Monday, July 22, 2013

Epilogue

 

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Well I have to say that three years in Misawa certainly went by quickly! If you are just now finding this blog, I hope it helps you in your transition to your new home. If you have been with me the entire way, tried new restaurants, visited new places, I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have.

I believe that each base is what you make of it. I made this blog not only for my own memories, but to show you that there are wonderful things to discover wherever you go. I also believe the people you meet make a big difference too.

When I found out we were PCSing to Japan, I was extremely excited. I knew I was going to love it. But I didn’t know how many friends I would make working at school, working on base, and volunteering. I now claim Japan as my second home. My heart is there. My friends are there. I had many happy memories, including the birth of my daughter.

This blog is for those of you who are scared (or excited). Even though I was ecstatic to move to Japan, it did frighten me. There were a lot of unknowns. Don’t let those unknowns stop you, don’t let anxiety take over. There is too much to miss out on and so much to see and do and so many wonderful people to meet.  Push back the fear and live passionately.

For those of you wanting to make Japanese friends, find out what is going on at the Misawa International Center. Also, join the Japanese American Friendship Club. Lifetime membership is a one time fee of ¥1000 or $10. To learn more, message me or visit their FaceBook page.

I am writing this from my new home on Guam. Though I am sad to have left Japan, I am looking forward to all the wonderful things to show you about Guam. If you enjoyed this blog or are being stationed to Guam, you can follow me on my new blog: Mom on Guam.

Below is a video I made of my friends saying farewell to us. An American friend of mine once asked me why she has never heard Japanese people say “Sayonara.” Sayonara is not only very formal but used when you won’t see someone for a very long time. So instead, we like to say またね (matane= ma ta nay) which means see you again/later. Because there are no goodbyes in life, only see you laters.

A farewell message from our friends in Japan

 

*Disclaimer for the blog*

Everything on here is up to date as far as I know from June 2010 to June 2013

Nanohana Matsuri: Rape Blossom Festival

 

closeup of rape blossom

Each year in May, Yokohama holds their Nanohana Matsuri (translation: Rape Blossom Festival). Yokohama boasts the largest rape blossom field in Japan measuring 109 hectares (approximately 152 soccer fields). These yellow flowers are not just for aesthetics, but are a local crop. The nanohana not only is used in Japanese dishes; each hectare makes about 600 grams of rape seed oil. Nanohana is also used to make honey, ice cream, cream puffs, and doughnuts. We bought some nanohana doughnuts at the festival, they were good!

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At the festival, you can go stroll through a nanohana maze while taking in the beauty and smell of this golden crop.

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Or if you prefer an aerial view, helicopter rides are available for a fee.

 

Directions to Yokohama:

From the MAIN gate take a right at the second light. Take a right at the third light. Go straight across white pole road and turn left at the T. Take the NEXT RIGHT. You are now on Route 8. Follow 8 until you get to 4. merge RIGHT to get onto4. After two lights turn LEFT to get onto the Shimokita Expressway. Continue till the expressway ends at a T, turn LEFT onto 180. Cross over some railroad tracks and turn RIGHT onto 279. As you enter Yokohama keep RIGHT at the Y to stay on 279. You will see signs for the Nanohana Festival (Nanohana in Japanese: 菜の花). Follow these; the turn will be on  your right.

Drive time: approximately 90 minutes