One year in Japan– Let’s roll back the clock, shall we? Part 2 – Yokohama

So I finally met up with my cousin and her family. Her husband is half Japanese/Filipino so he can speak fluent Japanese, English and Tagalog. He’s a silent type of guy but he likes anime as well so I often talk to him about it. I finally got to see my niece! She’s so cute and she’s a ballerina to boot, so whenever we would stop and wait for a bus/train/taxi/whatever, she would start pointing her toes and practicing her dance moves. Haha!

In the pictures below, you can constantly see us wearing/holding white surgical masks. When I first arrived in Japan, I thought it was really scary– like some sort of plague. When I asked my cousin about it, she said that some people have pollen allergy, like her, so they have to wear masks every spring. Of course, she said, if they were sick it was just good manners (This was the first time I would hear about this manā or ‘manner‘ in Japan; I’ll elaborate on this one soon.) to wear masks to prevent the spread of the sickness. And if  you’re scared of catching a cold then some people would wear one as well. Recently though I heard some younger people would wear them just because it’s comforting to hide behind the mask. I myself have worn them on such occasions.

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My cousin and my niece– she was actually making a funny face but I had to censor it hahaha!

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My niece

I arrived at a pretty awkward time because my cousin was actually moving to Tokyo in 2 days so we were quite busy cleaning and packing everything for the big move. I started playing with her son, who was 2 years old, and he was so energetic and cute I was exhausted by the end of the day. At around 3pm, my niece came back from school, and we went to her ballet studio to say goodbye to her teachers and classmates.

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My niece at one of her recitals

After she introduced me to her teachers, she suddenly started crying. I tried comforting her but her teachers and her classmates started crying too. They hugged my niece and gave her presents and encouragement. We left the ballet studio soon after and she started cheering up. She pointed out some buildings and some places that she thought I would be interested in. We arrived back at the apartment and my cousin and my nephew had dressed up and told us we will go around Minato Mirai so I can have a look around.

After that we went home and waited for my cousin-in-law and we watched a movie while we ate shabu-shabu. My stomach was so full I felt so sleepy but Haru, my cousin’s 2 year old, kept playing with me and wouldn’t let me sleep. I finally put on some of his favorite disney shows on his i-pad and watched it together on my futon. When my niece and nephew fell asleep, my cousin and I talked about news back home and some family drama that I’m definitely not getting into now, but it made for a pretty interesting topic. I woke up the next day feeling awesome. I was going to meet my friend in Akabane and she promised we would go around Akihabara that day.

OK, I’m off to sleep! I’m actually setting this to go live tomorrow when I go back to work.

Countdown!

So I’ll be moving to Japan in about a week. Still haven’t packed or even bought winter clothes, so that’s great. OTL;;

I am a little worried about the baggage weight because since I’ll be living in Hokkaido, which is the northernmost part of Japan (I think you can even see Russia from over there hehe), I’m gonna need a ton of warm/thermal clothes.

You can just imagine how cold it’s gonna be there. I mean, it’ll be cold all through-out the year. So I can’t really shed the winter clothes from my baggage and opt for a more summer-y wardrobe, which incidentally, all my clothes are because of helloblazingheatandgodawfulhumidity that is the Philippines. Definitely a 180 for me.

I’ll be spending a week at my cousin’s, who lives in Yokohama, and hopefully my body can adjust to the climate before I head over to Ice Mountain. XDDD I can’t wait to see my cute nieces and nephews! I’m a godparent to one of them so I’ll probably have to make up for all of the non-existent presents I have given him ;A; (PS. It’s ridiculous but those kids have more money than me. I mean, my 10 year old niece uses an iphone5– I can’t even afford that! >3< I mean what 10 year old kid needs that kind of an expensive phone?! I guess it comes with the territory.)

I’m also looking forward to meeting up with friends in Tokyo who I haven’t seen in 7 years. It’s funny though, because my close friend (who’s half-Japanese) is also planning to return to Japan to work there, which blows my mind seeing as how she used to say that Japan is only a good place to visit– not to live in.  Seems like all of us are coming together in one place (although they will all be in Tokyo and I’ll be foreveralone up in Hokkaido haha) but really, amazing timing!