I Think I’m Turning Japanese

Yesterday marked six months since we arrived here on Okinawa. I cannot believe that we have already been here that long. The time has flown by and I cannot help but worry that the rest of our time here will, too. I thought it would be appropriate to discuss the things that have surprised us about Japan throughout our 6-month relationship with it.

Our top five surprises about Okinawa:

1) I thought all of Okinawa would look like this:

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While much of Okinawa is home to the most beautiful scenery I have witnessed, a lot of it also looks like this:

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It is quite the concrete jungle. If it weren’t, it would be carried off quickly by the typhoons that wreck this island for almost half of each year. We were also surprised by how big Okinawa is! It can be hard to see on some maps, given that it is only 67 miles long by 2 to 17 miles wide. However, the island is packed with wonderful restaurants, adorable little shops, and beautiful scenic views and cultural sites. I am seriously worried we will not be able to see it all before we leave.

2) The Okinawans are basically the coolest people on the planet. They are always look about 10-15 years younger than they are because they are very active and health-conscious in all that they do. They are the most helpful, courteous, environmentally friendly people I have come across, and I am excited to learn Japanese so I can communicate with them better.

3) There are tombs all over the island. You got it, tombs. Okinawan families are both superstitious and respectful of their elders. When their family members die, they lay them to rest in a family tomb where their soul is expected to hang out for eternity. More on this later. 😉

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4) Casey and I were both surprised by how quickly we adapted to driving on the left side of the road. This may have been the most terrifying thing about moving to Japan, and I almost cried when Casey forced me to drive out here for the first time. After a few almost critical errors, I adjusted fine. Now, whenever we watch American shows or movies, it is strange to see people driving on the right side of the road. It just looks wrong to me. Read more about our driving adventures here!

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5) I continue to be pleasantly surprised by the uniquely useful little items the Japanese have come up with to assist with even the tiniest of problems. I have no shortage of examples of this, and therefore will write more on the subject later. In the meantime, enjoy the little socks on this chair:

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There are so many things that surprised us about this place, but coming to know Okinawa has been a very exciting time in our lives. I did not choose to land here, but I am falling in love with this island. Sorry, America, but I think I’m turning Japanese. I really think so. (Sorry– I had to do it)! 😉

May you find things and people to love wherever you are!

Always, Amanda

PS: Stay tuned for more on our Okinawan favorites! I’ll be writing complete posts on some of these (and more) in the coming weeks!

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Categories: Okinawa | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “I Think I’m Turning Japanese

  1. Lex

    Loved your blog update!!! Time is flying! 🙂 You mean the Japanese LOOK 10-15 years younger than they are, right! 🙂
    So glad you’re here!!! (And I don’t want you to leave next summer)!

    • Hahaha oops! Fixed it! Thanks- it wouldn’t be the same without you here. I’ll have a great excuse to come back and visit, and we can always space A you up to the mainland! Enjoy Hawaii!

  2. Great post! I’m excited to learn more about Okinawa…moving this summer!

    • That’s so exciting! The move here was definitely stressful, but we have really fallen in love with this place! Please let me know if you have any questions, or even if you want me to post about something you’re curious about!

  3. Jamie

    I love this post! Your blog writing is getting really really good! Great pictures, too! I would be so freaked out driving on the left. I’m so glad you’re liking your new home. And I’m really looking forward to your post about useful Japanese household inventions… those tiny chair socks are the cutest things ever!

    • Thanks, love! This is still so new to me, but I’m trying! I’ve been collecting pictures for awhile now, so I’m excited for that post!

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