Tag Archives: Tokunoshima

Mountain gods: Christmas in Kyoto

Mountain gods: Christmas in Kyoto

My first Christmas in Japan marked my first serious bout with homesickness. Holidays away from home hadn’t tormented me in South Africa or the UK — but this was my first time overseas with no one to visit. There is a big difference, I discovered, between being away from your family, and being without any family at all.

At loose ends for the end of the year, I maximized my vacation time with a trip to Kyoto, the destination most recommended to me by my Japanese co-workers and students.

Before I boarded the plane, I tackled my first full month at work, with all the typical frenzy and festivities.

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Happy Island: arriving in Japan

Happy Island: arriving in Japan

The time difference between Washington, D.C. and Japan is twice as long as with South Africa – but the flight here took half the time! The advantages of crossing the pole rather than the equator, I surmise.

My employment with JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching Program) commenced at the end of October 2021, when my plane touched down in Tokyo. Too much is happening for me to neglect my adventures here while chronicling my intercontinental tour, so I’ll alternate updates.

After some harrowing airport travails earlier this summer, I entrusted myself with relief to the capable Japanese bureaucracy.

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