The Land of the Rising Sun

Well, I’m here. Finally. After a year of planning and a month of crazy and sometimes painful moving and many ups and downs in between. We’ve been here in Japan for about a week now — staying temporarily in Kawasaki — and we just moved into our new apartment in Yokohama earlier today. I’m thrilled. This is a perfectly lovely little part of the city with easy access to the train station and to the Sun offices in Yokohama and Tokyo. There’s even a nice little temple a block away, and a dozen or so blocks of shops and restaurants and lots of people roaming about. The apartment is, ah, a bit smaller than our place in San Francisco, but then again, our apartment in SF didn’t have a tatami room, either. So, all is good. And yes, I’m sleeping on the floor.

There’s not much here right now. Most of our stuff is still floating on some massive transport ship out there on the Pacific Ocean somewhere, so all we have here for the next month is two suitcases and one tired baby.

Speaking of the baby … my goodness … what we have put this little kid through this last month. Slowing selling off all the stuff she had become used to in San Francisco. One piece at a time sold online. Strange people coming to the apartment and giving daddy money and taking stuff away till almost everything was gone. What’s going on? Then the brain dead construction workers messed up big time fixing the windows, and we were off to a hotel because we couldn’t breathe. Then back to our apartment for a week to pack whatever was left. Then daddy had a root canal. The second on the same tooth. He was pissed. Then we were off to another hotel near the airport with a few toys and some suitcases and a fancy new car seat. Then there was an airplane ride for what seemed like forever sitting in that damn car seat. Then to another tiny little apartment in a strange land where it’s very hot and rains a lot and there’s people everywhere. Even after all that, it didn’t stop. We were out all day every day on trains all over Tokyo, Yokohama, and Kawasaki. And on elevators and escalators and in cabs and running up and down stairs dodging millions of people flowing like blood though this remarkably efficient transportation system. We met all kinds of people and walked for hours and hours and hours getting everything we’d need to live and work here. Everything new every day everywhere she looked. But she made it. She’s actually a pretty good traveler, but it was extremely challenging and stressful due to our utter lack of infrastructure and support system. When changing countries, I recommend doing it before you have a 14-month old. She’s sleeping right now next to me, and this is her new home for at least a couple of years. There are many kids her age around here, too, so that’s cool. In San Francisco where we lived, there were more predatory pit bulls than kids and it sucked big time. I’ll miss San Francisco but not those damn pit bulls in the Sunset district.

So, for me this is new life. And for Akiko it’s the same life as before her decade in the states but now with an American and a kid in tow. So, for her I guess it’s a new life, too. I start my operations at Sun in Yokohama on Monday and I can’t wait. There is so much to do. Much of what I’ll do will be the same as what I did in Menlo Park, but I’ll be focusing on a few things here that will be very different and very big and very much beyond my skill set. Should be a good learning experience.

That’s pretty much it for now. I’ll have much to tell about this little adventure. But for now, it’s bed time.

I now live in The Land of the Rising Sun. How cool is that?

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15 thoughts on “The Land of the Rising Sun

  1. Thanks so much, Danese. Sorry I missed you in San Francisco, too. I think you were just getting in from a massive global tour or something. And yes, this little move to Japan took more than a year to plan and implement. I had my doubts at times, but it finally happened. 🙂 It’s not even complete, though. All my stuff is still out on the Pacific someplace!

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  2. Jim,
    I’m thrilled for you and Akiko and Emiri. Seems like we’ve talked about this move, or the potential for it, for *ages*…and now you’re there! I’ll probably see more of you now than when we both lived in the same city (seems that way for a lot of my friends…maybe we all travel too much :-)?). Kisses all round for me, K?
    Danese

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  3. Awesome Jim!!
    Congrats on finally arriving and settling in. I’m looking forward to hearing the new adventure, and hopefully paying a visit at some point.
    Lemme know if you make it to Perth!
    Rich

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  4. Awesome Jim!!
    Congrats on finally arriving and settling in. I’m looking forward to hearing the new adventure, and hopefully paying a visit at some point.
    Lemme know if you make it to Perth!
    Rich

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  5. Christopher … that’s cool. I’m convinced there is massive opportunity here. It’s just a tad expensive, that’s all. 🙂 If you come again, let me know and we’ll get together for a visit.

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  6. Hey, Stephen. Yah, I got pics … when the bigger laptop arrives on the boat. This Sony Vaio is a bit small to start playing around with images. 🙂 I’m just happy I can type on this tiny keyboard. 🙂

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  7. Hey, Stephen. Yah, I got pics … when the bigger laptop arrives on the boat. This Sony Vaio is a bit small to start playing around with images. 🙂 I’m just happy I can type on this tiny keyboard. 🙂

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  8. Phillip … yes, things are small here. Amazingly so, too. There are cars parked in lots with only centimeters to spare. When I get all my stuff in a couple of weeks and unpack here in this apartment, there will be almost no room left over as free space. It’s just something you get used to. You waste nothing. Conservation is top of mind for everyone. It’s fascinating.

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  9. Phillip … yes, things are small here. Amazingly so, too. There are cars parked in lots with only centimeters to spare. When I get all my stuff in a couple of weeks and unpack here in this apartment, there will be almost no room left over as free space. It’s just something you get used to. You waste nothing. Conservation is top of mind for everyone. It’s fascinating.

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  10. I’m jealous.

    I got a near job offer in Fukuoka 2 weeks ago and I freaked out everybody around me talking about going there all serious and stuff.

    I’m going to have to do that fairly soon.

    …and not just because of the food. 🙂

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  11. The apartment is, ah, a bit smaller than our place in San Francisco
    I remember visiting a friend who lived in that area of Japan back in 1998. She informed us we’d have to book into a hotel as her apartment was a little small, we couldn’t quite understand until we got there. The builders had managed to cram in a full kitchen, shower room, toilet and combined living room/bedroom into a space not much bigger than a large car parking space. It was under 10 feet wide and a bit over 20 feet long.
    By the time we left I understood why Japaneese people really like small gadgets.
    I hope you enjoy living out there as much as we enjoyed visiting.

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