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Showing posts from September, 2017

Aoyama Cemetery

I have officially survived three months at my job and am closing in on my 100th day in Japan. I haven't been in Japan for this much continuous time since my junior year in high school...

The past few days I've been on a training retreat in the mountains with the other summer hire and the incoming class of fall hires. We spent four days in a training facility, wearing business suits, and having information pounded into our brain all the while this view taunted us:

The area the facility is located in is known for its hot spring resorts. While we weren't exactly staying at a resort, per se, there was a bathing room that used natural hot springs water.

I love onsen (hot springs) so, so much so having this was a definite perk.

I was fortunate enough to have today and tomorrow off so I can fully recover and relax from training and ready myself for the next month of work. I decided to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)--it's sort of like the Japanese equivalen…

Here Kitty, Kitty

Welcome to fall in Japan! It IS technically fall, right? (No, wait, I just checked and the Almighty Internet says the first day of fall is technically September 23 so I'm a smidge off...) Either way, I love fall. Japan is great because it has all of the joys of fall (beautiful leaves, warm days and cool evenings) and none of the pumpkin spice.

Today I went to visit a temple in another part of Setagaya ward called Gotokuji, which I discovered via the Instagram of one of my friends who was in Japan for the summer. Even though I also live in Setagaya (fun fact: Setagaya is the most populous ward in Tokyo) it's so big that it STILL took me 40 minutes to get there. Being in Tokyo really redefines what I consider to be a reasonable commute. When I was looking up train schedules to get there I thought, "Oh it's ONLY going to take me 40 minutes to get there? Great!"

Gotokuji is located in a sleepy, charming residential area of Setagaya. It's a beautiful temple comple…

Almost-100 Aspects of Omotesando/Harajuku

I've spent a lot of time in the Omotesando/Harajuku areas the past few days. While some of the time was spent doing specific things--I had a lunch date with a friend, for instance--a lot of the time I just...wandered around. Despite the incoming typhoon, the past few days have been as near perfect as I could imagine and I enjoyed just being able to walk around without any solid commitments. I could pop into any little boutique or gallery that caught my eye (even though I know I don't have the budget to buy anything I could at least look) and admire the quirky architecture.

I know that in some respects spending time in Omotesando and Harajuku is not actually that exciting. It's quite a touristy area and has its share of shopping experiences that aren't unique at all (it is, for instance, where many major international brands like M.A.C, Valentino, Chanel etcetcetc. have stores). But the area will always be special to me because it's where I first solidified what I l…

Caffeine is my Idea of Fun, Now

Hey everyone. I just realized it has been about two weeks since I've last written--sorry about that. Allow me to present the usual excuse: I was busy. In the last week of August I had what was called "Follow-Up Training," which was three days of training that focused on Nitori's elaborate system of ordering custom curtains, a refresher course on the cash register (albeit one that did include some useful tricks I didn't know), and a crash course about Nitori's furniture offerings, namely what the furniture is made of (hint: the answer 90% of the time is "medium-density fiberboard"). From that training I went into five straight days of work, including the weekend which means the store is always packed to the point of insanity; I haven't had that many consecutive days of work in a long while so, to be perfectly honest, they wore me out. 
I have managed to slip a FEW fun things into the mix, albeit a mix that is leans heavily on the coffee end of t…