we moved into an little old Japanese house in what feels like the middle of the city, but I suppose it is still just a suburb by Japanese standards.

Stone is a fanatic for Japanese style housing, so he and I were beyond thrilled when we were set up in this quaint little house!

There are tatami floors, sliding doors for walls to open up the house, and lots of other Japanese design. For instance, the shower is in a separate room from the toilet (unusual where we come from in America). The house also came with a washer, but no drier since everyone in Japan hangs their clothes outside to dry. The only downside is that Stone is too tall for most of the doors in the house, and had to learn how to duck quick.

Our Bedroom Our Bedroom Our Bedroom

So anyways, we love our house! Our landlady is an older Japanese women who takes care of her children and her children's children. It's several generations under one roof! She doesn't speak a lick of English though, so its a bit hard to communicate at times, oh well, 頑張ろうI'll do my best. Her grandchild is a little boy name Yuto. He is so cute. Often, when he gets home from elementary school, he rings our doorbell to ask us if we want to play soccer. That is, until, I kicked the ball too hard and shattered our landlady's outdoor light...

So, the house and neighborhood are great. Everything is so walkable! We can get to anything imaginable (post office, city hall, hairdresser, coffee shops, doctors, schools...) by just walking a few blocks from our house! It makes life very convenient. Even if we don't want to or can't bike or walk, we can just take one of the myriad of buses and trains that go almost anywhere we could ever want!

Another great thing about where we live now is that we are very near a bird sanctuary. Yatsu Higata (Tidal Flat) is an internationally known birdwatching spot, and also an important stopover for many migratory birds. Recently, Stone and I have been trying to get into bird watching so it has been great going to their observation center and practicing our skills. The tidal flat itself is a shallow body of water connected to Tokyo Bay by a series of channels. During low tide, most of the water drains, revealing mudflats lousy with crustaceans and other bottom dwellers that the egrets, cormorants, and herons love. The channels are also full of visitors from the bay like stingrays and jellyfish. Whenever we go it always surprises us that such diversity of wildlife can thrive surrounded by human development.

Yatsu Higata

The Tidal flat as seen from the observation center

It makes you wonder what the Tokyo Bay area was like before humans began seriously developing it in the Edo period.

So, I think that's enough for this post. Until next time! じゃあまた!

kawasemi

ka wa se mi
Our favorite bird so far