As we get to the end of our project, I figured it’s a good time to reflect on the things I will miss most when I leave Japan.
1. The Vending Machines: There are vending machines everywhere – buildings, streets, train stations – and they are filled with a large variety of hot and cold drinks.
2. The Grape Drink: This canned grape drink has actual grapes in it.
3. Meals: Not only have we eaten really well, all our meals are a communal experience…lots of small dishes that we all share. The meals are about so much more than the food.
4. The Sake: Who knew there were so many different varieties of sake?
5. The Automatic Doors: Almost every door, everywhere, opens when you stand in front of it.
6. The Service: All of the service people — the waiters, hotel staff, etc.. – go out of their way to provide a customized experience.
7. The Trains: Japan’s train system is top notch. It has severed as our major mode of transportation. The high-speed train is a huge bonus — gets you to your destination fast and comfortably.
8. Hearing my name as Stacy-san
9. The officials and residents of Date City: They have welcomed us with open arms and given us an experience that we never would have had in other circumstances. We fell in love with their city.
10. The team: We have spent basically every waking minute together and continue to work well together, have a great deal of respect for each other and enjoy each other’s company. It will be sad to say goodbye.