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Things I'll Miss About Japan

by Nozomi Johnston

Now that we have 6 months left, I am already starting the "Awww, I'm gonna miss this..." about this and that of Japan. I've decided to write about some of it so that I won't forget in the years to come.

Of course, the top of the list will be our friends. That's obvious. The Joy Group ladies that have become so very close to my heart. I don't think they'll be upset if I named them here: Madoka, Iku, Ryoko, Mayumi, Mayuki, Noriko, Keiko, Sachiko, Asami, Hiroko, and Yuko. And all of their wonderful husbands and children. I'll miss the holiday parties, the birthday parties, the brunches, the outings, the games, crafts, and lot of laughter. I will miss sharing about Jesus with them the MOST. Of course we can still communicate through email, but it won't be the same as the face-to-face, consistant times together of sharing about the most important things--salvation and eternity.

I will also miss the new-ness of the Gospel message here in Japan. On one hand, it's sad that not too many people have heard about Jesus. On the other hand, the message is new, fresh, and exciting. No one would say, "I've heard it all before" and dismiss it as old news.

I didn't think I'd say this, but I think I'll miss speaking Japanese. This was one thing that I was worried about before we moved here, but now that it's been 3-1/2 years, my Japanese language is slowly becoming my own. Of course it will never be where my English ability is, but I feel like I am finally able to be myself, even when I am speaking in Japanese. At first when I heard myself, it sounded like another person, like I was listening to my mom speak. But now when I hear myself, it's...me:) When you can joke around in another language, that's a good sign that it is becoming your own.

Here's another thing that I thought I'd never hear myself say...I might even miss riding my bike! How bout that?! I was scared to death about this at first, and was worried sick about it. The Lord is gracious, isn't He? Now riding my bike is as natural as walking. I love warm eveing rides when it's really quiet, and you ride past house after house...and you smell their dinner, a different aroma for each house you pass. Or you hear kids voices or babies crying as you ride. It's a very Japanese feeling that you cannot experience in the States. (But I will NOT miss biking in the rain, storm, or freezing cold!!)

I will miss the Kaiten Zushi (the revolving sushi restaurant). And the price...a dollar or less per plate! We will definitely NOT be able to find those prices in California. I'll miss just jumping on the train to eat sushi whenever I have the craving (which is OFTEN!!)

Speaking of trains, I will miss the various stations and the fun-ness of getting off the station and just browsing around. I love Tokorozawa...the Propei street and all the little shops along the way, and then reaching Daiei and the cutsie Japanese shops in the department stores. I'll miss Ikebukuro, especially Sunshine City...Tokyu Hands, and Nekobukuro on the 8th floor, which is a room full of cats that you can pet!

I will miss the polite, efficient customer service in Japan. Everyone is so kind and proper, and they will do whatever they can to please the customer.

I will also miss the shipping system within the country. I am still amazed at how the shipping companies work around the clock to deliver items to your door. After I purchase a boatload at Costco, I have everything shipped...and it's there the next morning, at my door. Or have your suitcase delivered from the airport to your door, or your door to the airport. And if you're not at home at the time of delivery, you call them and ask them to come back at the time you want, and there're there, even at 9 pm. So amazing.

Okay, I'll stop for now, and will add on when I think of more.

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