Here are a few pictures and random thoughts.

These are peaches that we received as omiyage (a gift that is given when meeting for the first time). Japan is very much a gift giving culture. These peaches are huge, between the size of a baseball and a softball. Fruit is very expensive in Japan and as such it comes in its own Styrofoam basket for protection.

Here is a rough sketch of our apartment. I hope you can read it. If you have any questions just ask. The hash marks are doors and the boxes on the perimeter are windows. Lots of windows and natural light here!

Here is the toilet in our apartment. When you flush the water in the top turns on as well so you can wash your hands. It uses the water from washing your hands to fill up the tank, saving water. Pretty neat.

The flusher on the toilet has two symbols. The top means "big" and the lower one means "little". Well, you can figure that one out!

This is the entrance to our apartment. The box on the door is for mail (although we have a mailbox outside the door as well). The cabinet on the left has sliding doors which reveal shelves for our shoes. The cement area is level with the ground outside and you step up once inside the apartment. You always take your shoes off in your home. A doorway is barely visible to the right and that is the toilet.

On a hill across the street is Ohira Castle. I haven't been there yet but when I do you will hear about it for sure!

This is my hanko (personal seal). It was given to me at my first meal by Luke's supervisor. She picked out the characters for my name and had it made. When you say the characters it sounds like Lindsey but the meaning is "going for your dreams" which is totally perfect! The hanko its self is the size of my pinky and the ink pad is in a locket attached to the case.

A few other observations:

They always back into their parking spaces.
Don't do anything in public unless you want them to talk about it forever!
Recycling is huge here, sometimes divided into twenty-something piles. Ohira just has eight I think. You also have to put your trash into special bags which you have to pay for.
At the grocery store you bag your own groceries and pay for the bags there as well. You do have the option to use the boxes that they receive produce in for free instead.
All the cars here are brand new and small. I don't think I have seen a personal truck and hardly an SUV in sight. Still almost everyone owns a bike as well.
Hardly anyone wears a wedding ring and those that I have seen are plain bands. Interesting.
Everyone line dries there clothes.


Anonymous said...

Fun reads, Lindsey! Thanks for the pics and diagram. It soooo helps visualize what it is like for you and Luke!! Renee/Mom

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