Living Abroad Log: Month Five


living-abroad-log-month-1WE’RE BACCKKK! After being in the States for about a month over the winter holidays, we are settled back into Tokyo life. Once we returned, I spent January devoting some much-needed time to organizing our place and setting up a new fitness/healthy eating routine. Now, that those things are mostly in order, I am back to blogging, yay!  So, in Living Abroad Log fashion, here are the things that I’m loving, liking, and wanting to leave behind this month.


Weather. Guess what? It never really got cold! Cold here is anything below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, which coming from the Midwest is a bit laughable. It still feels cold especially with the epic wind that blows through, but nowhere near what we’ve experienced in Milwaukee. It was nice to get a “winter fix” in back home over the holidays, but I definitely do not miss the bitter cold.

January in Tokyo 

Style. Now that I can actually find my way around without being glue to my phone, I have a lot more time to observe the culture. I know it’s not Paris or Milan, but Tokyo is pretty damn chic. While there are tons of different styles, people dress intentionally here. At first, I found it to be pretty intimidating considering I’ve lived in workout clothes for a good chunk of the past year or so. Then, once I embraced the whole “dressing up” thing aka putting on jeans and a pair of flats on the reg, it actually led me to a whole new sense of style. I haven’t totally committed though, the morning school run is still done in yoga pants.


Kawaii Dogs. Pets here are seriously pampered by their owners. At our local farmer’s market many wear them like babies in wrap carriers! Imagine a French Bulldog being worn like a baby… it is adorable. The pet stroller is also very popular along with clothing and costumes. Pets carry a very heft price tag here in Tokyo and unfortunately, rescuing an animal is not very popular. So the flip side of all these adorable puppies and kitten showcased in impeccable pet shops isn’t nearly as cute.

Holiday Anticipation. Living abroad really upped the Christmas excitement for us. Generally, the season is so packed and hectic that it can take away from the anticipation of the holiday. This year, we really looked forward to all the traditions of home. We stayed home for almost a full month and returned to Tokyo with full hearts but completely exhausted. Next year, we are definitely scheduling in some R&R time before heading back “home”!


Preschool. We decided to send William to school about three months into living here. We wanted him to interact with other kids his age, become familiar with listening and following a routine outside of our home. Plus, let’s be honest, Momma needs a break! I toured roughly ten different schools and on the low-end figures were coming in around $6,000 – $8,000 a year for two, half days a week. I’m all for early education but that is some serious cash to shell out for 7 hours a week! Eventually, I found a nursery school that fit our budget and needs for this year. It’s not my dream preschool, but we like it and it’s perfect for William’s first “school” experience.

Movies. There is a significant delay in movie releases over here. We’re still waiting for La La Land and SING to make their way over! Also, it’s a process to go because you need to make sure you book the English showing (provided one is available) of whichever movie you want to see. So needless to say, we haven’t done a movie in Japan yet.

The past six months have certainly taken us on an adventure not just physically, but emotionally too. I can’t wait to share what the next 18 have to bring! As always, thanks for following along on our journey.

4 thoughts on “Living Abroad Log: Month Five

  1. Great story ! Oh about the dog thing, here in Germany it is a prized possesion LOL. When I took my daughter for a walk, it is always that I see more dogs than babies being walked… and Germans really love them with their own pet carrier, costumes, and I see so many pet dog/cat shops. It’s really a lifestyle here and no animal is stray. I am a bit scared of the big dogs, German shepherds and those bull dogs.
    I can totally feel you about looking forward for more better days living as an Expat..It’s great to hear your stories knowing it’s something I can relate to.
    I’m following!


  2. I was interested in preschools as well. How did you child adapt? Is it an english or Japanese preschool?
    We currently live in Switzerland and for 2 half days a week, it costs about $10k/year (and i’m talking public, local daycare, nothing fancy or international etc). Japan almost sounds like a bargain to me lol


    1. We chose to send our son to an International School as we wanted to be able to easily communicate with his teachers. I think our son would have done just fine in a Japanese school however, our Japanese is very limited so it wasn’t a great fit for our family. If you’re already used to paying a fortune for school than Japan won’t be any different haha.


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