Today marks four years since I moved to Japan.

The first three of those years I spent as a JET Program ALT in Kitakyushu, assisting in English classes at local schools. It was for the most part an enjoyable and comfortable job, and living in a moderately-sized city afforded me a lot of freedom. Sometime during my time living in Kitakyushu, I came to know Taku.

Life in Kitakyushu began to feel stale, so one year ago, I moved to Fukuoka City to get a fresh start. I attended a Japanese language school full-time for a while, but as time went on, it became clear that that path wasn’t for me. I’ve recently returned to work in order to live more comfortably again.

Of all my years here, this Japanniversary feels the most melancholy. Taku is away for work all summer. All of my close friends in the area have moved back to their respective countries. And I’m on a tight budget, meaning I can’t really go anywhere too far from home. I usually take a moment to think “What have I accomplished in the past year?” around this time, but this time around, I feel like that this time around, I couldn’t accomplish as many things as I hoped I could. Perhaps I’m being too hard on myself. I did pass the JLPT N2, which is one concrete goal that was years in the making. And I also strengthened my relationship with Taku and other important people around me. But I still can’t help but feel like the past year fell short of the grand expectations I had regarding life in the city.

On a positive note, I think that things should begin to stabilize over the next few months, and that I will finally be able to start looking forward to future again! I’m planning a lot of big things over the next year, and I feel energized and hopeful for what my fifth year in Japan will bring.

And as always, thanks for your continued readership of this blog!

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  1. michel andré perrin

    I have been moved by your text. Extremely moved. My situation is not yours there are some common points. Anyway I would be please to chat. Skype. Viber. What’s app. I am currently in Kobe.

  2. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. If you’d like to get in touch, you can e-mail me at rei@takureinoroom.com

  3. Hi, Rei! I just discovered your blog as I’ve been doing some research about living in Japan. I’m moving to Tokyo by end of the month. I’m excited and nervous at the same time.

    Going to your post, I hope things would soon get better for you! I’m sure there is always something to be thankful for! Cheers!

    • Congratulations on being able to move to Japan! I’m sure it’s nerve-wracking but you’re in for an amazing experience.

      I certainly am thankful for many things in my life right now, and I have a lot of great things planned for the future, so fingers crossed, I hope that everything continues to progress steadily.

      Thanks for the encouragement, and good luck with your move!

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