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- A New City -
- A New City -
I have lived in this new city for a month now, and feel I am now adjusted to it. While not difficult, I was surprised because it wasn't easy. While not the first time I've spend a long time living in Japan, this city is much different than Tsuruga, and that has made adjusting difficult.
I've been told by everyone that Himeji (a city of about 400,000) is Japanese countryside, and sitting here in my apartment, I can see this is true. I am living in the middle of rice and vegetable fields. I've spent most of my life in the country, and I'm used to it; I grew up running through orchards, corn fields, pumpkin patches and forests. But seeing these fields and mountains completely surrounded by concrete and metal is still hard to get used to. Even though Tsuruga was smaller, there was no green outside of Matsubara Pine Forest. Seeing nature so clearly marked and defined (compared to the rolling American countryside) is very surprising.
But while living in the Japanese countryside is inconvenient, it has also provided me with a wealth of opportunities I would have missed were I living in the city: Groups of children playing and wanting me to join in. Hidden Torii gates marking a Shinto Shrine tucked into the mountains. A homemade dango shop. A search for a park leading to the climbing of a mountain. These sorts of things remind me over and over why I love Japan, and why living here only a year or two might not be enough.
So to this new city, to this new adventure, to the things and people I find because of them, I raise my glass. かんぱい!