Reflections on My First Year in Japan

The anniversary of when I first set my restless, adventure-seeking feet down on Japanese soil is shimmering on the horizon. Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a year! I made this move not knowing exactly what to expect, only sure that it would be big, new, exciting and a tremendous challenge, and has it ever. In this past year in Japan I have:

  • Experienced the worst Earthquake in Japan’s history
  • Learned to be more giving and less selfish, not just materially but with myself
  • Started learning another language
  • Learned to no longer hate seafood
  • Created new bonds, while sadly seeing some old ones weaken
  • Learned a whole lot more about the nature of love
  • Finally made it to Thailand to eat authentic Thai food
  • Got up close and personal with freaking tigers
  • Moved into my first apartment
  • Realized I’m a lot stronger than I’d ever thought I could be.

I moved with the aim of learning something more about the world and about myself. I moved with the aim of finding a new adventure. I moved with the aim of proving to myself that I am strong and independent, by surviving and thriving on my own in a foreign country, and that’s exactly what I’ve done. So despite the trouble and stress that came with all the changes and challenges in 2011, I officially declare this year a smashing success.

And, thanks to all of you who read and commented. I’ve also learned a lot about blogging this year as well, and seen a lot of growth and success on this, my very first blog! Blogging has been an invaluable tool to me in learning how to navigate in Japan. I’ve learned a lot and avoided some pitfalls simply by reading about the experiences of others, and I’ve also been able to share what I’ve learned with others who stumble my way. This blog has led to interviews, new friends and I even met up with one of my readers for a lovely afternoon in Shinjuku.

So I have to say a big, heartfelt DOUMO ARIGATOU GOZAIMASHITA!!!!! to all of my readers and fellow bloggers. It’s been a great year of learning and sharing, and I think this year would not have been as interesting without the input of the j-blogosphere.

Thank you and hears to an even better 2012!


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10 Responses to Reflections on My First Year in Japan

  1. Jay Dee says:

    Congratulations on a great first year! I hope 2012 will be even better.

    No mention of the September typhoon? :)

    • Amanda says:

      Oh I forgot about the typhoon. What I remember of that day is being happy because I got the day off work, then realizing it sucked because I was stuck inside listening to the windows rattle.

  2. Congratulations on the first year and ???????????????! Hope 2012 is even better and great things are ahead :)

    Japan Australia

  3. Indi says:

    Congrats on a year in Japan! 2012 brought me my first “entire calendar year spent in Japan” since I’ve been here coming on two years now. :)
    Good luck in the new year~

  4. zoomingjapan says:

    I hope it’s gonna be another great year here in Japan for you!! :3

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