Japan Here We Come!

Japan Here We Come!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Moving in and First Week of School

We moved into our house recently and I wanted to share a bit about it. It is in the neighborhood of Shioiri (Shee-o-iri--except the "r" is said really fast so it sounds like idi--it's one of my most favorite Japanese words). We, like good neighbors took chocolates to those who live next to us to introduce ourselves and apologize for any additional dust we may have stirred up in the move. We even had a very nice note that our friends the Amakasus wrote up for us. We were received well or they were just very polite, as all Japanese are.

We just hope they were OK with our initial move in with temporary furniture, then our express shipment, and then our HHG (household goods) shipment. We stirred up a lot of dust I'm afraid, not to mention they may have learned that we are very loud Americans.

Here is a picture of our lease-- Foot wear is not allowed in the house, we signed a contract saying so, so it was easy to convince the kids to do this. And Japanese houses make it easy with a Genkan--a whole entrance with cubbies for shoes.

 Below is a picture of our landlord. He is the head Buddhist priest of the temple just down the street from us. He is very nice and had a board replaced the next day by his personal carpenter,  and had a small concrete wall knocked down so we can park our bikes. That is pretty big stuff and all we can say is Arigato Gozimas, which means thank you, which will just have to suffice.

Below is a meal of Tonkatsu which is fried pork cutlets, the kids especially loved this meal.

 These are two pictures of the tatami room. It is made to be a multi-purpose room for sleep, tea, summer reading, and ancestor worship. We made it Mattie's room with a futon and everything.

Shortly after our move in there was a little festival in our community Shioiri (its just so fun to say) and just Tom and I went out initially, headed out to do some shopping. We ate some of their food, and they tried repeatedly to buy us drinks, eventually just giving us some apple juice. They were all so nice and seemed excited to have us so we went and made the kids come. The stir fry people encouraged Tom to make up a batch and then they gave us the whole batch. Such nice people and Tom really gave them a show. Below is a picture, but it is out of focus b/c earlier that day.......

 We went on the roller slides and having my phone in my pocket knocked the camera out of focus. The next day a little girl threw my phone on the floor at church and it knocked it back into focus. Weird eh?

Church here is quite different, but we have already made some great friends and met some incredible people. Here we are walking for the first time from our house--in the much refreshing rain.

 There is no free parking by the church so most people park on base and walk the 10 minutes to the eight story building. We live about a 15 min. walk so it's just as fast to walk. Sacrament and priesthood are on the 3rd floor. Nursery and Relief Society are on the 6th floor and Primary is on the 7th. We have learned to cram a lot of people into some very small elevators or you just walk up the un-aircontioned stairs.

The beginning of school was a "just one more thing to do" type of first day. This is as close as we got to pictures. I'm glad Sam was willing to pose.

 We were initially going to put Hazel in a Japanese kindergarten but we decided the Sam needed a change of scenes and Hazel is going to join him at Hayama International. It will be super good for Sam because the class size is 8-10 students.

Below is a picture of a demonstration that disturbed our routine for a couple of days. We think it was a teachers' union thing this time rather than an anti-American or anti-nuclear demonstration, but the demonstration still rings louder if it's by the American Base. Mostly it was a hundred or so police standing around with batons and their buses blocking lanes and every once in a while you'd see a car with a speaker on it drive by. This picture has a few people stopping to see the truck and taking pictures--everyone else is police.

Octopus Balls or Takoyaki- lunch one day!

The kids went to an class on Japan one day. They got to wear kimonos and samurai kimonos.

We are enjoying Japan and our loving our house. There has been some adjustment, but I think its mostly for mom, the kids truly seem unphased.

1 comment:

  1. I love this! You are really getting a great immersion experience there. And that Katsu-don is one of my (our-Mark too) favorite dishes. Yum! Keep the posts coming!