8 Years in Japan

A park in Omiya during my first week in Japan.

I have now lived in Japan for eight years. Actually, it has now been over eight years since I moved to Japan for the first time. I still remember the experience quite vividly. It was August 23rd of 2008.

I've gone into detail about why I wanted to come to Japan, and how I got here, but just recently have I really thought about what that meant for me and how much I have evolved over the years.

When I first moved to Japan, I was fulfilling a goal of mine that I had for a while, but I really had no idea how long I was going to be here. My contract with the company I worked for at the time was only for a year. I figured I'd give a year a shot and see how I felt.

I came in just out of college, knowing no Japanese, and just a surface level knowledge of the culture as a whole. It was my first time to actually live in a foreign country. For most people this prospect seems quite scary. Yet, I had such a serene calm about it all. It was fresh, it was new, and to my young mind, it was an adventure.

Young, impressionable, and certainly a "bigger" me at 23.

Fast forward eight years and some change later and I still love Japan. The newness has long worn off. Japan is normal to me now. In fact, when I go back to the States to visit, it seems more alien than Japan does to me now.

People have always asked if I intend to stay here forever. I hate this question because life is always uncertain. I like Japan and like living in Japan, but will that be true forever? I don't think so. There are definitely other places I want to visit and perhaps live in. I feel life is too short to stay in one spot forever, and that seems far too boring for me. Who knows what the future will hold? I like that aspect about life. It is what led me to Japan in the first place.

The natural beauty of Japan captivates me no matter how many times I experience it.

Japan will always remain a very important part of my life. I dedicated nearly an entire decade here, most of my 20's in fact, learned the language, and have grown and matured so much as a human being in the process. You could say I truly did "find" myself here and figured out who I really am and what I want out of life. Could that have happened back in America? Most certainly, but I ended up here and that is what I hold close to my heart.

So for now, until I find another place that captures the spark I had here, here I will stay. Forever or not, I don't know. But I'll continue to enjoy my journey through Japan and through life every day that I can.

8 Years in Japan 8 Years in Japan Reviewed by Shea Roberts on 5:58 PM Rating: 5
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