Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's Definitely Been an Adventure!

We've been in Japan for 5 months now and it's been a complete whirlwind.  My blogging has taken a backseat to so many things, so I'm going to do my best to recap what we've been up to since we arrived at Yokota Air Base, Japan.

Our first few weeks here in Japan were exciting but also hard to adjust to the time difference.  After we arrived on base, we checked into the temporary lodging apartments and met up with our good friends, Jeff and Caitlin Copeland.  They were kind enough to spend their time carting us around the base and getting us acquainted with our new home.  Since you drive on the opposite side of the road here, we had to wait to take the drivers class on base before we could drive or purchase a car.  So, we were very thankful that the Copeland's were generous enough to act as our taxi service for over a week! 

Our first off base dining experience was with Jeff and Caitlin at a place we call, "Truck Stop Ramen," but I have no idea what the name of it really is.  Here is a picture -- it reminded me of what a Waffle House looks like (inside and out).

We had a very yummy first meal - gyoza, fried rice, noodle bowl - all with chopsticks!  The Japanese working there were very excited to have us come in to eat.  They even sat us at the section where the tables are on a platform, so you have to take off your shoes and sit on the "floor." Here are a few photos.  Even Matthew had a blast!

After about a week, we were able to move into our own tower apartment on base.  It's a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom apartment and we live on the 8th floor.  We have a great view of Fussa city right off base.  The weather was so nice that Matthew and I had a few picnic lunches out on the porch.

Here is our first lunch off base at the local McDonald's!  A little piece of home...although an unhealthy piece!

We spent one of our first Saturday's here exploring the city and finally decided to try out the trains and venture out to Showa Park.  It's a beautiful park - huge - with a water park that runs in the summer, play areas for kids, a huge grassy area for picnics and where they hold events.  It's definitely going to be a location we will explore on several occasions while we're here.  Here are a few photos we took during that adventure on the trains, playing at the "cloud" park that Matthew loved, and walking through the Japanese Gardens at Showa Park.

Here's my first experience with a Japanese bathroom...

After our afternoon at Showa Park, we had a nice dinner at a Japanese restaurant near the base.  The food is really good here, but I have to admit, I really don't like the cold noodle bowls.  In my opinion, noodles should always be eaten hot!  :)

Our first month here was definitely a whirlwind of adventures and adjustments.  Overall, I think we did pretty well considering we were also dealing with a 20 month old.  October, November and December were interesting months too, but I'll save those for a later post.  Sayonara for now!